For this and other OlderBeast seasonal challenges (HIIT’s the other current one), “best of the web” content is part of the rotation. I’m always looking for useful stuff, sometimes at the theory/rationale level, and a lot of times at the concrete “what-to and how-to” levels.
In that spirit, here are three Yoga-focused sources I think you’ll find useful. I’d love to hear your feedback on these, or ideas you have that can help other OlderBeasts in this Yoga Challenge. Feedback very welcome here, or at OlderBeast’s private members page on Facebook.
1. MEN’S FITNESS BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO YOGA
Where: this article at MensFitness.com
Why I recommend it: For starters, this does a great job recapping “why yoga for men?” Maybe OlderBeast yoga articles have been fully persuasive to you, but maybe not (and so maybe you’re still kind of window-shopping this challenge). If so, read this for more perspective on “why.”
But on top of recapping rationale well, there’s good content here on specific poses and how to do them. Often, you’ll be doing a practice led by an instructor who plays the pose-adviser role. But hopefully at some point you’ll construct your own routine to try at home. This could be a 10 to 15-minute add-on to a different workout, or a 45+ minute practice unto itself. Either way, having your own knowledge of good poses and how to do them is what you want, man.
Here’s a good point the article makes about yoga (and other exercise) as they related to stress:
“Going to amped up gyms or punching a punching bag can make you more aggressive or more tired. Yoga, on the other hand, employs a number of relaxation techniques, which, with regular practice, can make you calmer overall.”
Make sure to check out: The last part of the last section here, about Crow Pose. This is a pose that is challenging, but doable for semi-fit and above guys…so it’s a good thing to start doing soon.
2. YOGA STORIES FROM A DIVERSE GROUP OF TEN GUYS
Where: this article at YogaJournal.com.
Why I recommend it: These “how I started yoga” stories come from a diverse group of athletes – runners, cyclists, surfers, snowboarders, skiers, climbers, and even hockey players. Seeing this, and how different guys experienced getting into yoga, helps reinforce motivation to try and stick with yoga for a legitimate trial period…and then be your own judge as to whether it’s a permanent thing for you.
Also, different guys featured here reference different styles of yoga and what they like about them. And what they don’t like about them – i.e. there’s some good honesty here about aspects of yoga that didn’t work in some instances, and how the guy moved on from that.
Here’s part of what the runner who’s featured in the article has to say:
“I haven’t gotten injured in years, and I think yoga has a lot to do with that. It counterbalances the tightening that running creates in my muscles, and it’s taught me more innovative ways to stretch.”
Make sure to check out: The very first story in this click-through, slideshow-style article. It’s from Dave Kalama, a big-wave surfer. He really brings to life the physical benefits he gets from his yoga practice. And, he admits to failing at yoga on his first try, but goes on to describe how it became so core to his fitness.
3. YOUR FIRST YOGA CLASS: WHAT TO EXPECT AND WHAT TO BRING
Where: this article at The Huffington Post.
Why I recommend it: This article – as do so many – recaps some of the “why,” but I’m pointing to it for the parts that come after that. It has a nice section on what to expect from, and what to bring to, your first class. It also does a good job of identifying and debunking some misconceptions about guys and yoga. One of these – that you need to be flexible – was also the subject of this OlderBeast article.
Make sure to check out: The part at the very end where they talk about guys’ competitive urges and not trying to match the person on the mat next to you. And also, how yoga plays into the OlderBeast theme of embracing head-on the fact that we’re aging, but can and will still do all possible things to stay fit and vital.
From that part of the article…
“Motion is Lotion, as they say, and yoga is one of the few work outs that can keep joints healthy and lubricated, as well as giving you the stamina and strength to live fully.”
If you’re already off-and-running with this challenge, I hope these three articles add to your knowledge base, your plans, and your underlying motivation.
If you’ve read this but you’re not in action mode yet — no worries (but it’s time to get started soon). As a reminder, the challenge here calls for doing at least six yoga practices before the New Year. Thanksgiving and Christmas week might be tough, especially if you’re traveling (though they’re also a great time to do yoga). So not counting holiday weeks, you’ve got about seven weeks left in the year — I know, holy s**t. That’s the perfect amount of time to get in your six trial yoga practices and see if it’s for you, to possibly include in your start-of-2018 game plan!
If you think this would be useful to others, please help spread the word about OlderBeast by sharing this post with the social media buttons below. THANKS, MAN.