What do the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, and Tampa Bay Rays have in common? These pro sports teams have discovered the benefits of practicing yoga. If you think yoga is “just a girl thing,” you’re way behind the
times. In 2003, the book Real Men Do Yoga featured interviews with 21 male professional athletes who were reaping the benefits of practicing yoga in competitive sports and their personal lives.
Professional athletes use yoga to help old injuries heal, prevent new injuries, increase the efficiency of their breathing, sharpen focus and concentration, and enhance clear decision making under pressure. Yoga brings flexibility to muscles that get tight, particularly through repetitive use in sports such as cycling, golfing, and running, and playing basketball,
baseball, softball, and football. It provides holistic physical conditioning that strengthens underworked muscle groups balancing them with those that tend to be overworked in sports and weight training.
You don’t have to be an athlete to reap the benefits of yoga. More and more “regular guys” are attending yoga classes every day. Out of the 20.4 million Americans practicing yoga, nearly 18% are men according to the 2012 “Yoga in America Study” conducted by Sports Marketing Surveys USA.
Research has demonstrated that a consistent yoga practice can lower blood pressure, alleviate back pain, reduce stress, increase flexibility and range of motion, and strengthen the body in a holistic way. It’s a fantastic tool for aging well, keeping the body limber, the balance steady, and the mind sharp. Corporate yoga classes, increasingly part of onsite workplace wellness programs, provide tools for dealing with high pressure demands and for gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Stop missing out on the benefits and hit the mat. You’ll be glad you did.
Dawn teaches corporate yoga classes, private sessions, and studio-based group classes at multiple locations in Northeast Ohio. She has a Master’s Degree in Medical Anthropology and a long-standing interest in cross-cultural health and healing practices.