What can I expect from a men-only yoga class?

Q:

What can I expect from a men-only yoga class?

A:

On the surface, the answer to this is pretty simple: In a men-only yoga class, you can expect to find a class where all of the students are men. Why does this matter? Well, if you’re a guy who’s been avoiding trying yoga because you're worried you might be the only male student in the room, the guarantee that this won’t happen could matter a lot. My male friends and students both have told me they imagine being surrounded by super-bendy ladies in leggings, being asked to channel their inner goddess, and feeling horribly out of place. Guys might also worry that they may not be welcome in an all-female class, or that they'll be impeding on a feminine space. (Why do I feel vulnerable when I practice yoga?)

As a practice, yoga is highly inclusive and, broadly speaking, yogis tend to be a welcoming bunch. Yoga is also becoming more and more popular with men, and it’s common to see classes with diverse student populations. As a yoga teacher, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of men signing up to classes, workshops and retreats. However, for some male students, the reassurance that it’s a men-only yoga class might be what they need to get them through the door.

In terms of content, men-only yoga classes will be varied and differ in style, just like all yoga classes. You'll find a mix of physical asanas, breathing exercises and mindfulness. The class could be deeply relaxing and meditative, or a hardcore workout. Some men-only yoga classes market themselves as being a physically challenging workout. Men are typically tighter in the hips and hamstrings, so you may find lots of asanas to address these areas, or you might find the teacher focus on arm balances and strength building, areas that many men find appealing. Although the students will be guys only, the teacher could be male or female.

As with all yoga classes, try to go to your men-only class with an open mind. Expect to be challenged and potentially pushed out of your comfort zone. Most of all, be open to enjoying the experience. Whether you continue with men-only classes or it encourages you to try other classes, yoga is a fantastic practice, for your body and your mind. (What is "beginner's mind?")

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Written by Jade Lizzie
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Jade is a yoga teacher, blogger and health and wellness geek. Her mission is to share the happiness that yoga has brought into her life. Full Bio