Is yoga only for women?
Whether in the heartlands or the CBD, you tend to see women carrying around yoga mats more than men. Even if you walk by a studio, classes, or even the waiting area, are mostly filled with women.
Why don’t men take part in yoga then?
There are many myths and stereotypes surrounding this – yoga doesn’t help me gain muscles, it’s too slow paced, everyone does the same thing and there’s no competition. Even within the media and retail scene, there’s a strong portrayal of women, with magazines, outfits, and advertisements wholly dedicated to them.
All this is contrary to the history of yoga though. The poses that have been passed down to us were structured and shared by the male yogi Patanjali centuries ago in the Yoga Sutras. The yogis of the past were also men. The western world’s exposure to yoga was by another man and even the famous Bikram yoga was started by, you guessed it, a man.
However, yoga was then classified together with aerobics and thus, seen to be more women-oriented. Female celebrities also perpetrated this image and led to a rise in women-dominated classes.
So, does this mean that the classes/poses are now tailored for women?
Well no, there isn’t any difference in the classes between the genders. The poses, breathing techniques, and stretches apply to both, with just a need for modesty amongst women as some poses require wide stances or bending over.
Yoga is meant to help one in all aspects – stretching tight muscles, breathing correctly, and working to having peace of mind. This is something that would benefit everyone, regardless of gender, and especially, if you’ve had a long, hard day.
Here at Jal Yoga, that’s what we strive to do. We want to help you live better, enjoy life and live more with Jal.