Top 5 Reasons Men Should Take Up Yoga
By: Guest Blogger Kelly Berry
What is Bro-ga?
We sat down with VIDA yogi, Mario Austin to get his take on yoga and explain why more men should take up the practice. We’ve compiled the essential bits of knowledge for those thinking about starting a practice and ways to get more out of your next group session if you’re already part of the yoga community.
Here Are the Top 5 Things Men Need to Know according to Yoga Instructor Mario Austin:
- Yoga helps you build flexibility! So don’t worry that you’re not flexible when you begin.
“A lot of men tell me, ‘I can’t do yoga, I can’t touch my toes’, but what they don’t realize is that everyone has to start somewhere,” says Mario Austin. “When I first started I couldn’t do most of the poses but I had some great VIDA instructors – Chris Parkison, Alfredo Gomez, Todd Dubenzic, Dan McAnally, John Thurman – who told me to keep going and I’m glad I listened! It was hard work and it was humbling.”
- No one is looking at you or judging you. They are too busy focusing on themselves.
“This is a big one,” says Mario. “So often I will hear, ‘I can’t go to yoga until I get good at it.’ Which is funny only because it’s a practice, you’re not going to be amazing at it at the start or everyday, but you keep showing up and working at it and you will see progress! Believe me. It’s a journey some days arm balances are there, sometimes they’re not, it’s always going to be different. If you can enjoy the process, it will make you stronger and allows you to appreciate being good to yourself and putting positivity out in the atmosphere.”
- Yoga is one of the best outlets to bring calmness and support mental health.
“Yoga is not only a physical outlet, it brings a mental calm as well. Yoga is a tool to help us grow personally and to develop and nourish. I think it says a lot about a person if they do yoga and what we learn on our mat – how to access a tranquil state of mind, how to share space with others and transmit positive energy to others – we can take that practice outside of the studio. In fact, I would argue that we must accept it’s a responsibility of us all. More men should take up the practice. It says a lot about a man who takes enough pride in himself to put mental and physical health and wellness as a priority.”
- Want a workout that builds a killer core, strengthens biceps, triceps and increases hip mobility? Do yoga.
“If you want to have a well rounded fitness program, yoga is it. Just from the foundational poses alone – plank is core! Chaturanga – there’s your ripped arms! When I first started practicing, I had to remind myself to go at my own pace, which sometimes means slowing things down. Often people think you have to keep up. However, sometimes only your body can tell you where you need to go. There’s also a lot of hip mobility involved in yoga, which for men is 100% needed. I love rigorous challenges in a practice everything from arm balances, core work, hip openers, but the important thing is to find a style and approach that works for you. VIDA offers so many styles and variety with our team of instructors, so there is definitely something for everyone,” says Mario.
- Real Men Do Yoga. Find a brogi.
“If yoga is something you are interested in find a brogi (bro-gi),” says Mario. “More and more men are doing yoga. Yoga brings people together, promotes brotherly love and let’s face it, we could all use some more love and connection with community in our lives. Having another brogi to keep you on task and help motivate you can make a big difference to sticking with it. I also encourage yogis to ask your VIDA instructor for ways to modify or vary poses to fit your body type, and in that way making yoga poses more accessible and supportive.”
We want to hear from our fellow VIDA male yogis! Connect with us on social and use the hashtag #VIDABrogi to be part of the conversation. Mario teaches regularly at VIDA Verizon and subs at all VIDA locations. You can find him on the schedule here.