Change the way you look at yoga

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exercise mat, jade yoga mats, bella yoga pants

As we get older, we realize that some of the things we’d always taken for granted, are not always granted. For some, it’s the receding hairline that makes them notice that they’re aging. Others, it’s that expanding midsection. But for me, it’s the pops and aches from my joints – the firework show at a holiday made to commemorate the resilience and flexibility I’ve lost. And while I’m still fairly young, I consider those small complaints from my from my knees or shoulders little warnings that my body’s not what it used to be.

Recently, after experiencing back pain that lasted for a couple of days, I started having visions of myself at 35 years old, shaking my cane at kids on skateboards and talking about the good old days. This was unsettling, so I decided to start doing something to battle against time’s destructive force.

When it comes to maintaining athleticism, it’s all about core strength and flexibility. A lot of us, as we get older, live increasingly sedentary lifestyles that wear away at our ability and desire to exercise. And while the word “exercise” sends a lot of men’s minds to images of them sweating in a Day-Glo jumpsuit, or attempts at jogging that end in pain and embarrassment, the truth is, there are other ways to maintain youthful health in your muscles, tendons, and joints.

Yoga is a great way to start building the core strength and flexibility that will help you stay in shape and prepare you for more rigorous exercise. But a lot of men, worried about seeming wimpy or fringe, are hesitant to go to yoga. They have this idea that yoga is just for women or “hippies.”

The image in your head might be something along the lines of you in a pair of Bella yoga pants or a unitard, saying “ohm,” surrounded by a room full of women.  But, the reality is that yoga is actually a very rigorous form of exercise. Many active men, including professional athletes, have turned to yoga to help them stay fit, build strength, and avoid injury.

And, one great thing about yoga, is that there is little to no start up cost. The basics that you’ll need are an exercise mat – Jade yoga mats are really popular – and a yoga DVD or book to instruct proper yoga positions. As with any exercise that could make you sweat, it’s a good idea to stay hydrated. Bikram yoga is especially likely to carry a risk of dehydration, as it takes place in a heated room, designed to loosen the muscles and provide numerous other natural benefits.

So, from one dude who has tried and enjoyed the benefits of yoga, to the doubters out there: Give it a shot, you’ll soon feel, move, and even look better.

-Kevin

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