Yoga is not a women’s sport

Why hardly a man in this country makes a trip to the yoga studio around the corner? “Above all, the stereotypical image of the graceful yoga ascetic scares off many men,” explains Oliver Tan, yoga teacher from Hamburg. But the horror scenario usually has little to do with reality. It is the cliché that women are allowed to use the studios on their own. According to a recent study, 6 times more women than men practice yoga. Yoga was even pure male sport: “Originally, yoga was a pure male domain – in ancient India women were not allowed to practice,” explains Tan. It would be a shame, if we do not like it because girls, because with us is at least as much rauszuholen as theirs, if not more. “The potential for progress is enormous.

What is yoga good for?

Yoga is an all-round talent: you can not only improve your body sensation and your ability to move. “Various studies have shown that yoga can also lower your blood pressure and curb the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline,” says yoga teacher  Dr. Patrick Broome  from Munich (Yoga for the man, Nymphenburger, around 18 Euro). The Indian teaching is suitable as a balance and complement to a variety of endurance and strength sports and, if you train regularly, improve your performance significantly.

What are the requirements for yoga?

“In general, there are no specific requirements to fulfill,” says the expert. With a variety of yoga classes, you can easily choose the method that best suits your personal goals and fitness level. A tip: If you are physically restricted because of an injury , you should consult with your doctor, which training is suitable for you.

What do you have to pay attention to as a beginner in yoga?

Yoga is not a competitive sport. “Performance and competitiveness have no place here,” says Broome. It’s about bringing body and mind into harmony step by step and effectively relaxing. Whether you achieve this condition with a complicated headstand or with simple breathing exercises is unimportant. Very important: in yoga, you should feel good. In order to learn the correct execution of the asanas, it is recommended to take a course or to book a trainer. If you know how to do it, you can also train alone in the quiet little room.

Which types of yoga are there?

The most popular form of yoga is  hatha yoga . It mainly trains your flexibility. Hatha yoga includes a total of 26 positions (asanas), which are combined with meditation and breathing exercises (pranayama). The  Kundalini Yoga  is characterized primarily by contrast, very dynamic movements and demonstrates why yoga can be quite stressful. In the  Bikram Yoga , an evolution of Hatha Yoga, you will definitely sweat. The 26 asanas are performed here at 35-40 degrees and ask the yogi so much from. Similarly effective is  power yoga . It is one of the very physical yoga types and not only stretches your tendons and joints, but also supports muscle growth. 

Find Your Yoga Style

Hatha? Ashtanga? Sounds like menu at the Indian. We explain what is behind the 10 most important yoga directions for men:Hatha Yoga  “Hatha” stands for “sun” and “moon”. As the epitome of physical yoga, Hatha distinguishes itself from spiritual forms. Through (breathing) exercises and meditation harmony and balance should be achieved. The sequences are controlled and rarely sweaty, so hatha yoga is the ideal form for beginners and undecided.

Ashtanga yoga  should not be underestimated. In terms of agility and strength, the 6 fixed procedures outshine just about any bodyweight workout – that’s what makes this style special. This form of yoga should be taught by a competent teacher, so that it does not come to injuries.

Power yoga  refers to the modern US variant of Ashtanga yoga. Difference: The sequences have no fixed sequence, they depend on the focus and level of the participants. And where does the “power” come from? Of the challenging exercises that you combine with conscious breathing techniques.

Bikram-Yoga  38 degrees, 26 exercises, of which 2 reps each: Do you already start to sweat while reading? Then you should better leave the sporty sauna version to others. You can handle the heat well? Then this intense physical experience could become a perennial favorite for you.

Vinyasa-Flow  builds, as the name suggests, on flowing, dynamic transitions between the positions. Spiritual rituals take a back seat. Perfect variant for athletes who want to use yoga as a complementary training.

Jivamukti Yoga  is from New York City. The teachers run supportive music in the style of the metropolis. Nevertheless, this direction also contains spiritual elements. Mantra chants are an integral part, as is vegan diet. Important: smooth movements! Come close to Vinyasa Flow.

Sivananda yoga  can be particularly disturbing or deterrent to yoga beginners. Mostly dressed in yellow shirts and white pants, teachers start the hour with mantra recitations. After some breathing exercises, it is already in the headstand. Style for the experienced without fear of the spiritual.

Iyengar yoga  is also jokingly referred to as furniture yoga: teachers use various aids such as straps, blocks and cushions to bring the participants into exactly prescribed positions. The detailed technical instructions require time, accordingly a little dynamic. 

Kundalini yoga  is often practiced on wool mats. To protect themselves from disturbing energies, true Kundalini yogis wear a turban, which also completes the completely white appearance. The goal of enlightenment is to be attained through long meditations as well as chakras purification and mantra chants. The movements are getting used to, but physically demanding.

Acro-Yoga  is practiced on the fly. No, not in the jet, but on the arms and legs of another Yogi lying on the ground. So you get into different positions that provide either relaxation or acrobatics. For safety, there is always a third person next to it. At the center of this still very young form of yoga are 

Become more flexible: how to stretch the muscles with yoga

In most yoga positions, entire muscle groups are stretched. That’s why they are superior to most classic stretching exercises. There is hardly a more effective way to do something for mobility. Each position holds you over several deep breaths, so the muscles are pulled apart in three dimensions for a long time. “Each time you exhale, you can gradually intensify stretching, which is exhausting but also highly effective,” says Coach Tan.

One of the best yoga exercises for men

But what do you have of the improved mobility? In any case, you operate as a health pension. For this reason, many health insurance companies participate in the cost of yoga classes. Because, no matter whether you work in the office or on the construction site: the occupational activities usually burden the body unilaterally. As a result, the muscles shorten and sooner or later you lose mobility. On the other hand, those who practice yoga regularly use the greatest possible range of movement and can even extend it.

Strength athletes also benefit – thanks to their greater flexibility, they get more out of every repetition. An example: The deep knee bend responds to significantly more muscle fibers than one that ends at a 90-degree angle in the knee joints. If you are not quite down, you should definitely take a trip to the yoga studio. “Do not worry if you’re not as flexible as the trainer after a few hours,” says Tan. The teacher is already doing that for a while longer than you. Try to use your personal elasticity step by step. Patience pays off.

How to improve your body control with yoga

You probably know the feeling when you forget everything about the sport. Everyday life suddenly seems to take place in another galaxy. Reason: You focus all your attention on a single activity. Yoga intensifies this effect. Tan: “They learn to balance breathing and exercise, and in the hustle and bustle of everyday life we ​​often lose our sense of our breathing.” In classical yoga, one even goes so far that posture is supposed to make breathing possible, not the other way around. In India, therefore, 90-minute breathing exercises are completely normal.

Do not worry, you do not have to do 90 minute sessions to profit! See your breath as a common thread connecting the individual attitudes. Many who attend yoga classes for the first time are already relaxing to focus on their breathing. Others have problems getting involved. But it is worth twice, because calm, slow breathing movements strengthen the deceleration effect. So you can let go and almost hand over the responsibility to the teacher at the studio door.

With yoga, you can relax completely

The decelerating effect of yoga also ensures that you can relax in Shavasana. This is the meditative end of the hour, the grand finale, in which you do not do anything for a few minutes on your back. “In fact, asanas are traditionally the main task of getting the yogi ready for relaxation,” said coach Tan. Whether you experience a trance-like state, gently fall asleep, we can not predict you. Also enlightenment is not guaranteed. What is certain, however, is that you leave the studio with a different feeling.

Which yoga exercises are best for men?

“Especially effective are exercises that stretch the entire leg muscles,” explains expert Dr. med. Patrick Broome, who has already coached the German national football team. Calves, thighs and lower legs come, for that matter, often too short. Also, positions that stretch and strengthen the lower back and chest muscles are beneficial. Strength athletes in particular can benefit from a better posture and more flexibility.

A short introduction to yoga

The life energy:  Real life energy is not in carbohydrate bars, but in ourselves. The Indians know this and call this life energy Prana. Even in China, where she is called Chi, people have deliberately engaged with her for centuries and accomplish incredible achievements.

Train breathing:  One way to direct life energy into desired paths is yoga. “Many top athletes integrate it into their training, but do not like to talk about it,” says Bernd Bachmeier from the Yoga School Braunschweig. “It is often embarrassing for them to equate yoga with spirituality and esotericism.” Yoga is a good alternative training for all endurance athletes.

Above all, breathing is trained in fixed body positions. And that brings physiological benefits. For example, a recent study by the American Ball State University in Indiana has shown that twice a week of yoga training increases functional tidal volume and stamina.

 You should try the following three yoga exercises (without prejudice).

The exercise starts while standing (with arms outstretched). When inhaling, fold arms over your head and tip forward when exhaling. Relax there, hold air for four seconds, then straighten up.

Go into the push-up, stretch your arms, let your hips sag – exhale. Keep this position short. Then lift the pelvis until a right angle is created between the upper and lower body. Always pay attention to breathing.From the quadruped stand (the knees are placed on the floor) go into the push-up position. Hold for two seconds, then lower and breathe once.

Where can I find a good yoga teacher or yoga class?

You want to start, but do not know how and where? Ideally, you have someone who can give you a good tip – through word of mouth you get the honest recommendations. But even on the Internet you will quickly find. In most major cities, there are many studios with different yoga approaches. Based on the table shown above, you can decide in advance which type of yoga you would like to learn. Classically, beginners begin with hatha yoga. Do not be shy about going to a rehearsal lesson in the studio – you’ll be amazed how many men work out on the mat there. The most important thing in the choice of the studio: you have to feel good. While one likes candlelight and esoteric music, the other one has a clean atmosphere.

You recognize a good coach by his qualification. He has many years of sound training. He masters body and breathing exercises of yoga, meditation, psychological and medical basics. In addition, such a trainer has usually learned from an experienced yoga master. Even after completing his training, a good coach volunteers for further training at regular intervals. Membership in a professional association can give a good indication of the quality of the teacher. But as with the choice of the studio also personal preferences count. The chemistry between the coach and you must be right. He treats you respectfully at all times and would never force you into poses or impose wisdom on you. On the contrary, it motivates you to believe in yourself.


Men benefit from yoga in many ways. Regular exercise can compensate for muscular weaknesses and improve performance. The asanas promote your flexibility, strength and flexibility. By focusing on the moment you not only achieve a targeted response of each muscle, but also in the subsequent rest phase, the deep relaxation – the best start in the regeneration. Yoga strengthens you mentally and physically for the difficulties in everyday life and at your job. That is why more and more men have appreciated the recipe for success of many professional athletes.

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