More and more men are getting on the mat to practice yoga, which is great but did you know that Yoga was a practice exclusively made by men for men. Women were simply forbidden to practice… up to so not so long ago!
Debunking Five Stereotypes of Yoga and Yogis talked about the stereotypical opinion of yoga being more for women. But, if we were to take a step back in time, we would see that yoga was originally very male-centric! This is something that may seem unthinkable to you today, as it is now an inclusive practice for all!
Building the strong bodies and minds of men was one of the original purposes of yoga. The physical practice of yoga was created by men for men and was at first forbidden for girls. It was instead exclusively for higher cast males and young warriors. Ashtanga yoga in particular is believed to be a practice developed by men to train young soldiers in preparation for war.
The concept of yoga being just for men began to change in the late 1930’s. This is when the ‘first lady of Yoga’, Indra Devi, was accepted to study Ashtanga by the father of Modern Yoga, aka Krishnamacharya. She went on to take yoga to Russia and the US, and taught many celebrities and politicians how to embrace this practice.
The evolution of yoga, and its expansion into the west, has seen it adopted by all kinds of different people, regardless of gender. Although, it is still thought that as many as four out of five yogis are women!
The time has come to rebalance this equation and encourage more men onto the mat. Some have been trying hard to do this, such as with the creation of Broga – a somewhat sportier version of yoga. However, here at Y2M we believe that we don’t need to reinvent the wheel, and trust that men will enjoy a good yoga class the ‘traditional’ way.
These days there are clothing brands, such as OHMME, that are entirely for men yoga apparel – showing that there is much demand for yoga among men already!
It’s always exciting to inspire more and more people to start their yoga journey; everyone has something to gain, both physically and spiritually! If the man in your life is someone who believes that they aren’t flexible enough to do yoga, then that’s all the more reason to get started! Saying that you are too inflexible to do yoga is the same as saying that you are too slow to learn how to run, or too dirty to take a shower!
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