Downward Doggy Style – My sweaty relationship with Yoga 2


Let me tell you about my workout earlier, I pulled up to the club with my gear ready to go. Walked into a room with a female dominant ratio, started out with some heavy breathing, moved to the downward dog and then to my mighty warrior pose. Things started getting hot and heavy. Quick.  The sweat was pouring, the beats were flowing, and I was in the zone. About an hour later, I felt amazing… not a worry in the world. I felt exhilarated and charged up! This was different than my usual workouts in the gym, throwing weight around and blastin’ the pecs. This was Yoga!!

I’m sure I can relate to most men out there coming from an athletic background of maxing out and completely busting my ass in the gym… the biggest obstacle is a guy listening to the stereotypes, feeling incompetent, or intimidated by the learning curve. Many people have the same issue with golf, afraid to start because it seems like such a steep, long learning curve. But yoga is different because you can have an epic experience your very first class tight people get the biggest high, the greatest release. Yoga is about flexibility of mind, and conditioning the body to be in balance

When I began, my initial thought was yoga seemed a little feminine and not quite up my alley. BUT I have always been pretty open minded and remember mom always planting yoga benefits in my head… growing taller from straightening your spine, core strength, improved flexibility, and overall more balanced! So it makes sense that my first trip to a yoga class was because of a girl. My intro was a hot yoga (bikram) class. My first impression was great, a room full of attractive females, wearing little clothing, stretching and sweating. Although minutes into the class I forgot about my surroundings and was covered in sweat focusing on myself. I walked out getting my ass kicked, sweating more than I could ever remember… most importantly feeling amazing. I wanted to shout, dance, scream, and boogie!

From there I wanted to try more… I was getting hooked. Since then I have been mixing in Vinyasa as well as Sumits style yoga which is similar to bikrams style with a nice mix of flow. I have been loving it and I have progressed from an occasional supplement to my training all the way to a regular practice. I left my ego and stress outside and am truly enjoying the ride and benefits that I am reaping from a regular practice. I was blown away recently when I was dragged (gratefully) to a yoga class after a long exhausting day. I left supercharged with enough energy for a night in Vegas.. I don’t know often that happens in the gym.

Some of my discoveries with Yoga:

Meditation and Yoga (Meditation or strength training for the brain)

Thankfully I had an awesome grandma who has been putting books on meditation in my stockings for years.. So I have always been open to the idea. And you may think with your busy life, who has time for meditation?? Believe me, these are the people that need it more than anyone! You can be unbelievably fit in a physical sense, but if you are not connected spiritually you lack a wholeness that undermines your actuality and potential as a complete person. Yoga allows me to dedicate time for meditation which has made me realize the futility of getting worked up about things I can’t control—which is essentially everything. I can apply this to my outside world!! Meditation is essential in living a balanced life. You know that concept called “mindfulness” that seems to be all the rage these days? You know, being present? Paying attention to all the little things, concentrating on your breath and focusing on the moment. You’ll do all that better, too. Bringing you happiness through experiences, not things.

Yoga’s role in fitness and athletics

Yoga strengthens underutilized muscles that don’t receive proper attention from traditional free-weight and aerobic exercise routines.  Furthermore, Yoga postures have the potential to significantly increase core strength, which can improve balance, flexibility, quickness, explosiveness, as well as give the practitioner a slender, leaner-looking core.  Practicing Yoga also greatly reduces the risk of muscle injury by strengthening muscle-response throughout a wide range of motion.

Pro Athletes like Blake Griffin, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, and Ricky Williams have discovered that yoga provides the platform for endurance, concentration and strength. For the already-muscular Griffin, yoga has not only aided his rehabilitation, but he’s also more flexible than he’s ever been. It has kept him sane as well. “It’s a great low-impact workout,” he says. “It allows me to have greater range of motion when I’m doing my exercises, which in turn makes me stronger and helps me build more muscle. It speeds up recovery. It has kept everything around my knee—my calves, quads, hamstrings, ankles, all that— more flexible. And it has helped keep my mind off not being able to play, so it has been a stress reliever at the same time.” Yoga is a serious stress reliever, and a wonderful way to recharge the muscles and reduce the build up of cramp-causing lactic acid after a strenuous workout. And the core strength is incredible… bring on the 6 pack and say goodbye to back pain.

In addition to the physical benefits, we also get the circulation benefit for healthier blood flow, skin, organs, muscles, heart, and brain! Increase in serotonin to the brain preventing depression and releasing happy chemicals to the brain which are natural immune boosters… benefiting sleep, mood, and appetite

A few other interesting facts and benefits:

  • Cheap date, dinner and/or movie, or drinks can’t compete with $10 yoga. You get a workout, don’t have to talk (sometimes guys just don’t have a lot to say), and your female companion will be happy. Priceless.
  • The women. Yes, babes. It was a girl that first introduced me to yoga when I first started with bikrams (hot yoga) We have grown hot and heavy since then (the yoga that is) If you’re single, there’s no better place to meet a woman. First of all, the girl-to-guy ratio is heavily in your favor. Odds are that the women will be in-shape, smart and probably run deep as opposed to superficial. It beats the hell out of Happy Hour.

Poolside yoga sponsored by Lululemon at Montelucia Resort and Spa in Paradise Valley, AZ

  • The perfect recipe to mind and body connection
  • More than One in 10 Americans now practice yoga
  • The percentage of people that practice Yoga increases on an average of 20-25% every year.
  • 70% practicing yoga are women; 30% are men
  • Median Household Income: $82,200, 44% of yogis have household incomes of $75,000 or more; 24% have more than $100,000. A pattern?

So where to start?

First, take a look at some of the beginning poses so you know what’s coming your way. Just getting familiar with how they look will prove to be tremendously helpful.

Try a few classes to find the right one for you. There’s no one-size-fits all approach for yoga, and it might take a while to find your class or instructor. Just like love, you’ll know when you “know.” And when you “know,” you’ll be on your way.

Last, yoga is a marathon, not a sprint. Give it time and have patience like anything else in the world with value. People have been doing it since the beginning of time for a reason.

As yoga continues to grow, expect more studios to make an effort to land more males through either male-themed classes with a focus on strength, core, and power. I am excited to grow my practice and it continues to be a great addition to my training. Stretch out that comfort zone and try it out!!!


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2 thoughts on “Downward Doggy Style – My sweaty relationship with Yoga

  • Grundy Bear

    I JUST LOVE THIS SITE!!!! THE 7 MINUTE MORNING WORKOUT SHOULD EVEN HELP THE GRUNDY BEAR GET IN SHAPE! YOU HAVE LOTS OF GOOD INFORMATION TO SHARE. THANKS FOR LEARNING AND HELPING OTHERS TO GROW AND BE MORE HEALTHY…. ***** A 5 Star Site!