Somewhere along the long and winding road of fitness between when Bruce Willis was dad hot in Die Hard and when Chris Evans had to pull a helicopter out of the sky with one arm, men began to believe that flexibility should take a back seat to strength. What any yogi will tell you is that flexibility is strength.
Although many think of yoga as only stretching, there are many benefits to the practice. Practitioners report lowered stress levels, more mindfulness, and even improved sexual performance.
Interestingly enough, the gender swing has gone both ways. While yoga may seem like the domain of the enlightened suburban mom these days, many of the leading yoga gurus that have guided the formation of the practice were male—B.K.S. Iyengar, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, to name a few.
Still, many men feel uncomfortable in a warm room of Lycra-clad women. Here are a few places that offer classes that appeal to everyone, and some that have male teachers, just in case you just really need to see another dude at class. If even these all-inclusive options are too much, dive into YouTube or join a virtual class. Just breathe and reach for your toes. You’ll get there.
It won’t be uncommon to see a male teacher at the Yoga Patch in Waldo. There are at least three male yogis that teach there. The Slow Flow with Joe McClernon is a great place to start. The class is excellent for beginners—it moves slowly in the Hatha tradition. Plus, it is set to classical music, so it may be more accessible for the uninitiated.
If the term Ashtanga sounds familiar to you, you can blame Madonna. This style of yoga can be more fast paced, while still focusing on breathwork. If building strength and flexibility is important to you, Ashtanga may be a great fit. Maya Yoga, located in the Crossroads, has a very diverse following, and there is at least one male teacher. You’ll never be alone in your sweatpants here.
KC Yoga Kula
In yoga terminology, a kula is a place of community. The KC Yoga Kula takes that word to heart and offers classes that will appeal to all experience levels. With virtual and in-person classes and a focus on vinyasa and Hatha styles, KC Yoga Kula is a great place to start your yoga journey.