Is Yoga a Girl Thing?

Yoga is, among other things, the practice of a lifestyle that is dedicated to exploring and learning the practice, while being mindful and compassionate when doing so.  Practicing yoga nourishes your mind and soul, making it a very unique and special practice that is not meant to be defined by gender.

Yoga has become increasingly popular among men and women of all ages. Years ago, the only people you could find practicing yoga were women and the only way to learn was to go to a yoga studio or learn from a licensed yoga instructor. However, as more people realize the many benefits of yoga, more and more men and women are practicing yoga at home. But what if you’re a man? What if you don’t want to be seen as a yoga girl?

Is Yoga a Girl Thing?

Maybe you’ve attempted to get your partner to join you at your great Tuesday night hot yoga session, only to have him laugh and tell you that yoga is just for ladies. If you’re anything like us, you’ve heard at least one male say that men don’t practice yoga. Yoga is obviously a female thing, right? With all that focus on flexibility, regulated breathing, and spirituality, isn’t it obvious that yoga is a lady thing?

That’s not even close.

Sure, the yoga world’s gender balance has changed in recent years, especially in the West. For example, according to a 2012 survey, women account for 80% of yoga practitioners in the United States. Yoga, on the other hand, has been around for almost 5,000 years, and its popularity among women is a new development.

Yoga used to be a man’s sport—and a man’s sport at that.

With so many female-dominated yoga courses and a huge community of inspiring women teaching yoga all around the globe, it may come as a surprise to discover that yoga was almost exclusively practiced by males throughout the most of its history.

Yoga’s past is notoriously shrouded in mystery. One thing is certain: yoga predates written language, and yoga remained an oral practice long after Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras about 600 B.C.E. It was handed down from teacher to student, and practitioners were nearly usually males, with a few noteworthy exceptions, like as the famous 14th century Bhakti Yogi and mystic poet MiraBai.

Religious ascetics mainly performed yoga in order to free themselves from the cycle of rebirth and death. Early yoga centered on practices that would enable people to acquire ‘superpowers,’ such as the capacity to transcend hunger and thirst, and so be free of the physical world’s misery.

Hatha yoga, which is the foundation for most yoga practiced today, did not become popular until the Middle Ages. Hatha yoga was initially performed by a military yogic order known as the Nath yogis, so it’s odd that it’s today considered “girly.”

Men in the West are trained to direct their energy outward rather than within, and the emphasis on meditation and self-reflection is one of the reasons males believe yoga is “girly.” The Nath Yogis, on the other hand, recognized that meditation is a potent technique for improving mental concentration and producing spiritual force.

How Yoga Became ‘Girly’ in the West

Ironically, the narrative of how yoga became associated with women starts with a patriarchal guru who first refused to teach women at all. T. Krishnamacharya was teaching yoga under the patronage of the Maharaja of Mysore when he was contacted by Eugenie Peterson, later known as Indra Devi, a Russian-born actress.

Krishnamacharya originally hesitated to accept Devi as a pupil since she was a woman and a Westerner, but eventually consented to teach her when a friend of Devi’s, the Maharaja of Mysore, intervened on her behalf. According to legend, Krishnamacharya attempted to destroy her desire to study yoga by subjecting her to physically rigorous training, but her dedication led them to become great friends.

Indra Deva introduced her passion of yoga to the West through Hollywood in 1947, where she taught Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, and Elizabeth Arden, the renowned cosmetologist. Yoga is so popular in health retreats in the United States because of Indra Deva; after learning with Deva, Arden integrated yoga into her health spa programs for the wealthy and famous.

Lilias Folan and Yoga Practice at Home

Indra Deva’s teachings and best-selling books helped put yoga on the map in the West, but Lilias Folan’s PBS program “Lilias, Yoga, and You” helped bring yoga into the mainstream. Folan actually introduced yoga into living rooms all across the United States when her gentle teaching approach and beginner-friendly postures first aired in the 1970s. Folan was particularly popular among stay-at-home moms.

Lilias Folan has done a lot for yoga. She introduced the pleasure of yoga to millions who would never have found it otherwise, at a period when it was only practiced by starlets and hippies. However, her success among female audiences in the United States reinforced the notion that yoga is primarily for women.

Is Yoga ‘Girly’ or ‘Manly’?

Yoga has a 5,000-year history, so it’s difficult to say it’s just one thing. Yoga practitioners are always arguing whether contemporary yoga, which includes innovative forms such as AcroYoga, is really “real” yoga.

One thing is certain: practicing yoga in whatever form offers many health advantages, including stress reduction, improved focus, and a healthier heart. These advantages apply to both men and women, and the increasing number of websites and courses geared at males indicates that men are taking note.

After all, yoga is beneficial to more than just your physical well-being. Yoga practitioners experience serenity and pleasure as a result of their practice. If it takes yoga backpacks that resemble Chipotle burritos to convince guys that yoga is for everyone, then so be it!

It’s a well-known fact that the more exercise we get, the more likely we are to lose weight. And it’s no wonder—the more we move our body, the more calories we burn, and the more weight we lose. But what about all those yoga moves? Many of the poses, like downward dog, and even more complicated poses like the warrior pose, are considered “core” exercises.. Read more about yoga near me and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is yoga a female thing?

Yoga is a spiritual practice that originated in India. It has been practiced for thousands of years by both men and women.

Is it normal for guys to do yoga?

Yes, it is normal for guys to do yoga.

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