Discover the truth for yourself in Dover, Kent

“Anyone who says ‘yoga is just for women’ has no idea what they’re talking about,” says John, 64, “in fact historically, yoga was practiced only by men”. These days of course, yoga is for everyone, which is fantastic. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word that means ‘to unite or join with’, and that’s how it makes me feel, like all my body and breathing unites to give me the kind of strength most men my age would be envious of.”

We asked several men why they do yoga and what perceptions people might have about men who are yoga enthusiasts. I was inspired to write this because of an acquaintance’s assumption that yoga was just another fad exercise for women. As it turned out, the men I talked to were just as shocked by this statement as I was.

“No one ever said anything to me about yoga being for women, but if they mean that it’s somehow less strenuous than other kinds of exercise, they’re dead wrong,” insists Tim, 28, “I was a bit, shall we say…round…when I started yoga, and after the first class I felt like I was the slowest and least flexible man on Earth. I even tried hot yoga, which made me think I’d sweated out every toxin in my body, and that feels wonderful no matter who you are.”

It also doesn’t matter how old you are. Tim said he began going to yoga classes only a few months ago at the insistence of a good friend, and Carl didn’t start until ten years ago, when he was already well into his 50s. Joshua, 35, on the other hand, said he first tried yoga with his father after a visit to India when he was only 15.

Joshua says “I don’t know about achieving transcendence, but I do know that I’ve been doing yoga for twenty years and nothing else has ever made me feel as relaxed, calm, and strong. I tried weight lifting and I even dabbled in boxing for a bit, but you just feel agitated and drained afterwards. I like something that combines exercise with feeling great. I did have a friend once tease me about it…until I got him to go to class with me.”

There are some positions that might be more or less difficult based on your bone structure, such as headstands, but there is no scientific reason to think yoga is ‘for’ men or women. As Carl pointed out, anyone can ‘join’!

Join our Yoga for Men class on Monday at St Margaret’s or men are welcome at any of the other classes at the Eclipse Yoga Centre, Dover – we are just up the seafront in the shadows of the Dover Castle.