If you have done yoga for any period of time, you have probably at some point faced the challenge that many women face today: getting your guy to try it with you! Yoga is fun. It builds strength of body and character, and on the list of best couples activities, it can be right up there at the top. But let's face it, getting any guy to settle for an hour of yoga rather than an hour of sweating it out at the gym with his buddies can be tough!
As far as boyfriends go, I consider myself one of the lucky few who didn't have to try at all. My guy enjoys fitness of any sort, and having spent many years competing on the ballroom dance circuit already, there were no "Yoga isn't Manly Enough" complexes to overcome. I'm pretty sure the first time I thought of inviting him, all I had to do was say "Hey! Want to come to yoga with me?" And that was that.
To be fair, I my yoga days didn't begin on the ground. My very first exposure to yoga was through acro, and when I asked him to join me for acrobatic yoga, I might as well have said "Hey, want to be super manly and strong and lift me over your head and stuff?" Cause i'm pretty sure that is what he heard. And let's face it, what guy wouldn't be down for that?
However, If you face the tougher challenge of wanting your man to come to a regular yoga class, there are many methods to breaking down the barriers.
Let's start with the easiest solution: Put on your cutest yoga pants, and walk in front of him a couple of times. Odds are good he will just follow you right out the door, no questions asked. However, if that doesn't work, you may have to overcome a few common male yoga myths:
1. Yoga Isn't Manly...
If this is his approach, you may hear some of the following arguments: The pants are tight, the classes aren't even hard, and obviously if it was for guys, there would be a lot more of them present in the classes.
In this situation, you should start by pointing out that yoga was actually invented by guys! Obviously it is a time honored man tradition.
If they say that the classes aren't even hard, challenge them to come to just one with you. Take them to your favorite hot vinyasa flow class. If they still feel that way at the end, congrats. You may not have yourself a yoga partner, but you might be dating Superman... so that's a plus :D
Overcoming "the pants are tight...what are guys supposed to wear" barrier. This is a big one. Lets face it. When it comes to men, and yoga, not a lot of clothing options exist. The traditional manly basketball type of shorts tend to puddle around their waist in any pose where your feet go over your head. Basketball & Warm-up pants have bulky gathered waistbands with strings that hurt when you are laying on your back. Most actual yoga pants for men somewhat resemble a saggy diaper. Some men have bravely entered the world of wearing regular yoga pants sheerly out of desperation, but are left feeling like a cross between a ballet dancer and and an old country gentleman ready to ride with the hounds...
Luckily, UnderArmor has recently come out with a pretty great solution to the manly yoga pants problem, with a style of men's pants that are slim fit, but not leggings. These Pants have a fitted waistband, to eliminate the bunchy extra fabric, and a sleek look that is completely athletic without feeling girly.
2. Yoga is boring:
If he just isn't interested in trying a traditional yoga class, perhaps you can sign yourselves up for a couples yoga class, or even better, an acro class. With the promise of isometric strength training, combined with laughter and fun, most guys are down to try this at least once. Don't try this if you don't want to keep going back though. Acro has been found to be severely addictive, and before you know it, your man will be dragging YOU to class.
3. "I work out to look and be strong. I don't want to look like those scrawny yoga guys!:"
If this is the reason your man doesn't want to try yoga, then you have been showing him all of the wrong pictures. Gone are the days when yoga was just for a skinny monk on top of a mountain. Many of today's greatest athletes now know that yoga only ENHANCES their current workouts, rather than diminishes the effects. Maybe part of the reason he enjoys the weight rack so much more than the idea of yoga is that he knows those barbells are putting on the muscles that YOU like to see. Well, take it from former "fully fledged jock," as this muscle bound blogger likes to call himself, that if building up strength, AND impressing the girls is on his to-do list, yoga can put him ahead of the pack!
4."I don't want to look stupid in front of a class full of women."
Let's face it. That thought can be quite daunting when it comes to convincing him to try your favorite workout. If that is his barrier, perhaps starting out in a classroom isn't the best way to go. Plan a sunny afternoon to have a date. Make up your own yoga flow, and go through it with him in your back yard or at the beach. (Yes the beach still has lots of people, but they are usually too busy having their own fun to pay much attention to what people are doing around them.)
The main perks of taking this route:
• It's FREE! What guy doesn't want to take you on a date that costs him nothing?
• It's different! Yes, movies and popcorn is fun...but everyone likes to try something new once in awhile.
Relationships are best when they are based on mutual love and respect. If he simply doesn't want to try yoga, don't badger him into it. It won't be fun for either of you if he goes begrudgingly, and you will lose some of your chance to love him just like he is. If he really really really doesn't want to come to a yoga class, perhaps he would like it if you came along for one of his workouts! Let him show you the ropes for his favorite training circuit, or take you for a run on his favorite trail. Working out together has so many relationship benefits, but it doesn't HAVE to be yoga that brings you together :) Enjoy your differences, and take comfort in the fact that you can still love yoga for yourself, even if your guy never shares that passion.