In India Yoga participation by men is ideal. Sadly, in some parts of the world, we teach Yoga classes primarily to a female audience. While women still outnumber men in many western Yoga studios, there are signs that this wonderful practice is becoming more readily accepted by the opposite gender. Endorsements by professional athletes and celebrities have helped to spread the word, but more education is needed before its feminine mystique becomes equally recognized as a manly endeavor.
To analyze why western males have difficulty staying in Yoga classes is a mystery to many. It seems that if one gender is in the minority, in regard to any activity, it is hard to reach out to that group. As a woman, I have seen the same in martial arts, boxing, and football, which are dominated by male participation.
Just as Yoga has been marketed in recent years to target diverse groups, there are also ways to promote the practice among the male population. Like other sectors, not all men will respond to the same style of exercise or studio, but the good thing about Yoga is that it can be tailored to suit a wide spectrum of interests and participants.
The first step to attracting men is getting their attention, and the second is following through with a program that meets their individual needs.
Five Tips to Get Men Interested in Yoga
2. Offer class options that provide the stamina and training needed to improve performance in other activities, such as weight lifting, football, golf, tennis or biking.
3. Emphasize the gender-specific ways that Yoga benefits men’s health and reduces the likelihood of injuries in other areas.
4. Network. Hand out brochures, go to health fairs, or hold special events to let men in the community know about Yoga classes and what they can gain from them. Include testimonials from satisfied students or coupons for introductory offers on flyers and websites.
5. Ask students to tell their friends, husbands, and families about special offerings for men and provide incentives to those who bring in new students.
Although men may take up Yoga to condition their bodies or enhance their achievements in other areas, many of them come to value its positive effects on their spiritual and mental lives. Regardless of whether it’s a cod-ed class with a well-rounded series of poses, an all-male class with an intense work-out or a gentle routine that stretches the muscles and increases flexibility, Yoga provides a fast track to a better life – for women and men.