I’m a guy. I like things that guys like. I’m into football (Go Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys), I play golf on my days off, I like steak and beer (no mashed potatoes though). I like poker nights, listening to music and shooting the shit with the boys. And I practice yoga.
There is no denying it, the current yoga rooms are dominated by women. At 3 Bridges, we have plenty of guys who practice (great job dudes) but it’s still mostly women. That’s ok, I don’t mind. But what does get me is the current mainstream portrait of yoga.
Whenever I see a commercial on TV with yoga in the background, it’s all women, dressed in all white, smiling in Warrior 2. I read an article the other day in Time about a couple who tried a dating app, and the guy joked all the women on the site are into yoga. I was in a restaurant the other day and I asked the waiter if he wanted to try yoga. He said “I don’t do yoga, I like to play sports.”
Part of my mission in life is to grow the practice of yoga. I never specified in my intention that I want more guys practicing yoga. I just intended to grow yoga. But here’s my father’s day call out to all you guys out there.
1. Yoga is physically challenging. You want to play sports for the rest of your life? You want to sweat out the hangover? Take a yoga class once or twice a week to keep your body healthy and injury free and so you can keep eating, drinking and having fun.
2. Yoga can help your mental game in sports. While my golf buddies are blowing up on hole #9 and throwing clubs in the lake, I stay calm and win the match. And my back doesn’t hurt the next day.
3. Yoga is currently dominated by women. If you are single, this is where you should be hanging out. Just don’t be the creepy dude.
4. Yoga is proven to help with stress and high blood pressure. If you are working a 24/7 job, take a weekly class to lower your blood pressure, help your heart, and let go of some control.
5. Get real. I see many guys struggling with trying to fill some role and expectation. How tiring that must be! I’ve hung out in guy circles where it’s just nonsense talk and stupid actions. Yoga will help find your truth.
6. Stop playing the angry and tough card. What does that do for you? For some, it gets them in jail. Yoga helps access the part of us that is always peaceful.
7. Let’s change the world guys. How about no more senseless acts of violence, no more wars, fighting or pressure to be a man. Yoga reminds us that we have nothing to prove and nothing to defend.
8. You can be a man. It doesn’t mean you can’t be confident, competitive, good at sports or a ladies man. You can be who you are meant to be.
The future is bright my friends. I’m not the only guy doing yoga, nor am I the only male yoga teacher. Jody and I are about to have a baby boy. I’m doing yoga for him, so I can be a good father and husband. I’m doing yoga so I can live with ease in my body and my mind. I’m doing yoga so I can play golf, tennis and thanksgiving day football. The seeds of great change have already been planted.
I honor all the men out there who are living their truth, it’s the same truth in me, and the same truth in all of us. My intention is for all to find their truth. Namaste, or like my yoga teacher friend Bill wants to say at the end of a yoga class – Cheers!