A man’s life can be pretty busy. In fact, it can be ridiculous at times. There are always people who need us and place demands on us, and there comes the point where the business cuts into our well-being. It can be tough to find ways to exercise and work on general health and fitness. We all need ideas and help in finding ways to overcome this challenge, and this stretches far beyond just building as much muscle as humanely possible. Today, we’re going to introduce an idea you might not have considered. We’re going to explain yoga for busy men.
What is yoga?
If you ask a hundred people, you’ll get a hundred answers. Yoga means a lot of things to many people, but at the root of it all is an ancient practice that comes out of South Asia — most notably India. It is an ancient philosophy and practice borne of Indian religion. It involves physical and spiritual exercises that are designed to help a person with health and well-being.
While yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, it has gained popularity in the West over the last 30-50 years. Western yoga comes in different shapes and forms. Some practitioners stick closely to the Indian roots. Others take a secular/Western approach that focuses more on exercise and meditation while leaving out a lot of the more specific philosophy and religion tied to traditional yoga.
Whatever you might think and feel about all of that, many people practice yoga, and many of them benefit from the practice. It has medically documented health benefits, and that’s the primary motivation for a lot of guys.
How does yoga help guys?
We’re going to be honest with you in a way that just about no one else is. We’re not here to sell anything to you, and that allows us to say this part. Yoga absolutely can have health benefits, but it isn’t for everyone. Yeah, we said it. Yoga tends to be shown in a purely positive light, but it’s like any other fitness or wellness approach. How well it works for you depends on how well it jives with you.
Every guy needs to find a health practice that he can stick with beyond a trendy diet. That means you need to find something that feels beneficial and rewarding. For many guys, yoga fits that bill. For many others, it doesn’t, and that’s ok.
If you’re exploring yoga, here’s what you want it to do for you. Yoga is about more than just working up a sweat (although you will get that too). That’s what distinguishes it from so many other fitness practices. It is designed to help you manage stress, improve flexibility, build strength, practice mindfulness, and feel better in general. Medically, yoga can help lower blood pressure, manage stress, improve happiness, and help with overall mental health.
If you’re getting these benefits from yoga, get after it. It’s doing you a lot of good, and you have every reason to steer into it. If you’re experimenting with yoga, these are the outcomes you might be seeking. If you’ve given it the old college try and haven’t seen any benefits, that’s ok. It might not be the right practice for you.
For those who are trying to fit yoga into a busy schedule, these tips can help.
Ideas for busy yogis
We just discussed how yoga is not necessarily perfect for everyone, so these tips will not be one-size-fits-all naturally. They are intended to get your creativity flowing so that you can find the means to take good care of yourself even though you live a busy life. Keep that in mind while you read. If one of these ideas leads to something different that works for you, go for it! Also, share with the rest of us.
There’s an app for everything, and yoga is included. There are about a million different yoga apps across the popular app stores, and they work in a lot of different ways. Some focus on building a community through the app, so you have to choose who to interact with carefully. Some essentially walk you through self-learning yoga. There’s just about everything in between.
Browse and explore apps; if you find one that seems to be working, great! If not, give more apps a chance. They pretty much all include a free version or free trial, so you can search long and hard for the right fit.
By all means, you’ll find an abundance of videos in your yoga apps, but that’s not what we’re talking about in this section. Instead, we’re referring you to the greatest teacher in human history: YouTube. There is no shortage of amazing yoga instructors on the platform, and if you browse for a while, you’re almost guaranteed to find someone who works well for you. You can learn pretty advanced yoga entirely on your schedule by exploring YouTube videos.
If you want something more interactive, you can look into yoga live streams. YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and many other platforms will provide access to these live streams. When you go this route, you get more interactivity, and it’s a lot closer to the studio experience, even though you get to do it on your own terms and schedule.
Try shorter sessions
Yoga, like anything else, can be broken into smaller time frames. So break your sessions into small bits that fit into your busy schedule. Advanced yogis will often do yoga for up to two hours a day (even more if you’re an instructor or “pro”). Since we’re talking about busy men, two hours a day is unlikely to work.
The good news is that you don’t need anywhere near that much daily yoga to get a benefit. Half an hour to 45 minutes a day can still do you a lot of good. In fact, some of the studies mentioned above show that just 12 minutes a day can lead to consistent improvement and the benefits that come with it.
With that in mind, you can aim for 10 to 15-minute sessions. Squeeze two or three of those sessions into a day if you’re devoted. Just do one short session if it’s the best you can manage. You’ll still enjoy health benefits and make progress towards your goals.
Join a studio
Though at first, joining a studio might seem like the opposite of what you need, but here’s the thing about being busy. It becomes very easy to tell yourself that you don’t have time for something. In many cases, you could make time; it just isn’t easy. This is where joining a studio can help immensely. It creates external pressure on you to show up and keep up with your yoga. Find a studio that meets early or locate or whenever you can squeeze it in. Even though you don’t want to, force yourself to go for two weeks. After that, peer pressure becomes a positive force that keeps you going to the studio and maintaining your practice.
Hire a personal instructor
There are yoga instructors who will come to you. By all means, take advantage of that. You can find someone who can work with your schedule. You don’t have to do yoga every single day. Doing it regularly throughout the week is still good and will get you plenty of health benefits. See who is available in your area, and work out a deal. Since they are coming to you, you still get that external pressure, which is nice. You also get quality sessions because you’re working directly with someone who really knows their stuff.
If you’re still hard-pressed for time and none of these methods work for you, try a little creative thinking. Join some yoga discussions and brainstorm with other busy guys. As the old saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Busy-man’s yoga is no exception. Really, you’re doing this for your own sake, so don’t skimp on it. It’s worth the effort to be and feel healthier.