If you go to any Yoga studio in Singapore, you will soon realize that most of the students are female. All the classes I ever took were overwhelmingly dominated by women and in the Yoga studio I frequent there are maybe – beside me – two or three other men, who use to come regularly (more than two times a week). Also while I was doing my YTT here at Tirisula Yoga I was the only participant out of a total of 13. If you look at the gender of the teachers – at least at my Yoga studio – a quite different picture shows itself. It is actually quite evenly distributed (with even a slight advantage for male teachers). So the reason why not more men are practicing Yoga is definitely not that they are physically not able to. Actually – historically speaking – Yoga used to be men-only until not so long ago.
When my family was moving to Singapore in early 2017 my mother was the only member of the family practicing Yoga. My father was joining her soon afterwards and a little later both of them were trying to persuade me to also join them. Their effort was not bearing fruits for nearly half a year. I didn’t want to do Yoga because I thought like a lot of other men that Yoga is something for women. My (naïve) idea of a typical Yoga class consisted at this time of a lot of meditation, simple stretches while chanting Om the whole time and then going back home. I think that this perception of Yoga is quite common among men. When I was finally convinced to try a Yoga class all of these ideas were disproved massively. My clothes were dripping wet and I felt muscles I didn’t even know existed days afterward. I soon realized that Yoga requires not only a great amount of flexibility but also to the same extent strength, discipline and stamina.
So the main reasons why the great majority of men are not practicing Yoga is that they have a totally screwed idea of what Yoga is. And the awesome pictures of super-flexible girls on Instagram don’t really help to change that. Yoga is generally linked by men to meditation, chanting and flexibility, but in reality it is so much more! Yes, there are classes which require a lot of flexibility, there are meditation classes, but there are also classes which are more strength based and there are definitely classes which you will finish wet from head to toes. Apart from that Yoga reduces stress, leads to a happier life and improves your posture. Also it cures back pain and an abnormal blood pressure, from which a lot of men are suffering from.
So in a nutshell Yoga is something for everyone regardless of gender!