Yoga can be a great way to relieve stress, work out tense muscles, and even get in touch with your spiritual side.
However, you may worry about how to practice yoga as a man in case your form isn’t perfect or you feel too intimidated in an all-female class.
Don’t let your fears keep you from trying out the ancient practice of yoga!
A yoga class is a place where you can relax, strengthen your body, and let go of any tension that’s been accumulating in your mind.
Because of these benefits—and because so many people are now turning to yoga as a form of physical exercise—yoga classes are becoming more popular.
However, if you’re new to yoga or unsure about whether it’s for you, then it’s natural to be worried about what other people will think of you—particularly if you’re in a class where there are only women around.
This worry becomes even greater when it comes to guys going to a women-only class!
Yoga has become increasingly popular in recent years, and its benefits have been lauded by everyone from health experts to celebrities.
But if you’re a guy, it can be tough to find your way into yoga classes.
Read on to learn about what men should wear to yoga classes and where men-only yoga classes are offered.
Benefits Of Yoga
There are many benefits of yoga, including flexibility, stress relief, greater endurance, and enhanced self-awareness.
It can also be fun.
Whether you’re just getting started or have been practicing for years, it’s important to choose a style that’s right for you—and for your body type.
For example, if you’re new to yoga but have some flexibility in your spine (think stomach muscles), choose a style like Hatha or Iyengar that emphasizes stretching.
If you have low back pain or a very rigid spine (i.e., inflexible) then look into therapeutic yoga asana styles like Anusara or Forrest Yoga instead.
They focus on gentle stretching while strengthening core muscles using props like blocks and blankets.
5 Best Types Of Yoga For Beginners
Yoga can seem like an intimidating activity.
Especially if you’ve never done it before, yoga can look more like magic than exercise, as though you have to be born into the practice to be good at it.
The reality, however, is that yoga is just a set of poses and breathing techniques that you can use to improve your health and increase your overall level of comfort in your body.
This type of yoga puts a strong emphasis on physical movement and flexibility.
Hatha yoga usually involves poses, or asanas, which stretch and strengthen different muscle groups.
This can be a great choice for someone looking to de-stress after work or to improve their athletic performance.
Although it’s often associated with spirituality (especially in today’s Western culture), its traditional purpose was much more basic:
The movements were designed to help promote physical health.
This form of yoga focuses on strengthening and stretching muscles.
It emphasizes body alignment, since founder B.K.S. Iyengar believed that there’s a connection between proper posture and physical and mental health.
If you’re looking for flexibility training, these yoga classes are a good choice.
Vinyasa means to place in a special way.
With Vinyasa, you’ll perform poses or flows that require moving from one posture to another in a connected manner.
The connections between movements will often be transitional postures (or vinyasas) such as mountain pose or plank pose.
This style of yoga makes it very easy to get an intense workout while still holding true to its meditative roots.
If you’re interested in practicing hot yoga, there are two different forms.
Bikram Hot Yoga and Moksha Hot Yoga.
Bikram Hot Yoga consists of 26 poses performed in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 40% humidity for 90 minutes.
There are also 6 breathing exercises within Bikram that you perform throughout your practice.
The final pose of the class is savasana or corpse pose—this pose allows you to completely relax your body so that you may walk out feeling refreshed, revitalized, and free from all stress.
Because it lasts a whole hour and can sometimes be strenuous on your body if done improperly, we recommend consulting a professional at least once before trying it out!
The Yin-style of yoga has many physical benefits, including improved flexibility and strength.
This style of yoga focuses on using specific postures to apply deep, focused pressure onto body parts, but even practitioners of more intense styles can find these lessons useful in their practices.
Yogis who are often bent over their practice mats can increase their spinal health by attempting a few Yin poses; yogis who twist and contort themselves into dramatic backbends may benefit from a session or two of Yin-style asanas.
Is Yoga Good For Men?
While you don’t need to be flexible to practice yoga, you do need a certain level of suppleness.
If you are not as flexible as you would like, take a few months and really stretch out your body before attempting any serious form of yoga.
This will allow your body to become accustomed to a regular stretching routine.
Once you have begun a stretching regimen, then it is time for some basic movements that are common in all forms of yoga.
These include simple stretches performed in all four directions: up, down, left, right; forward, and backward; in combination with twisting movements performed on both sides of your body.
Gym Clothes vs. Yoga Clothes
Most guys prefer working out in activewear of some kind.
Pants, shorts, t-shirts—whatever you’re comfortable in.
So why do yoga classes tend to be filled with women wearing yoga pants and tank tops? Because that’s what guys should wear, too!
Or are they not as accepted at Bikram as they might be elsewhere?
Not if you don’t let them intimidate you!
If nothing else, wearing regular gym clothes will keep your friends from asking where your lululemon trousers got off to.
You’ll be just fine even if you never get around to investing in a pair of $100 leggings.
Is It Weird For A Guy To Go To A Yoga Class?
Traditionally, yoga was a form of exercise that was pioneered by men—and there are many different schools of thought on whether or not it’s okay for guys to practice yoga.
Personally, I think it’s fine for men (or anyone) to practice yoga so long as they do so from a place of respect.
If you are uncomfortable doing certain poses or stretches because your body just isn’t working that way, don’t do them—that is perfectly fine.
The first time I went to a yoga class, I was hesitant—I wasn’t sure what women would think about a guy in their group and I also wasn’t sure how people would react when I did my downward dog pose.
But to be honest I really don’t think anyone paid any attention.
Everyone is there for their own workout so it’s going to be a bigger deal to you than anyone else. So no, it’s not weird for a man to go to yoga.
What Should A Beginner Wear To Yoga?
When you first start practicing yoga, it can be a little intimidating.
You’re stepping into a new environment with potentially unfamiliar poses.
You want to blend in, but not too much.
No one wants to be that guy.
Thankfully, your options for what to wear aren’t as limited as you might think.
Just don’t wear anything flashy or distracting—this is your chance to get lost in meditation and mindfully attune yourself with yourself…and everyone else around you!
The following types of clothing are typically appropriate for most yoga classes: athletic shorts; form-fitting T-shirts; sweatshirts (just keep them clean); short sleeves; tank tops; loose-fitting pants or shorts; sweatpants; socks (you can take them off if you like); no shoes, please!
If all else fails, wear something that feels comfortable and functional while keeping in mind what other people will see.
What Should You Not Wear To Yoga?
When you start going to yoga, it can be easy to forget that we aren’t all created equal in many ways.
This can include our body types and body image, but also where we come from culturally.
And one of those cultural elements is what we wear—which is important when it comes to how you dress for yoga.
Because even though most people believe wearing anything less than a full leotard or tights is completely acceptable for class (and it is!), it may not always be as welcome as you think.
There are certain things that are do’s and don’ts no matter who you are.
Leave your short shorts at home.
And avoid wearing anything you might ‘fall out of’ I would strongly encourage wearing underwear as well.
You might be proud of it but no one at the yoga studio wants to see it.
Can Men Wear Yoga Pants?
Just keep in mind, not everything is hidden in a pair of yoga pants.
Sure they look great on ladies but just stop and think about how much of yourself you really want on show.
And more importantly…
Does anyone want to see that?
Do You Wear Shoes Or Socks For Yoga?
If you’re a guy, it can be confusing as to what footwear is appropriate for yoga.
While some studios don’t mind if guys wear shoes or socks, most require bare feet. So, do you wear shoes or socks for yoga?
It depends on your personal preference.
Some people like having socks on their feet because they feel it protects them from sweaty mats and sticky floors; other people feel naked without their socks!
Ultimately, only you can decide what works best for you.
What Men Should Bring To A Yoga Class?
Here’s a good rule of thumb for guys heading to a yoga class for their first time.
Bring as little as possible, just some shorts (or sweatpants) and a T-shirt.
The clothing you wear should allow easy movement so that your instructor can clearly see what you’re doing in poses, such as balancing on one leg or sitting in the full lotus position.
On top of that, it should also be comfortable enough that it doesn’t distract you from concentrating on your practice!
On top of that take a bottle of water a towel and if you have one, a yoga mat. But if it’s your first time most studios will provide a mat.
How Often Should You Do Yoga?
The first step in planning your yoga practice is deciding how often you’ll do it.
While it’s tempting to say, every day, (or more) that may not be realistic depending on your schedule.
If you’re just starting out, aim for two or three days a week at first.
If you’ve been practicing yoga on and off for years, start with a couple of sessions per week and build up from there.
As far as how long each session should last, experts recommend 30 minutes—the duration commonly used in research studies.
Most studios offer different class times based on what kind of session you’d like to attend; if you don’t know where to start, speak with your instructor about finding an appropriate class time that fits into your routine.
But like any new fitness routine, try a few different classes and see what works for you!
If yoga is something you’re wanting to add to your current fitness routine go for it!