We understand the idea of walking into your first yoga class can feel threatening,unfamiliar and intimidating for many men. Yet more and more guys everyday are taking the step onto the yoga mat and here are the reasons why:

1. Increased flexibility and range of motion
Consistent practice will improve the flexibility of both your muscles and also the connective tissue such as fascia and ligaments. This means that the strain that tight muscles place on your lower back, hips and all other joints in the body will be released allowing for less issues and injuries and more flexibility and range of motion

2. Improved functioning of heart and lungs
More vigorous classes such as Hot and Power classes will increase your heart rate which lowers your risk of heart attack and can relieve depression. All yoga classes whether more dynamic or not will improve cardiovascular health as well lowering the resting heart rate, increasing endurance, and improving your maximum uptake of oxygen

3. Reduce stress (and body fat!)
When we are stressed or in crisis our adrenal glands secrete cortisol – which is ok in the short term to get us through the emergency but excessive chronic high levels can compromise the immune system. undermine memory, cause depression, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. This “flight or flight” mode also forces your body to hold on to fat to get you through the perceived danger. Yoga reduces cortisol levels in our body by encouraging deep, even breathing which activates the parasympathetic nervous system – the “relaxation response”

4. Sculpt muscles
By using the weight of your body yoga will build both mass and strength in the muscles. This strengthening will also reduce the chances of pain and injury in the body. As the strengthening is coupled with stretching there is no compromise – you won’t be sacrificing strength for flexibility as we work on both during class.

5. Improve focus and concentration
The breathing exercises, relaxation techniques and mindfulness that are taught during yoga will help you to maintain focus and concentration both on and off the mat. Try holding a pose for one minute and notice all the thoughts that start buzzing through your brain. During class you will be encouraged to work through those thoughts to achieve clarity and steadiness. This will soon translate to situations “off the mat” where you might normally experience frustration or challenge. The more you practice the more your reactions will change to be more positive and productive

The hardest part is walking in the door, but once you do you will find it is not intimidating or scary, no one cares what you look like or how flexible you are. Everyone is on the mat to make themselves feel healthier, happier and learn more techniques to lead a more balanced life. Take the step and we will see you soon on the mat at Yoga Flame Moonee Ponds – you won’t regret it!

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