Not many men are man enough for yoga. «That's women's stuff,» they rumble with a dismissive hand gesture from behind the empty beer mug, making fun of something they have no idea about. The fact that even many of their role models have long been doing yoga themselves has apparently not yet reached the oh-so-tough guys. Time to dust off the image of yoga...
«Yoga reduces the risk of injury»
says the General Manager of the Washington Capitals and tells that the NHL team around superstar Alexander Ovechkin meets regularly on the mat. Those tough guys on soft yoga mats?! Unfortunately still unimaginable at some pub tables, but common place in the world's best ice hockey league. Also Swiss NHL players such as Nino Niederreiter, Roman Josi and Nico Hischier have been swearing by the effects of asanas and pranayamas for years.
But what convinces the strong male icons of the gentle teachings?
«Yoga makes you more flexible»
Thats one of of the decisive advantages for Novak Djokovic. The Serb is considered one of the fittest and most agile players on the entire ATP tour. In addition to his work on the tennis court, his daily training routine also includes meditation and yoga. Many of his colleagues also benefit from this, such as Juan Martin del Potro, who also emphasizes the regenerative effect of yoga.
«Yoga helps my body to regenerate»
Even the self-confessed yogi and seven-time Ski World Cup winner Marcel Hirscher is convinced that yoga helps his body become more flexible and regenerate better. In addition to the physical aspects, athletes like him or professional golfer Tiger Woods also profit from the psychological benefits that yoga brings. For example, yoga has been proven to increase the ability to concentrate and provide inner balance.
The yoga mat grounds even football gods
The example of the German national soccer team shows that many top athletes rely on yoga: In the run-up to 2006 world cup, coach Jürgen Klinsmann put yoga on the training program of his professional soccer players. Although Klinsi has lost his job as national coach, his yoga instructor Patrick Broome is still part of the team today, and was contributed to the 2014 World Cup title. Admittedly, it's not easy to imagine a funny guy like Thomas Müller sitting quietly on a yoga mat. But according to Jogi's yogi, the Bayern player knows exactly «when it's time to make jokes and when he needs to concentrate.»
You don't do yoga yet? Why?!
As this little foray into the biggest men's sports shows, yoga has become an indispensable part of many athletes' training and lives. And if even these archetypes of men dare to get on the mat, perhaps this knowledge will give individual skeptics the courage to try the 'women's stuff' for themselves. You'll be surprised about the benefits. And because of the immense amount of different styles, there will also one for you.
A fun fun fact about this,
most people start their yoga practice to improve their physique. But the longer someone sticks with it, the more important the spiritual component becomes.
On that note:
Namaste and hope to see you soon :-)
The author of this article knows what he's talking about. As a former ice hockey player, boardercross rider and Red Bull Crashed Ice Challenger, Andy has competed with the best in their profession - until he found in yoga a balance to the adrenaline sports, to which he has remained committed to this day. Meanwhile he is co-founder of his own yoga label YOGAGOLD, where he regularly teaches yoga & meditation for athletes, companies and private clients together with his yoga teacher colleagues.
Pictures from shutterstock und Pixabay