Why Yoga is Great for All Dads
Not only celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, Adam Levin, Robert Downey Jr., LeBron James, but even the manliest of men are finally catching on to the fitness, health, and the feel-good benefits of yoga.
Last time we checked women still far outnumber men on the mat. Does your dad still need some convincing that yoga is for bro’s, too? In honor of Father’s Day, here are few reasons why your dad (and all dads) should be doing yoga. Here are 4 reasons to consider yoga for all dads:
1. Yoga reduces stress
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of men (it also strikes men at a younger age than women), and stress may affect behaviors and factors that are proven to increase heart disease risk: high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating. If the dad in your life suffers from stress (and who doesn’t?), a yoga mat could be the best Father’s Day gift you give him this year. Several studies suggest that yoga activates the vagus nerve—a very influential parasympathetic nerve affecting the heart—and so the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) becomes more dominant than the adrenalin-based sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), this reduces blood pressure and consequently the workload of the heart.
Some suggested poses for reducing stress: Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) and many other forward bends. Forward bending poses stimulate the internal organs, all of which have sensory connections to the vagus nerve.
2. Yoga improves flexibility
More often men complain about not being flexible enough, and just about every yoga pose works to improve joint range of motion and muscle suppleness. Men with poor ranges [of motion] can start with with lots of props and standing poses like Trikonasana (Triangle), Warrior I and Warrior II, forward bends like Upavistha Konasana, and simple twists like meru wakrasana (spinal twist).
Go easy at first. Men have a tendency to often pit their greater strength against their reduced ranges of motion and hurt themselves.. Patience and being kind to yourself and ahimsa (non-violence toward all living beings) are really quite important.
3. Yoga helps ease back pain
Yoga’s ability to alleviate back pain is possibly its strongest swaying factor when it comes to winning converts. 80 percent success can be achieved through poses like Salabhasana (Locust Pose) and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) for a herniated disc.
4. Yoga may shrink that beer gut
There are many yoga poses that stimulate the stretch-receptors in the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine between the stomach and middle part of the intestine), these receptor help turn off the appetite centers in the brain. According to Dr. Fishman, doing Warrior I, Warrior II or Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) approximately 20 minutes before a meal helps curb caloric intake. Something to consider before your Father’s Day barbecue, eh!
Calling all dad’s of Mississauga and surrounding areas! If you are unsure of which yoga classes to take, please feel free to contact us at any time. Also read our blog on “A Guide to Mind to Body Yoga Classes and How They Can Benefit You”. Haven’t given our studio a try yet? Sign Up for unlimited access with our $65 – 30 day intro offer or check our promotions page for current promotions. Or just drop by to chat about what options might work best for you. We are so proud of our studio and will continue to build and develop a positive community that supports the health and wellness of our clients. We hope to see you soon!