Women usually dominate most yoga classes. There is a consensus among people that do not understand the health benefits of yoga that the practice is a preserve of the female gender. Men that engage in yoga are, therefore, likely to raise eyebrows in the society even though the well-being and physical health benefits of yoga extend to either gender. How then did yoga come to be associated with the female gender?
The need for flexibility
Yoga is considered a health and fitness practice that demands a lot of flexibility. Yoga practice involves people posing in different positions that may prove difficult for individuals that are not flexible. Men, therefore, tend to shy away from yoga because of the need for flexibility. Women, on the other hand, are seen as more flexible than men thus making yoga an ideal form of exercise for them.
The social constructs regarding yoga and flexibility have made efficient yoga practice for women. Many people also view yoga not as a form of exercise but as a practice that promotes relaxation. Men that want to exercise and stay fit are thus expected to engage in exercise and fitness routines that are more demanding in terms of effort and energy expenditure.
Yoga and pregnancy
Expectant mothers are expected to engage in moderate exercises to ensure that they stay fit and healthy throughout the pregnancy. Exercise also plays a vital role in ensuring a safe and smooth childbirth. Yoga does not require vigorous physical activity and this, therefore, makes it an ideal form of exercise for expectant mothers. The relationship between yoga and pregnancy has further cemented the notion that yoga is a practice reserved for the female gender.
Connecting with feelings and emotions
Yoga allows people to connect with their feelings and emotions. It is viewed as a practice that can be used to achieve mental clarity and emotional stability because the practice essentially promotes serenity. The connection between yoga and emotions and feelings has made the practice an unattractive option for men. The society is constructed in such a way that men are not expected to be touchy-feely. Women, however, are seen as emotional beings. The touchy-feely nature of yoga makes it a practice that is suitable for women and not men based on culture and societal norms. Yoga is seen as a “soft” health and fitness routine and thus appropriate for women.
Men run many of the well-established yoga practice venues. Male yogis have been stereotyped as attractive and, therefore, loved by women. It is a perception that has widely been promoted by many Western films where a female character falls in love with her male yogi. The stereotype that male yogis are always attractive has made yoga to be associated with the female gender.
These are some of the reasons why yoga is practiced by more women than men. Even though yoga has benefits that are specifically tailored for women, men can also benefit from the practice. The well-being and health benefits of yoga extend to both genders.…