Yes we are talking Yoga and while I have heard women say they aren't flexible enough, this is normally comes from the men.
So are men are less flexible than women?
No, but this perception has often been based on the observation that men tend to have more muscle mass and less natural joint laxity compared to women. Some men may naturally possess less flexibility, but it should not be a label applied to all.
So is this you?
Yoga is not 'just for the ladies', it's for everyone! It's one of the most widely documented ways to increase flexibility. Don't let poor posture and restricted movement hold you back from living your life.
Sure, it may not be easy at first, but neither is training for a marathon or beating your CrossFit PBs. So, instead of writing off yoga altogether, why not try different types and tools that work for you?
The more stress you carry and we know for many men this is held quietly and internally, the greater the pressure and the more tightness or tension is present in the body. This can have a significant impact on what we can and can't do which can impact mental health and our ability to cope.
A study by Weppler and Magnusson in 2010 spoke to the effects the Central Nervous System (CNS) has on the the stretch reflex, which is essentially how far we can go in a stretch. That this could be governed by sensations triggered by your CNS rather than muscle length. This becomes incredibly important when we consider those running in hyper vigilant stress response states on a daily basis.
The combined tools of yoga and breath work support an individual mentally to be aware of their needs but also physically to build strength, mobility and flexibility. This reduces the risk of injury, through mindfulness awareness of the body, increased strength for the muscles closest to the spine and training the body to quickly move into a 'rest and digest' or 'relaxation' state.
So in support of mens mental health week, we speak to your physical health. If you have ever said 'I'm not flexible enough' when speaking to yoga or you think its solely about spirituality, why not choose tools that are anatomy and breath focused, adaptable, and support your body from the inside out. come check out a practice on YouTube: