The Yoga Waif-Girl Myth

The Yoga Waif-Girl Myth

used to be exclusively done by men, yoga has traditionally been practiced by women. Possibly because it doesn’t look like a challenge to the uninitiated, possibly because women as a group might have been more comfortable sticking their butts in the air like they just don’t care. But the times, they are a-changin’, and just as women are discovering that strength is kind of awesome, men are discovering that balance, control and flexibility is sweet. Men, you have so much to learn and to offer the yoga-world, don’t let out-dated conventional wisdom prevent you from joining your bendy sisters in levelling up your life.


“Okay, I get why people do yoga, but I’m still not doing it. You know that it’s mostly tiny girls in there.”


As for the “tiny”ness of the average class-attending yogi, I could say something pithy about “how do you think they got that way”, which is a factor (we know that form follows function and, when paired with an appropriate diet, yoga is great for building hot bodies), but more than that… it’s mostly not true. There is no specific body type required to do yoga.


There isn’t a single person of any weight-class that doesn’t benefit from regular practice, and see real, tangible benefits from it. I’ve seen yoga instructors who wear a size 16, and they blow the rest of us out of the water in terms of ability, health and happiness. Don’t let the yoga models deceive you. They are the same as any model – the ideal, not the reality.


If you want to do it, then do it. Getting Started

“Okay, you’ve convinced me. How do I do this thing and what do I need?”

Yay!!! There is a whole bunch of different styles of yoga, but the three most common are:

·         Ashtanga (long holds to build up strength)

·         Hatha (more stretching for flexibility and rehabilitation)

·         Vinyasa (more transitions, leading to more grace and agility).

To the absolute beginner, any style or mix of styles will be great. Pick whatever seems appealing, and off you go.


Equipment is easy. Bare minimum, all you need are appropriate clothes, a water bottle, and a non-skid surface so you don’t do the splits without meaning to. The clothing should be comfortable, durable, and will move with you – you don’t want tightness binding your movement or a lot of fabric flopping about getting in your way. Shorts and a t-shirt are fine. Fancy yoga wear is good for fit and the ego. Gents, you’ll probably want shorts with a bathing-suit style liner guard to protect your bits, and ladies, there isn’t a whole lot of bouncing so you don’t need super-supportive sports bras, just something comfortable that won’t stab you (I’m looking at you, under-wires).


In terms of a stable surface, you can get by on the floor in a pinch, and I’ve seen nifty sticky gloves and socks, but generally people use yoga mats which can be purchased for anywhere from $30 to $200 depending on how serious you are. Yes, the more expensive ones are better. No, you don’t need them. You’ll also need a spray bottle with some very diluted soapy water and a towel to clean your mat every once in a while.


There are all sorts of additional toys you can buy, the first being a bag to hold your yoga-mat (I use a 4 foot ribbon with loops on both ends. Very minimalist-classy, holds my water bottle with some creative knot-work, doubles as a yoga strap, and it cost a dollar). There are also blocks to support your poses, straps to help with stretches, and weirder things like yoga swings. If any of these seem cool to you, then get them. More information visit this link:-