New information has found a link between mental health and men who practice yoga.
In our society, men often feel the need to be tough and emotionless. They are taught from a young age that expressing feelings is a sign of weakness. This can lead to bottling up emotions and struggling with mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
Thankfully, yoga can help men break free from this toxic masculine stereotype.
New research has found that practicing yoga may have significant mental health benefits for men, including reducing stress and anxiety levels, improving moods, and helping to manage emotions better. If you’re looking for a way to improve your mental health, consider giving yoga a try.
Yoga is a practice that combines breathing exercises, physical postures, and meditation. Unfortunately, there is a stigma around men practicing yoga, and studies show that men represent less than 20% of all participants. So, researchers from Deakin University decided they wanted to find out what was stopping more men from taking up yoga, given the mental and physical health benefits of regular yoga practice.
“In our study, we asked men who were engaged in a yoga practice, what mental health benefits, if any, they experienced as a result of their practice, but we also asked them what barriers they overcame when they considered taking up yoga,” said associate professor Melissa O’Shea.
It was found that men felt intimidated when attending classes, especially if they were the only males in the room. Many participants were young girls who already knew the basics of yoga and were flexible enough to accomplish many poses.
The study included 14 participants who attended men’s only classes. All reported they felt motivated by each other and were able to enjoy a sense of camaraderie while using yoga as a form of exercise. Participants said they felt yoga could be a form of physical activity they could maintain as they age. Yoga was also noted as having significant mental health benefits.
“This study tells us yoga can be an effective means for men to self-manage their mental health. Increasing the availability of men’s only yoga classes may be a great way of supporting men to step onto the mat for the first time,” said O’Shea.
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