1. It’s Boring
I’m a dedicated subscriber to the philosophy that those who are always bored, are always boring. I understand if your entire conception of yoga is the geriatric crowd who frequents the free restorative yoga class offered at your local YMCA. However, don’t knock the practice of yoga altogether until you’ve done some research and found a class that’s compatible with your goals. Maybe you want to sweat everything out in a 100 degree room; maybe you want a class taught entirely in silence so you can focus on your breath; maybe you just want a place that’s gonna work the FUCK out of your muscles. Ask around, look online, and take advantage of every free trial class you can get your hands on before you commit to your favorite style. Try hot vinyasa, yoga with weights, aerial, hell, even try Bikram and Jivamukti if you’re feeling experimental. Then tell me how “boring” yoga is.2. It’s Good for Flexibility, Not Strength
I hear this one a lot from men who are obsessed with building muscle through picking heavy shit up and putting it back down. These men also tend to have a tough time using their muscles in different ways if they aren’t accustomed to cross-training. In vinyasa yoga, you tone and feel the burn through using your own body as resistance. Sometimes, downward facing dog can present a physical and mental challenge for newcomers, even of the very bulky variety. Yoga also encourages increased openness and a general settling of the mind by linking breath with movement. Poses similar to planks, lunges and squats, yoga defines lean muscles and focuses on building a strong, stable core.3. It’s a Religion
Although the fundamental roots of yoga link back to Hindu philosophies and teachings, modern yoga comes in so many shapes and sizes that it is completely adaptable to your personal goals. If you’re only looking for a physical activity, cool. If, after years of doing the physical practice, you want to dig a little deeper, then maybe add the spiritual component as well. Nobody will ever dictate to you what to feel.4. It’s Only for Ladies
Okay, I need to get anecdotal here. I live in LA. Therefore, everyone who attends my yoga studio is a fucking ten. A few years ago, this might have instilled a sense of harsh insecurity in me, but I’m way too zen at this point to begrudge anyone their good looks. Everyone who attends my studio is gorgeous. And here’s the kicker—it’s not just women. Especially in my yoga sculpt classes (yoga with weights + cardio), it’s a shit ton of hot, toned dudes who are seriously in shape. I don’t know if they’re actors, models or just LA business executives who care about staying fit but around here, tending to your body’s needs by nourishing it with physical activity is pretty much expected. Many men choose yoga because it fucking kicks your ass and makes you look damn good.5. It’s Just the Same Moves over and Over
In vinyasa yoga, there’s a general method to sequencing a yoga class, but a teacher has plenty of liberty to get creative within the structure, and a good teacher will come up with something unique and inspiring. You’ll never experience the same class twice. In other styles, like Bikram, you’ll literally always take the same class. That’s the nature of the game. Do some research to see what you’re getting yourself into.6. “I’m Just Going to Suck at It” Or “I’m Not Flexible”
When you first started lifting, were you able to bench 300 pounds? Were you amazing in the bedroom the first time you boned? Did you hit a grand slam the first time you picked up a bat? Do you even know what dedication is? Not to get too granola on you but the beauty of yoga is there’s s no such thing as “good” or “bad.” If you see it that way, you’re missing the point. Yoga is about clearing your mind, listening to your body, and removing yourself completely from any competitive tendencies. Simply focus on building up the courage to show up to class, even if you think you’ll look like an absolute fool.