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yoga for men

Why Men Don’t Feel Welcome To Practice Yoga

“It feels like you’re trespassing onto something that’s theirs

✅ Why don’t more men practice yoga?

I asked the men’s group that I co-facilitate, “Why don’t more men practice yoga” and some of their thoughts were fascinating.

They said they had felt they were not welcome in a few experiences. Now, these may be projections and I do know so many women who do enjoy having men in their classes, but having half the group say something similar, I feel there is some truth here to explore.

When you are in a room full of men and a woman enters, the energy changes. The same is true when a man enters.

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✅ Do all women welcome men into their classes with open arms?

Apparently not and understandably so. Most of the people who have truly and deeply hurt me in my life have been men. Female friends have also provided enough ammunition to warrant much caution around them. Men have continuously been leading the polls for crime and assaults for…well…ever.

So this begins to expose a much larger problem. Safety. People come to yoga to feel safe and to purify in their own way. If a few men come in all boisterous, that safety can feel breached. I’ve experienced this two or three times in my history of teaching where I witnessed a bravado that one would find in some pubs. It definitely affected the atmosphere but I try not to judge someone for coming in and behaving as they are used to. I’m still a man and I still have a lot of work to do on myself. We need to respect each other, we need boundaries and we need patience.

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But likewise, I have had many female friends say they don’t feel safe around men. So culturally a lot of perspectives need to shift. We look through the lens of our own experience and most of the time it halts us instead of helps us.

I’ll never forget when a woman in a Teacher Training tried to pigeonhole me into this Joe Rogan alpha male image. It felt so bizarre and off cause it certainly wasn’t me but as we got to know each other over the course she had recently had a very unpleasant experience with a man and was officially ‘done with men’. So if someone is looking through this lens, then a man is certainly going to receive a different kind of welcome from a woman.

✅ How Do We Shift This?

How do we shift any of this? I think we need women’s circles and men’s circles, so both can have a space that is solely theirs, where they can meet to connect and heal. However, I feel a lot of the healing comes from mixing and opening the door to one another.

I’ve been to some tremendous yoga classes where it’s getting close to 40% men. Here, it does not feel like women are being pushed out of their space or men are unwelcome. It feels like a community is being born through the very essence of yoga, a safe space to work on oneself through breath and movement.

When we regularly come and purify together we see that no gender should affect our visit to a yoga class as long as we all come in with the right intention. To spiritually connect with ourselves and others.

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