Conditioning men to be comfortable with yoga

[Maria Howard | Herald Review]

“It’s something I’ve always been interested in doing… Although the number of men doing yoga worldwide is on the rise, men still represent just a fraction of the yoga population.”

How do you get guys to take a yoga class? Market it as sports conditioning.

That’s what Yoga Source did when it rolled out its first yoga series just for men this spring. The Carytown yoga studio put out a flier on its “sports conditioning for men” four-week series that started April 3.

And the guys showed up. Some of them were first-timers to yoga. Many admitted that the yoga-loving women in their lives talked them into it.

Matthew Pitera said his girlfriend persuaded him to try it.

“I’m not going to say I hate it,” he said with a grin after finishing up the third session. He likes to play ice hockey, and he’s a regular at the gym.

“They say you should change up your routine every three months or so. …This is another way of doing that,” Pitera said.

Peter Coleman, another participant in the specialty series, said he wouldn’t have taken a yoga class when he was younger.

“I was more interested in skiing and surfing and more aggressive sports,” he said. But those sports aren’t realistic on a daily basis anymore.

“I knew there was yoga in my future,” Coleman said.

Ironically, their instructor, Michael Evans, found yoga through his love of sports.

“I wanted to improve my golf game,” Evans said. He started taking yoga about 12 years ago, and he took a liking to it. So much so, he’s been teaching for four years now.

Evans jokes that he’s not sure his golf game is much better than when he started, but his balance and flexibility have definitely improved.

This is Evans’ first time teaching an all-male class.

“It’s something I’ve always been interested in doing,” he said. Although the number of men doing yoga worldwide is on the rise, men still represent just a fraction of the yoga population.

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