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The Case for Yoga for Men

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

Viki interviewed long time student Jack about how and why he has made yoga priority for so many years.



How long have you been practicing yoga?

Whatever year it was that you first taught at East Hills. Seems like at least 25

years. I was lifting weights, spinning, rowing, tread milling and step classes. I

remember the posting for Yoga classes. I was attracted to the flexibility

component and thought it might be a good change of pace. I think the first class I

tried was on a Sunday afternoon. The rest is history, as they say.


What are the benefits you have noticed?


There are the obvious physical benefits of flexibility, strength, and cardio fitness.

Most people don’t think of yoga as building strength and cardio, but they haven’t held a simple pose for a few minutes either while learning how to breathe through it. The physical benefits become evident in everyday activity. I guarantee that

yoga practice has prevented slips and falls over those 25 years that would have resulted in strains, torn muscles and/or broken bones. The body is just better prepared to react to sudden change after practicing yoga poses that develop

balance. I have realized that everyday ordinary or challenging activities I do requiring twisting, turning, climbing, lifting, bending, reaching, or kneeling would

not be as easily done if I were not practicing yoga.

Yoga is also a great traveler. I’ve traveled for business or pleasure to many

places. In the cities that I frequent, I have specific studios to which I go to

maintain practice. I have found all of them easily accessible, challenging, and

very friendly environments.

Yoga provides me a sense of mental as well as physical stability. Having done it

so long, although by no means every day, I have become attached to it like a

good friend. I can’t be away from it for very long without realizing I’m missing a

necessary calming, at the same time, strengthening experience.


Why do you think more men are not in yoga classes?

They are chickens. They are macho. They are self-conscious. They don’t like

exercise. They don’t prioritize health and/or fitness. They don’t know how to

manage time. They don’t know how to get started (failure to launch). They aren’t

comfortable around women. They think it’s only for women. They think it is only

stretching. They are focused on different exercises. It’s not for everybody. Costs

too much. Probably as many reasons as there are men.

If you happen to be male, and made it thus far...maybe ask yourself

"why you are not practicing yoga?"


Do you practice at home, and if so which poses might you use?

Only sometimes, but it is not my preference. I did it during the pandemic. Zoom classes were great for that time frame. But there are too many distractions and household physical obstacles that make practice at home tedious and less effective.

I do the standard Ashtanga poses at home or traveling if I can’t get to a studio. I don’t need much room or props.


I know you have recently retired from your corporate job, what are you doing

now?

We sold our house in South Haven a year ago and are building a new one in

EGR, but it won’t be ready until the summer. We are stuck in an apartment until

then.

I was President of Egypt Valley until 2019.

I am a volunteer in the Civil Air patrol, which is an auxiliary of the US AIR Force.

CAP provides Emergency Services such as air and ground search and rescue,

aerial photography, and other aerial support missions. CAP also provides

Aerospace Education to schools and has a robust Cadet program for students

12-20 to gain experience to Emergency Services and Flight. I am the Aircraft

Officer for the Grand Rapids Senior Squadron.

We do some travelling to both coasts to see our kids and grandkids. We spend

March in Naples, Fla.

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