Just like fashion and style, there are also fads in fitness.
For instance, Tae Bo. It used to be so popular back in the 90s that sales of Tae Bo instructional videos skyrocketed to millions in just a short period. Now, your own copies and of this once popular aerobic fitness routine are probably lying at the back of your closet never to see the light of day.
The one workout routine that has probably stood the test of time — and we’re not talking about decades here but centuries – is yoga. That’s right. You’ve probably heard this from your aunts or uncles back in when you were little. And you’re still probably hearing about yoga as the main topic of spirited discussion in the pantry during break time or over brunch with your girlfriends.
Yoga: The Fitness Routine that Is Here to Stay
If you read entertainment magazines, watch reality TV shows about fashion modeling or check out health and fitness blogs, the topic of yoga almost always comes up. A lot of celebrities and big names in the business industry recommend yoga as a way of improving your well-being.
Now, you’re probably wondering what exactly is yoga and what is in this workout routine that makes it so popular and enduring?
Well, you’ll be surprised to know that yoga is not just a fitness routine. It’s a total mind-and-body workout. A discipline or practice that involves your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. To put it simply, it’s a form of workout that comes with a holistic approach.
This practice began in ancient India until it spread through neighboring countries. Yoga schools were established during that time, which was about five or six centuries ago, in order to instruct students in the different disciplines. That’s a mighty long time so if it is still being practiced today, then it must be really effective in burning calories, toning your muscles, strengthening your core and relaxing your mind and body. Otherwise, it would have met the same fate as that of Tae Bo, the vibrating belt and many other workout fads.
One of the reasons that explain why yoga is still being practiced today is that it comes in many different forms. In fact, many yoga teachers explained that there are over 100 various forms of yoga, each of them differing in intensity. Some are fast-paced while others are just for meditation and relaxation in order to meet the different needs of the individual student. This explains why there are yoga schools that focus on certain forms.
The forms that are commonly taught in yoga schools include, but not limited, to the following disciplines:
This kind of yoga places emphasis on the precision, the alignment and details when performing different poses that help improve posture and breath control. Practitioners of this discipline believe that it’s a powerful way to relieve yourself from modern-day stresses.
This yoga type uses different props, such as blocks, benches, straps, cushions and sand bags to aid in the structural alignment of your body.
This is a type of yoga is sometimes called flow yoga because of the way the poses run smooth together almost like a dance.
In Sanskrit, the literal translation of the word “Vinsaya” is “Connection.” This is due to the fact that our breathing acts as an anchor every time you move. You flow from one Vinsaya yoga pose to the next with each inhale or exhale you make.
This form is a synthesized from the traditional yoga form of Hatha. Ideally, Bikram yoga teachers and students practice this discipline in a room with a temperature of 40°C or 104°F with 40% room humidity hence, the name hot yoga.
This type of yoga consists of 26 challenging poses, including two breathing routines, to help you burn calories and sweat. Doing such intense routines at high temperature can definitely make you feel rejuvenated at after 90 minutes.
This type is an old form of yoga that comprises of generally all basic movements of yoga, including asana poses to improve physical posture and breathing exercises to help improve oxygen intake, blood flow and stress.
Because Hatha involves a lot of movements from different yoga forms, it is colloquially coined as ‘yoga’.
This style of yoga involves a combination of stretch poses, breathing exercises and old yoga philosophies. To put it simply, Ashtanga is the ancient equivalent of modern-style gymnastic exercises.
As the name suggests, Power yoga comprises of a series of vigorous movements with fitness and tone muscles as the end goal in mind. This is why it is sometimes called ‘gym yoga’.
Yoga for Men
Because yoga doesn’t include the use of heavy dumbbells or barbells and other “macho” fitness equipment, a lot of guys think that it’s just for ladies.
Contrary to this belief, there is a growing trend of men practicing yoga regularly. As a matter of fact, Yoga Alliance released a 2016 statistical report on yoga in the United States. It was reported that there are now 10 million men participating in yoga exercises in America alone. Surprised? Don’t be. While the number shows a significant increase, there were already four million men in the US practicing yoga in 2012.
So yes, even though the dominant practitioners of yoga are women, it’s not a kind of fitness discipline exclusive to a particular. In yoga, men and women are welcome. As a matter of fact, some of the forms of yoga were developed by men.
Of course, that shouldn’t be the basis of trying this “new” fitness trend. Yoga has many health benefits, and below are just some of things that this practice does to your body:
- It improves digestion
While you will find lots of fiber- and probiotic-rich foods in the market that aid your digestive system’s performances, doing yoga regularly can do more. Yoga involves performing different poses in any given session, and most often than not, they include twists and turns. As you engage in these postures, your internal organs are also being massaged, resulting to food being moved along the digestive track. When your digestion is improved, you’ll have more energy to burn.
- It helps your brain function better
Doing Hatha yoga even for just 20 minutes does wonders to your mental health. It’s because the steady movement of performing yoga postures while staying in sync with your breathing helps clear the mind, relieves stress and improves focus. So if you’re feeling anxious or you want to clear your mind to help you make important decisions widely, consider doing yoga first.
- It helps you fight unhealthy food cravings
Sometimes you feel an urge to binge on food, especially after an intense workout, just to compensate for the loss energy. It’s times like this when you find it hard to control yourself. Doing yoga can help you fight these urges. A study published on ScienceDaily revealed that “Regular yoga practice is associated with mindful eating…” And when you learn to control your appetite, you’re less likely to develop obesity.
- It helps strengthen your immune system
Practicing yoga can affect your body down to the cellular level, improving your overall health. And when your body is functioning properly, it becomes strong in resisting illnesses or recovers quickly from an infection.
- It boosts your sex drive
Yes, that’s right. The time you spent on the yoga mat increases the time you spend in between the sheets. One reason is that it improves your flexibility – no need for further explanation. Another is you feel more confident about your body. Lastly, the body releases hormones that help heighten arousal and increase the flow of blood to the genital areas. This explains why couples are advised to take yoga classes together if they want to better intimacy.
- It promotes deeper relaxation
One of the biggest gains you get out of doing yoga regularly is a relaxed mind and body. This is due to the reduced levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. When your body is relaxed, other bodily functions also improves.
- It improves concentration
The ability to focus on one task and completing them in time is one of the keys to success either in business or in the workplace. Doing yoga can clear your mind so that it’ll have more room for new ideas, insights and even creativity.
The Path to Health and Wellness
With the benefits listed and the types of yoga forms differentiated to meet your needs, it’s time to incorporate yoga in your fitness routines. To start, you’ll need a yoga mat and yoga wear. We know that guys look funny wearing yoga pants, so the best alternative is to wear yoga shorts. They’re loose, comfy and have room enough for movement.
In selecting the best yoga shorts, it’s important to consider the material, quality, fit, length and features. Choose those that will give you maximum comfort every time you bend, stretch, squat or do headstands. You’ll also want a pair that won’t tear apart easily. As you advance to intermediate and advanced levels in yoga, you’re going to do more challenging poses. So you’ll want to wear something as sturdy as it is comfortable.
If choosing the right pair of yoga shorts confuses, here are the top seven yoga shorts for men that should be on your radar:
1. Eros Sport’s Core Active Mid-Thigh Shorts
What makes this pair an awesome choice is that its fabric is made of microfiber, making it breathable for intense routines. It also feels cool so if you’re planning on trying Bikram yoga, this will be a good choice for wear. The fabric is also stretchable so there’s no need to worry about wanting to do complex poses.
What you’ll love about this pair of shorts is that its use is not only limited to yoga. You can wear this for MMA trainings, TRX or other kinds of sports.
2. Vuori Kore Short
If you’ve had an active lifestyle for quite some time now and have been surfing or skating, then you’ve probably heard of the Kore Shorts. What you’ll love about this pair is that it’s styled with mesh pockets where you can keep your locker key. It also comes with an inner lining so you don’t feel too exposed ever time you spread your legs to stretch. Another noteworthy factor about this pair is its antimicrobial fabric. This means you don’t have to worry about odor when you sweat.
3. Shakti Brazilian Trunks
If you prefer something less baggy, then try these trunks out. This pair is designed with square cut inspired by the beaches of Brazil. It’s made of lightweight material to help you perform complex poses.
Also, this pair of trunks is form-fitting but highly stretchable. This means you can focus on doing separate leg stretching or performing the triangle warrior pose with ease. ‘Coolform’ fabric is used in making this pair of trunks so it’s best to wear it when you do Bikram yoga in the summer. But if you love doing yoga in the winter for some reason, then you can wear it underneath a pair of cozy yoga shorts for an extra layer.
4. Ohmme 2-Dogs Shorts
With your core muscles working hard to do those complex poses or stretches, sweating will be an issue. While it’s good that your body is ridding itself of toxins through sweat, things can get unpleasant if you’re doing hot yoga and you’re sweating profusely.
The good thing is Ohmme 2-Dogs shorts are built just for that. A pair comes with a fitted base layer and a loose pair of over short. This eliminates the need to bring two pairs of underwear to yoga class, which is advantageous if you are going straight to office from the fitness center.
If you like bringing fewer clothes to the fitness center, then Lululemon shorts are what you need. Each pair is designed not only for yoga but as an appropriate street wear. You can wear this straight to yoga class, bringing only an extra t-shirt to wear after exercising.
Lululemon shorts are made of fabric with wicking properties to make sure that you remain dry and cool even though you’re already sweating a lot. You also don’t have to worry about that icky, sticky feeling of wet fabric sticking on the skin.
6. Manduka Homme Short
If you’re planning on becoming a serious yogi in the not so distant future, you probably want to add a pair of Manduka Homme short in your collection of fitness wear. What you will love about this pair is its quick-drying fabric. As you progress from beginner yogi to immediate and then to advance, you’re going to need to perform more challenging poses, which often results to more sweat. You’ll need a pair that’ll keep you feeling dry even if you’re sweating excessively. A plus factor to owning a pair of Homme shorts is that it can double as swimming shorts.
7. Yoga Crow Swerve Shorts
A pair may look plain in the yes, but it’s not your ordinary run-of-the-meal cheap shorts. Each pair is made of high-quality performance fabric equipped with moisture wicking technology to absorb sweat away from the body. This process allows you to feel cool and dry even if you’re in the middle of an intense yoga workout.
Another quality that you’ll love about this pair is it comes with a pair of non-abrasive boxer briefs underneath so you can focus your attention more on nailing that forearm stand or knee-to-elbow pose than concerning yourself with modesty.
Comfort is important if you want to enjoy the full benefits of doing yoga regularly. And these swerve shorts are made just for that all thanks to the soft materials used in making them.
With its holistic approach to wellness, yoga is definitely a worthy addition to your fitness regimen. Not only will you be able to burn calories, strengthen your muscles and shed excess fat, you will also feel calmer, less stressed and more in tune with your body.
Of course, the clothes you wear to yoga class plays a significant role in the success of this new fitness venture. So wearing not just the best but also the right kind of shorts matter. Thankfully, you don’t need to scour the World Wide Web to find the best yoga shorts for men because the list mentioned above are enough to complete your entire fitness outfit.
If you want something tight fitting but flexible, the Brazilian trunks and mid-thigh shorts are available. If you want a pair that offers support and coverage, you can always get a pair of Ohmme 2-Dogs shorts. And lastly, if you want something loose fitting or something you can wear to the beach or pool after doing yoga, then the Manduka Homme shorts are a great option.
Whether you’re an Ashtanga, Bikram or Power yoga student, there’s always the right pair of shorts to fit your needs from the list mentioned above.