Five factors that could encourage more men to join the mat

In 2016, DOYOU launched a Global Survey to find out and understand how yoga is being practiced around the world. With responses from over 10,000 people from 147 countries, the survey gave us a lot of interesting insights, including the fact that only 11% of regular yoga-goers are men!

They may think of yoga as an “easy” workout or only for women, reflecting the lack of knowledge about its healing, strengthening, and injury prevention benefits. This is a cycle of inequity, which occurs because of harmful stereotypical views of yoga, and leads to a narrowing of the reach of the practice.

What are some ways to get more men onto the mat so that yoga can reach (and hopefully help) as many people as possible?

Better Representation

It is very important to have people in your demographic do things before you feel confident enough to try it yourself.

Men are more likely to come back to a class after their first experience if they see themselves in outreach materials. In the survey, 66% of male yogis were aged 35 or older. This represents a significant gap between the younger male population. If we show more diverse faces in yoga, this will make it more relatable to a wider range of people.

Discuss It with the Men in Your Life.

This can be exacerbated for men when the majority of people in a yoga practice are women. I’m certainly not saying every man is intimidated by women who are doing complicated, difficult, bendy things. Heck, shout out to those dudes who see this and say, “To hell with it! I’m going try that!”

It can be helpful to present our yoga practice as an open space, welcoming to all, even those who don’t fit the mold of yoga practitioners. When we speak about our yoga practice, it is important to normalize yoga and present it as a practice that can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to strengthen their body.

Include More Meditation

The survey revealed that men who practice yoga and meditate daily are more than twice as likely to do so as women.

It could be due to a variety of factors. However, it shows that men who regularly practice yoga are interested in Meditation. Perhaps adding more mindfulness and Meditation to yoga classes, and the practice of yoga in general, will appeal to more men.

Keep Yoga Classes Affordable

Men who attend yoga tend to spend less than women (especially on clothes and props). If we want to attract those who don’t currently practice yoga, it is crucial to keep the entry barrier low. This is especially true when it comes to making yoga more affordable for everyone.

I’d argue that avoiding materialism in yoga is good for all those who practice it. This includes both men currently practicing yoga and those who are interested. However, keeping costs low can be a key factor to encourage more men to try yoga.

Reduce the competition

Men are slightly more likely to report injuries caused by yoga (23% vs. 21% for women). It could be because men are more likely to participate in competitive sports, and that mentality can be difficult to let go of when they step onto the yoga mat.

As instructors and participants, we can continue to promote a culture of nonjudgment and noncompetition and encourage a mentality of Listening to Your Body and not pushing your body beyond its limits in order to “be the best.” It will also make it easier for people to stick with a yoga practice.

Anyone who believes in the power of yoga should strive to make it accessible and inclusive for everyone.

Talk about it with men in your life, and try to find ways to share your experience of yoga in a way that is open, non-judgmental, and inclusive. You could have a positive impact on someone’s happiness, health, or perception of the world.

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *