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Weights vs Fitness Class – A Mans Take on Hot Yoga

November 19, 2013


Men enjoy tough sports and vigorous workouts.  We work hard, we play hard.  So it’s no wonder why we scoff at the initial invitation to try out something we feel is ‘soft’ such as yoga.  Any fitness related classes that are taught, we body-building muscle heads leave to the ladies, right?  We don’t have time to take orders from any featherweight instructor telling us how to move to a beat, or hold an awkward position!  Well gents, check your penis at the door and enter the yoga studio.  It’s anything but easy.

Alright, so I’m a goaltender.  A very inflexible goaltender at that, which isn’t exactly a quality that will do any good for anyone standing between the pipes.  I’ve always joked to people that a hockey players workout consisted of a lot of cardio coupled with frequent gym visits, whereas a goalie’s regiment was all about hot yoga and kung fu movies.  After watching Legend of the Drunken Master a few hundred times with minimal on-ice success, I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth was and actually check out a real hot yoga studio.  And boy, was I in for a treat.

Like any other guy out there, I didn’t want to cross enemy lines alone and so convinced my brother it would be a great idea if he came along with me.  We both entered the studio wearing our regular shorts and cotton t-shirt workout gear, which we immediately realized was a huge mistake.  The dimly lit room was stifling.  Rolling out our mats and lying down – surrounded by beautiful women – we both agreed that this was a great idea.  That is, until the yoga instructor entered the room.

Half expecting the male yoga teacher from the movie Couples Retreat to enter the room, I was relieved to see shorter female begin the class.  Now, where she didn’t push down on my back while I was in an awkward position shouting “Encouragement!  Boom”, she did wear her soft features to shroud her obvious inner desire to see people in pain.  This woman was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  This workout wasn’t only one of the most difficult and painful workouts ever, it was deceiving the entire way through.  They start you off slow in a quiet dimly lit room so you think you’re in some sort of spa, and gradually make you work harder and harder, pushing deeper and deeper into bendy poses I wasn’t aware my body could do.  Through her gentle voice giving instruction, I’m sweating buckets, my eyes bulging with every deep slow awkward movement, and the entire time there’s soft relaxing music playing quietly in the background in an attempt to create the illusion that this is some sort of ‘blissfully peaceful’ experience.  Well it’s not.  It’s ****ing hard.

What about the women, Matt?  Surely there’s at least the opportunity to look at all the girls in their Lulu Lemon gear?  Wrong.  Even if I wasn’t blinded by the stinging sweat pouring into my eyes, the girls actually had a reverse effect on me – I was the one who felt embarrassed and watched!  Being only one of two men in the room – my brother being the other – I felt the need to at least keep up with the regulars who were in the class with me.  Don’t judge, ladies, its a male instinct.  Struggling to hold any pose I was instructed to bend into, my inner man was in overdrive.  I was focusing so hard trying to not look like an idiot, I honestly couldn’t even tell you how many people were in that class, let alone what any of them looked like.  In short, I kept my eyes to myself.  Or more realistically, tightly shut while I fought back tears of pain.

So what can I suggest to other men who want to try the devils workout that is yoga?  Try it!  Honestly men, we always strive for that little extra push in our regime, that extra rep to push out or that ‘one more mile’ on the treadmill.  As a goalie, I want to be able to split post to post by the end of the season, and so I went in with the intention of giving it my all.  Taking a class like this will push you to your limits without you even realizing it, and being lead by an instructor helps keep that extra push going through the hour.  The community really IS great, and surprisingly I felt amazing the next day.  I’ll admit I had only one fear, and it’s a damn miracle that neither my brother nor I farted while literally bending over backwards in class just hours after dinner.  Pray for me, I’m going back in tonight.  And I’ve had Indian for lunch.


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