A Guide to Doing Yoga as a Young Black Male (because it's not just for skinny white girls)

March 26, 2019

Only 20 out of every 80 people in a single yoga class are male, despite the amazing benefits of yoga. Why is this? A lot of men are actually embarrassed to do yoga! There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to black masculinity, especially aggression. This is mainly because of a few bad rolemodels in hip-hop culture.

It's important to break free from those stereotypes to embrace our roots and stay true to ourselves. Real black masculinity is strength by being the best person we can be, practicing leadership everyday, and learning to find peace within ourselves. That's where yoga comes in. Read on to learn a great yoga technique that embraces male masculinity to strengthen your mind and your body.

Why Should a Guy do Yoga?

The real question should be: why shouldn't a guy do yoga? The benefits of yoga are incredible: superior flexibility, stress-relief, muscle refreshment, detoxification of the body and mind, plus so much more. A very common misconception men have that prevent them from starting yoga is the belief that they need to be extremely flexible or in shape. You don't need any of that! All you need is a perfectly good set of arms and legs to do yoga. The whole point of yoga is to make you flexible and stronger.

The Simple, Effective Conditioning Pose for Killer Abs

Get comfy because we're about to do a very simple, but effective conditioning yoga pose called the side plank. No equipment will be needed. After you follow the simple steps listed, you will feel stronger mentally and physically.

  1. Lay on your side with one arm below your shoulder.
  2. Tighten your stomach and lift your hips all the way up until your body forms a straight line.
  3. Take a total of 5 deep breaths (not reps, yoga is measured by relaxing, deep breaths) and hold it.
  4. Repeat on each side as long as you can.

All done! If your hips fell a few times, it's completely normal. Try to commit to practicing this conditioning pose for just 5 minutes a day to see a difference in 1 month. This is one of the many great strength training poses in yoga to give you killer abs.

Using Yoga to Stretch at the Gym

Did you know some of the well known gym workouts such as the deep squat and plank are actually yoga workouts? If you're looking for a great stretch to get your muscles ready before a workout, try squatting all the way to the floor and holding it. This will stretch your hamstrings, preventing sprains and injury. You can also try holding a plank for one minute at a time for a great core stretch.

As a young black male, it's important to embrace true masculinity by staying true to ourselves and conditioning our body in mind. As you can see, yoga is great for us, and you don't have to be female to reap the benefits. Now go out and practice the side plank you've learned to relax and get even stronger!