“Are you kidding me?” This is the thought that’s going through your mind as you peek into the yoga class ahead of you. You start thinking of ways to back out…hamstring too tight, feeling tired, yadda yadda yadda.
There are incredible articles about why guys should practice yoga. I’m not going to beat that dead horse. I will though if you try to give me an excuse. What I find interesting is what is lost in the conversation is that the 5000+ year old practice is 5000+ years old. Did you catch what I just did? I called it a “practice”. Why? That’s what yoga is…a practice which includes 8 disciplines. Even Moby, the global music icon, calls it practice.
A fascinating part of a yoga practice is the impact it has on your relationships. It’s inevitable that change will happen between you and your family and significant other (if you have one); your friends (new and old) and most important…you with yourself.
Why does it change?
One of the main reasons is that you begin to develop (or strengthen) your connection to your awareness. Not a Spidey Sense or even The Force for that matter. Through your practice (poses, breathing, meditation/reflection, etc.), you start to peel away layers of B.S. that you built up over the years. B.S. aka the stress, macho attitude, stubbornness, never-show-emotion layers of life. Each guy has his own unique set of layers.
Your awareness was always there but it was buried. I’m not a handyman but it’s like when you renovate the floor an old house. You tear up the 1970′s shag carpet and 7 layers of paint. Then, you find out you have an incredible hardwood floor beneath all that crap. The hardwood floor minus the crap is your awareness.
The result will be a chance to evaluate situations from a different perspective than before you peeled back the layers. This leads to a different set of behaviors, lifestyle choices and outcomes
This new level of connection with your awareness will create space for you to hit the pause button in your life. The result will be a chance to evaluate situations from a different perspective than before you peeled back the layers. This leads to a different set of behaviors, lifestyle choices and outcomes. For example, you start to become more aware of the impact certain foods have on your body or you start to have less stress.
After eating X, I had a level of energy and focus. When I ate Y, I had an increased level of energy as with X but the same level of focus. My awareness gave me a moment of pause to fine tune my eating habits.
Back to relationships…
Impact on your relationship with family and friends
You may lose friends and alienate family. That’s really their issue not yours. They may say, “Why are you trying to change?” or something along those lines. Seriously, people will take offense with you for taking time to refine yourself. There’s my PSA for the day. On the other hand, because you are being yourself you may spark something in them. I prefer that latter. That’s just the optimist in me.
Impact on your relationship with you
I’ve already mentioned the beginning stages which will impact how you interact with yourself. One last benefit of this connection to your awareness is you start to really hear – not just listen – to your inner voice. Negative and self-defeating thoughts start to jump out like a drop drops of water in a pan of hot oil. This creates an opportunity for evaluation just like the food example.
I have only scratched the surface but you have to start somewhere. The more knowledge you have and are able to incorporate into you life the more you build confidence. Awareness is a key component of that process.
Have you noticed that you have an increased level of awareness since starting your practice? If so, share some details with us.
Related Posts from Yoga for Men
Latest posts by Anthony Ware (see all)
- Increasing Awareness and Refining Yourself Through Yoga - October 27, 2013