Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where Are All the Men?

An acquaintance and fellow practitioner passed this article along to me: Where Are All The Men

This article takes a different look at why guys aren't practicing, pointing out such factors as social obstacles, physical hurdles, unrealized physical benefits, and the emotional challenge.

And after reading that article, I read this one: Model Men: Find out how yoga changed the lives of three men.

How yoga changed the outlook for a millionaire, a football player and a former Marine.

But it was interesting how neither article addressed the media's portrayal of yoga. Especially given Yoga Journal's portrayal of women/men in yoga.Coincidence? Intentional? Perhaps if they de-feminized the magazine a bit they might attract more guys to the practice.

Thoughts? Are the articles representative of the guys you know and the area you live in?


Eco Yogini said...

wow. that first article was hard to read.... i gotta say that I disagree with a lot of the "evolutionary psych/biology" explanations for the "hurdles" in the way for men. Mirror neurons?? lol. silliness. All these explanations disregard the social/cultural explanations that shape our habits, perceptions even physical abilities.. including that women are socialized from a very young age to respond to emotional input, thus increasing the "practice" and amount of activation received to their "mirror neurons" and as a result increasing the amount that are active.
So not really something biological, more like social.

Also- Andrew would not appreciate being lumped into the "boys club" category. I actually found the article to be insulting for men! How sad to be lumped into such a restrictive, cultured "boys club male" role.

I think it missed a big point- instead of talking about changing the way our culture socializes men (which is the underlying reason to all the "obstacles" discussed) they simply assumed these tendencies were inherent to testosterone...

sad. sorry Kristin, I was not a fan... :S

Sara said...

What I think is interesting is that even though most studios are predominately places where women gather, the big players in yoga are still men. Look at the Yoga Journal and Mid-West Yoga Conference schedules and you will see that we still have a pyramid scheme with men at the top. Why?

yogiclarebear said...

lots of great points here! i think yogajournal and other yoga media can tend to force the notion that to do yoga you have to be all "ohm" about it, and i wonder if that is part of the "feminizing" you might be referring to, or at least it is a narrowing. while i am a true believer and lover of the mind/body connections and benefits of yoga, i wouldn’t force that on anyone. if someone is just doing yoga, physically, that is a good thing and maybe a stepping stone to a deeper understanding. or maybe not. each has their own path, and i wonder if a lot of men would prefer to physically do yoga but not get all introspective about it right away. just a random thought, and not meant sterotypically towards men in any way.

Kristin said...

Thanks everyone, all great comments.

I realize I forgot to say that the person who gave me the first article was a guy. I'm interested in following up with him on his perspective.

And maybe it isn't for us to wonder the where-for's and why-how's, but to just focus on encouraging our male friends to try the practice??

yogiclarebear said...

well thought kristin. "let things come" and let yogajournal do their thing...we yogis have the capacity to think through the media presented. even if it is "yoga" media! :) :)

ps, did i really spell OM with an H? LOL