As a male yoga practitioner, I have long found it interesting that most studio-based yoga classes are dominated by women. Given the history of yoga in it's various forms, and how men dominated it, it's quite interesting to see the reversal happening now. The core class for my yoga teacher training, which started last week, is split almost right down the middle - 5 men and 6 women. The studio owner was excited, and said it was the first time this had happened.
Makes me wonder what it is about yoga right now that has attracted so many women, and not all that many men comparatively? I have some theories, but nothing that really feels like it addresses the whole works.
There has been some discussion online about the current issue of Yoga Journal, which has a man on the cover for the first time in nearly a decade. Media representations of yoga certainly have played a role in the great disparity in numbers between male and female yoga practitioners.
The discussion over at the blog Yoga Dork has an interesting mix of views. If you want to read a few rants by yours truly about consumerism, racial and gender stereotypes, it's there in the comments as well. Here is a snippet from the original post:
Meet LA yoga teacher and George Clooney’s cousin’s doppelganger, Matt Pesendian. Rumor has it this is the first time in 8 years a male yogi has graced the glossy face of YJ. Congratulations! Men are yogis, too, even if some still think ‘that shit is hard.’
Yet, as another commenter deftly pointed out, this yoga thing is also about accessibility. Matt doesn’t teach a separate “meat and potatoes” dude yoga, but he is, essentially, a man who practices yoga. A helpful thing when yoga culture in the West is fem-dominated. (it is. see Yoga Journal)
So sure, it’s easy to pick on YJ, being the biggest publication of yoga representation, currently, and in all fairness, we have certainly seen men featured within the pages here and there, and naturally we admire this gent, but you tell us, does this help you men out there more inclined to get the yoga-ing?
What do you think about all this?