6 Yoga Gear Complaints From Men

The yoga men are here to stay, and more may be on their way. Should we let them get comfortable? Maybe, if you consider the fact that, for some enterprising ladypreneurs, there’s a market gap for adapting gear to men’s specifications. Below are suggestions from yoga practicing for making yoga gear more amenable to a male aesthetic – though some ideas are markedly more practical than others.

Does This Come In Anything Other Than Periwinkle?

Among the concerns of yoga-practicing men is that yoga mats only come in “pink and purple.”
“And the blocks,” they say, “Again with the pink and purple.” If their source for yoga gear is the softball aisle at Dick’s Sporting Goods, then point taken; otherwise, I think perhaps this misconception is a product of shoddy market research. Boys, let me introduce you to the experience of practicing a female-dominated sport. First, it’s periwinkle and raspberry, not “purple and pink,” though I realize the red spectrum can be tricky.

Second, my web search brought up a rainbow of different colored yoga mats among the premium manufacturers, so I think what you have to understand is that yoga is not like golf. There is no yoga equivalent to picking up a new driver at the pro shop just before your tee time. Female-dominated activities require research and often the best stuff requires a drive or an online purchase. The good news is that buying your gear in the right colors offers another opportunity to adjust your mindset!

Why Is This Mat so Short?

Now, this is a legit beef, but not so fast! Remember when we went to college and bought extra-long sheets for your extra-long mattresses? Back then, some of us had décor aspirations that didn’t ship in extra-long. Who cried for us? As you meditate on your short, periwinkle mat in class, appreciate this moment for what it is: the first time in which a product upon which you depend isn’t defaulted to your specifications. And then relax, breathe in, and know that because we know your pain we shall make you a longer mat, and charge you heavily for the privilege.

And Narrow, Why Is This Mat So Narrow?

Ibid., substituting in “narrow” for short and “long” for wide.

Could the center of the mat be more padded—the part where the knee is placed down on floor poses and meditation?

Serious answer: I think this might mess with your balance on some of the poses. It would also add heavily to the price of the mat unless the entire mat was made much thicker. This would also be a more expensive and cumbersome mat, but perhaps there is a market for it.
Not so serious answer: Questions like this are why women are the ones who handle childbirth.
(Questions like this one are why women are in charge of childbirth.)

Could we get mats with lines placed at 45, 60, and 90-degree angles? This would allow for foot placement at precise angles.

I’m glad that you’re taking yoga.

I sometimes use three or four mats, along with my non-slip, rubber coated towels. I arrange my mats in a T-shape and stack them together because they aren’t thick enough otherwise.

This isn’t a question. I just included it because it’s the best confession of man-spreading I’ve ever heard.

Yoga Fusion Classes: The Blend

The Vinyasa power flow, Kundalini meditation, restorative yin; each of these styles hold true to classic yoga practices. Many studios, however, are beginning to blend classic practices with other methods of fitness. From yoga sculpt to trigger point therapy, yogis are beginning to draw in fitness junkies with the allure of combining multiple workout styles into one class. Here we’ll delve into a couple classes being offered in LA’s hottest studios and what you can expect when you roll your mat out.

Yoga Sculpt

We know that moving our bodies through yoga poses takes plenty of strength, however, these classes bring an additional layer of strengthening: enter hand weights. Most yoga sculpt classes begin with building heat with a vigorous yoga flow. This allows you to become acquainted with the poses, focusing on form and alignment.

  • As the body heats up and lengthens out, familiarity builds. Step one, check.
  • Next, you’ll grab a pair of dumbbells—typically anywhere from three to five pounds.
  • You will return to the yoga poses you were just moving through, but this time you’ll stay in each posture a bit longer and add on strength moves.
  • Think holding chair pose while doing bicep curls or raising and lowering your horse pose in sequence with overhead presses.

Sculpt classes are allowing participants to mellow out during with a yoga flow and hammer out any aggression with some sculpting. The result: sweaty and satisfied.

Yoga Barre

A traditional barre class is inspired by classic ballet movements and positions. You elongate and tone with high repetitions and a variety of props. The fusion of a yoga barre class intermixes the two styles of fitness throughout the class. Instead of creating a flow by moving through yoga poses, you’ll find yourself in a series of exercises focusing on the same body part. After several consecutive exercises working the same area, you’ll be stretching it all out with neutralizing yoga poses.

Picture being at the ballet barre and performing squats through the full range and half range of motion followed immediately by pulses in your deepest bend; lengthen it all out in standing pigeon pose for sweet relief. Core work follows suit with high repetitions and minimal rest, but instead of traditional crunches, resistance from the barre or a ball are used to engage the deepest layer of your abdominals.
Side note: strengthening these muscles just so happen to help with your yogi handstands and inversions. Win-win.

Trigger Point Therapy

The importance of tissue mobility is hotter than ever. We are realizing you can’t optimize your practice if you’re holding onto all sorts of tension. TPT yoga classes spend about half of the class flowing and half the time mobilizing. The goal of the flow is to heat the muscles up. Warming up muscles is optimal for working out trigger points.

After about 30 minutes of a gradually building yoga flow, the latter half of the class uses tools and techniques to relieve trigger points – knots of tension within our muscles. Lacrosse balls assist in providing a self-massage, but beware: you might shed a tear or two. Insert breathing techniques to guide you through the tough spots. Wrap it all up with a soothing Savasana, and you will leave this TPT class feeling like you just walked out of a spa – refreshed and rejuvenated.

Fusion classes open our eyes to the progressions of fitness. The art of intertwining two workouts into one class takes balance and finesse. Challenge yourself to step outside of the box and switch up your regular with a yoga fusion class.