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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

LOOSEN UP

Yoga can be hugely beneficial – transformative even – for both body and mind, but for many men the mere thought of getting into a downward dog is enough to leave them running to the comfort of the weights room. Joe Minihane looks at the stigma that still exists and speaks to the people trying to break it

Sitting on my haunches, my arms straight and my hands planted firmly on the mat, I look forward. I breathe in to the count of four. Breathe out to the count of five. I rest my knees in my armpits. Breathe in. Breathe out. I raise one foot and place it down, then do the same with the other. Then, gently, I push my weight forward and feel both my feet rise of the ground. I keep my gaze out ahead on a fixed point on my mat and find myself balancing in a crow pose.

“Find your appropriate edge,” says the voice on the YouTube video in front of me. “If you fall, we’ll catch you.” I let out a small shout of joy, lose my balance and land on the floor, laughing.

Practising yoga regularly has become a key part of my fitness regime. But aside from making me physically stronger, the process of focusing on my breathing and allowing myself to go inward has boosted my mental health and made me calmer in the process.

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