© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
Steve Currie holds a lunge in the studio at Pictou County Yoga. Currie is leading an Introduction to Yoga for Men Workshop on Sunday morning at the studio.
STELLARTON – There are a few stereotypes surrounding yoga and the involvement of men.
Some men may think they’re too tough for it or that it’s just for women, but that isn’t true whatsoever according to registered yoga teacher Steve Currie. He said that in some cases there is an intimidation for men to get involved because they think it’s only women involved or that it isn’t “competitive” enough for them.
“Yes, there is a fantastic representation of women, but frankly I think that women are much more emotionally connected to what serves them best,” said Currie. “Maybe they see the bigger picture with yoga right now. We guys are shorter term. Maybe we feel the need to compete more and we are more outcome focused. That is not the goal of yoga. Yoga teaches us to park our ego and to be truly in the moment, free of the need to worry about how we do or if we are the best in the room.”
Currie, who has been practising yoga for approximately 10 years, has been an teacher for the last two years. This weekend he will leading the Introduction to Yoga for Men Workshop at Pictou County Yoga in Stellarton from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
He said the goal of the men’s introduction class is to introduce them to the basic yoga poses with safe and correct alignment. Currie said he hopes they gain experience and confidence so they will feel comfortable in any type of class.
As a marathon runner, he said he started yoga to complement his training. He said that many athletes would see benefits from adding yoga to their repertoire.
“When I run and weight train, I effectively push my thresholds beyond what they were previously,” said Currie. “However, I often feel injured or in need of recovery for a few days. Yoga can be very challenging physically, but when a session is done I feel healed, not busted up. It is a good discomfort, which I have taken to where it needs to be in order to grow, but not such that I feel damaged. My hockey and running have taken lifelong tolls on my legs. Yoga is healing that.”
When asked if the reason men don’t get involved is because they’re “expected” to be lifting weights as a workout, Currie said there are a number of different training opportunities that men can be involved with and that they may not be participating in yoga on a regular basis simply because they haven’t tried it yet.
“For example I had a man last week who has spent the last year attending group fitness class several times a week doing Spartan 300 type training, hard stuff,” he said. “After my class, he pulled me aside and said ‘that was the hardest he has trained ever.’ He immediately bought a 10 pass for yoga. The unique thing about yoga is that it can join the physical, mental and even sometimes spiritual aspect of our beings and that can be incredibly inspiring, especially if done the combined energy of 20 other people.”
He added that yoga can also decrease stress, something that he believes men could benefit from.
“When is the last time most guys sat quietly and just breathed,” said Currie. “Stress kills so many men each year as being root causal to other illnesses. The word disease is just that, dis-ease. We all need to train ourselves to quiet our minds. That will help us live longer. There is no medical benefit to having a bicep bigger than your head.”
Over his time involved with participating in and eventually teaching sessions, Currie said he’s witnessed an increase in the number of men taking part. He added that it also depends what they are practising.
“I have taught classes where the men have outnumbered the women but that is unusual,” he said. “Men tend to like the harder poses, where there is risk involved. We love the adrenalin. However yoga is really about learning to cope with stress, not induce it. The majority of the gurus of yoga have all lived to over 100 years of age. That speaks volumes. They must be doing something right.”
The session on Sunday costs $15.
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris