AbeLiI sat in front of the yoga class, getting ready to teach and I noticed that the entire class of 22 students, were all women. I have noticed this before. Even when men do come they are a small minority in the yoga class. Why is this? I love yoga, I believe in its ability to transform bodies, hearts and minds and I am a man. Granted, by the definition of most of society, not the manliest man. I couldn’t care less about sports, I nurture and love my children and wife, I don’t believe the way to solve problems is with force, I am a stay at home, homeschooling dad who teaches yoga. Maybe I have it wrong? Maybe I should be drinking beer while watching sports and doing my best to increase the size of my pectorals. However, I just have no interest in that kind of behaviour. It seems like a waste of my time. Whereas yoga feels like time well spent, it feels productive. So why are the manly men staying away from yoga class? I’m not sure. Maybe its because they are afraid of not being able to conquer the practice right from the start or looking silly in front of other people. Maybe they are so wrapped up in the ego that they can’t let go and enjoy. Maybe they are out of touch with their feminine side? Yes gentlemen you have a masculine and a feminine side. When these two sides are out of balance, well just take a look at the state of the world. That’s what happens when we are out of balance. So what does the feminine side have to offer? Emotion, heart and feeling. Feelings like compassion, nurturing, caring and the desire to work things out in a non-violent way. It’s hard wired in most women because they need those qualities to take care of their children. We wouldn’t have survived as a species without those feminine qualities. It sure looks to me like we could use more caring and compassion in our world if we are going to continue to survive. So gentlemen I suggest you come out to a yoga class, get in touch with your heart. The benefits will be more ease and lightness in your life; more connection and depth in your relationships (especially with women); functioning at your highest level with a more balanced outlook; and the ability to deal with and not get side tracked by negative emotions like anger, sadness and competition. Now of course, not every man is macho and not every women is in touch with the feminine but if both sexes could balance both sides the world would be in a much better place and we would see more men in yoga classes.

Abe Cartland