With the start of the new women's class at YogaSpace it seemed worth exploring why yoga might benefit from being different for men and women. Especially as most classes are mixed and this usually works really well.
Of course there are some fundamental differences in mens and womens bodies but does it mean that a different class is appropriate?
The answer is of course yes AND no. In an ideal world, we would each have a customised yoga practice taylored to our own bodies, energy and how we feel on any particular day, so a class of 1 would be the most beneficial. But in the practical world, a group class has a lot to offer. Plus its actually rather nice being in a room with others trying to explore the same postures.
In general terms, men are physically stronger than women but typically are stiffer. This of course isn't always the case and there are plenty of strong women and stiff women in the world! Practice of yoga postures helps both body types as each yoga posture will help increase mobility and strength, they would simply be approached differently depending on your body type.
Women do have some physical differences that are unique to them however. They might be pregnant or recovering after pregnancy, they might be menstruating or have hormonal cycles, and they are a different body shape. There is a nurturing approach to yoga which is more appropriate in these situations that while relevant to men aswell, their issues may be different or be related to different cycles.
So this new women's yoga class is a more gentle class, respecting the differences women's bodies might be experiencing, and allowing a space to explore yoga that is more taylored to a woman's body. Of course a men's class would be great to start aswell.
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Founder of YogaSpace, 2009
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