Arts & Entertainment

Yoga for Dudes

I’m a dude, and I do yoga. How provocative, I know. I’m no athlete short of being a gym rat, nor trying to make some sort of statement. What originally started as a favor to the wifey grew into a damn fine hobby. My first class was a Bikram Vinyasa (Hot Yoga), where toiling in the heat was as challenging as the stretches itself, until I found myself getting one of the best upper body workouts since I stumbled upon the age old bench press. Once you get past the initial awkward butt-staring and funny names for the stretches, it’s actually one of the best workouts for a guy. Using a combination of your own body weight and isometric resistance training, it’s safe to say that you can get ‘swole’ from Bikram.

This didn’t hook me though, as I never really achieved that Nirvana everyone raves about. This is why dudes would be great at yoga: I noticed some buff old dude in attendance, and I made it my personal goal to defeat him in every herculean exercise. Competitive yoga? How avant garde! Surely a consequence of introducing men to yoga, I know. What started as a personal workout became yet another simulation of war, and once I found myself getting better than the Greek god I endearingly referred to as “Zeus,” I moved on to whatever bro would show up. Now I didn’t go making eye contact with the bromontanas I competed against as that is both not allowed and just creepy. Use your peripherals and battle! How this yoga obsession got me booking a one-way ticket to study in an Ashram in Rishikesh, India, with Yogi-Roshan is completely beyond me. But if vainly competing against some buff dude named “Zeus” was the catalyst for me to achieve Nirvana, that would be a plus, I suppose.

Here are the two best local Bikram yoga places to begin your vain journey into loose fitting capris, hair buns for dudes, and the ability to touch your toes.

  1. Simply Hot Yoga: SHY yoga is a quiet yoga studio with teachers who are very easy going. You can go here to get a workout or just unwind from your day. This is where I started and I would recommend it for someone who isn’t wanting to jump into a sea of women as you manage to choke yourself out with your own leg while attempting a Plow. Not a good look. At SHY, you can literally take a 60-minute savasana for the entire class as everything is at your own snorlax pace. Be sure to bring your student ID as you can get a discount here once your groupon runs out. It is located on 1812 South Mildred Street in Tacoma.

  2. Expand Yoga: Expand is where you go when you can already touch your toes, hold chair pose for a year, and ascend to the clouds to high-five Krishna at any given time. But seriously, this place is usually packed with pros and teachers who are used to a higher skill set. Once you do have that skill set though, this place is great. Students can get their Bikram on for free on Tuesdays and Wednesdays as long as you bring your own yoga mat. This place is even closer and is located on 1015 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma.