As Graham Lamb led a sea of residents through pose after pose at Willows park last summer he noticed a huge skew in gender.
There weren’t a lot of men out as he led the free Tuesday evening yoga outing that routinely draws crowds.
“I estimate that there may have only been a couple of dozen men practicing,” Lamb said. “I came to the realization that men would be more receptive to trying yoga if they were introduced to yoga in a men-only environment.”
The longtime Oak Bay Recreation, Parks & Culture personal trainer and fitness instructor routinely incorporates yoga into his private instruction and classes. When he pitched a men only yoga class, his supervisors agreed and the session started this month in Windsor Park Pavilion.
“I do think probably men’s bodies being that different from women there are going to be some elements of yoga taught and understood better by a man than a women,” said Mike Stacey, one of those registered for the four-evening program. “It’s secondary to the introductory part of, it to be honest, but it goes along with introductory. It’s a tipping point.”
He’s also familiar with Lamb, which ups his confidence that the class will offer value and be a “good use of time”.
“He’s got a great delivery of information. It’s a nice even pace for you to absorb and try it and apply it then relax a bit and move on to the next one,” Stacey said. “If it does work out and I gain some confidence that I won’t injure myself and that it’s helping me out, being a little more strong a little more flexible … I would continue it.”
The four beginner classes are designed as gradual and practical introduction to yoga for men.
“The new Yoga for Men is an introduction to yoga and the system of movements that over time improve flexibility and strengthen the body,” said Lamb a 200 hour certified yoga instructor. “Spin-off benefits include stress reduction, injury prevention, improved posture and stamina and ultimately a clearer mind.”
Open to those aged 15 and older the course costs $53 for four sessions through Recreation Oak Bay (recreation.oakbay.ca). Lamb hopes to offer it again, should space be available.