Yoga for Blokes® in Izmir is an example of the way digital media and the internet have kept us connected through difficult times. Steve joined Yoga for Blokes in recent years, after his wife suggested it might be good for him. In his seventies, this ex-Ipswich Town Youth League and Western League player knew he needed to do more than standard ‘keep fit’ in order to age gracefully.
Whilst maintaining muscle mass is very important, toning down stress and muscular tension really helps. Hatha yoga does this for anyone, but men in their maturity require persistent gentle effort to overcome the inevitable ‘rust’ that sets in.
Minnsy (as he is known), likes to holiday in hot places. Izmir in Turkiye is a favourite for him. This week Steve said the temperatures there were up to 32˚C (90˚ Farenheit). Which means when he joined us via Zoom, he was effectively doing Bikram or Hot yoga. Heat aids mobility and muscle relaxation. Another group member does yoga in Bermuda!
People forget yoga originates from the Indian sub-continent where temperatures can reach 50˚C in the high season. This is in contrast to the cooler, wetter climate of the UK. It isn’t advisable to do much yoga in hot sunshine. Apart from the obvious, most yoga mats will be affected by UV light as will any Spandex or Lycra you might be wearing chaps!
Here we can see Steve having a go at Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2). He has done well to recall the pose and is doing his best to make proper form. In another photo he is doing a standing Hasta Vinyasa and of course, he winds down with Savasana (nearly right Steve, heels together!) Of course, at Yoga for Blokes, although beer is regarded as Tamasic, we are allowed a little fall from grace occasionally. Go on chaps, mix up yer Gunas!
Yoga for Blokes in Izmir is a Covid legacy. Before worldwide pandemonium took control of our lives, Zoom was unheard of and the idea of connecting with yoga practitioners on other continents wasn’t on the books. At Yoga for Blokes we create ‘blended’ sessions where a physical class takes place alongside a virtual one. Our current set-up is good for this, with screen, projector and internet links. We have male yoga enthusiasts joining us from Scotland, London and Suffolk. The class is for beginners and intermediates. It doesn’t require great ability or skill, just a willingness to learn, contribute socially and keep trying.
Photos by Mrs. Minns