Yoga sometimes gets a rap as being more for women than for men (of course, if you’ve tried it, you know that yoga is equally adept at kicking female or male asses). That stereotype is changing and, naturally, Gaiam is leading the way. As the yoga industry has seen tremendous growth among men, Gaiam expands its philosophy of “yoga for all” with four new unique DVDs – three focused on Sports Yoga and one on Hot Yoga. Now ANY athlete, whether professional, beginner, or “weekend warrior,” can benefit from these unique and dynamic yoga training methods.
For the DVDs:
- Kent Katich, yoga coach to some of the best professional athletes in the world, has teamed up with NBA All-Star Kevin Love and former All-Pro NFL Running Back Eddie George with two dynamic DVDs that work to improve performance, build a better body, and decrease injuries (each DVD features 4 – 20-minute practices). Kevin Love shows his moves in “Yoga for Flexibility,” while Eddie George makes “Yoga for Strength” (also offers a 7 minute bonus practice) look easy. Neither DVD is.
- NYC based yoga instructor Matt Giordano – also known as “theyogiMatt” – whose background in Martial Arts training provides a disciplined, focused approach to the practice offers 2 new DVDs that provide the incomparable flexibility, relaxation, and increased stamina that other athletic workouts do not (each DVD features 3 – 20-minute segments. “Yoga for Runners” is the first of the two, and has the best warm-up sequence of all of the disks. “Hot Yoga for Beginners” might be good, but I couldn’t get past the introductory sequences – I have to admit here that, while Matt Giordano appears to be a consummate professional, his voice and speech patterns kind of bug me. I’m sure it’s not so for most people, so let’s just chalk that up to my foibles and move along.
These, as mentioned, are DVDs of the ass-kicking variety – even the warm-ups are tough for a neophyte. If you think you can’t get into great shape doing yoga, I challenge you to work your way through any of the 4 DVDs and prove me wrong. That new strength also comes with the added benefits of better mobility and increased flexibility.
Gaiam has also thought about males when making the new Athletic Yoga Gear. I tested out the Athletic 2gripMat (5mm), Athletic MaxStrap and Athletic duraBlock, and enjoyed using them all.
- The Athletic 2gripMat features MatDT (Dry-Tech) technology designed to increase grip when you sweat; a supportive 5mm thickness for joint protection; is 10″ longer and 2″ wider than the standard mat, and is made from long wearing and lightweight PVC. I love how this mat stuck to the carpet in our family room, felt cushy and sticky (in a good way) underfoot, and came in a dynamite green color. Hey, just cuz I’m a guy doesn’t mean I’m immune to nice things.
- The Athletic maxStrap helps you to rise up to the challenges of the hardest poses with this 100%, 10 foot long cotton yoga strap. Longer than most on the market, our strap is 10 feet long for the times when you just need more. Maximize your moves with the extra durable strap that will refuse to stretch as you work your way into more challenging positions.
- The Athletic duraBlock is constructed with blockDD (Dura-Dense) Technology, and is 50% denser than standard blocks (looks the same but doesn’t feel the same as a normal yoga block). This block really helps extend, support and deepen stretches.
I get that some people will struggle with their idea that yoga is for women (I feel for them). Hopefully, products like these DVDs and made-for-men gear will help that mindset go away. I guarantee that anyone who actually tries these will be humbled by and appreciative for what these products can do for them.
These products were provided for review purposes – all opinions are my own.