To most guys, yoga is pink lycra and vegan chicks. It’s breathing deeply while doing poses named after animals and feelings. It’s done in dimly lit rooms with candles and incense, followed by gluten-free cupcakes and kale smoothies. And if that’s your mentality then you’re not alone. But it doesn’t mean it’s right.
Once you move past the stereotype it's pretty simple, yoga is good for everyone and the benefits are undeniable. But these days the perception is still one-dimensional. We only ever see the pretty little bendy girls slapped across the pages of the magazines and flooding our Instagram feeds, but the truth is there is a whole other breed of yogi out there, inspiring, teaching and living yoga in their communities all around the world.
Boys of Yoga is our project to show an uncelebrated minority, a project that believes in the strength and flexibility that yoga offers both on and off the mat. To us, yoga is a culture and a lifestyle, not just a practice. Just like surf, skate and snow sport cultures, yoga creates a community of the like-minded. The deeper you go, the more it pulls you in. What started as a casual conversation about how guys are seen as the secondary citizens in the yoga scene, has turned into a movement to challenge the way we view yoga in the Western world today. Some guys think that yoga makes you less of a man, the truth is it makes you a better one.
Not all yoga is fluffy and gentle; it can make you sweat, it can push you to your edge. And through the practice the body will get stronger and flexible, the mind calmer, and life a little less chaotic. You'll find that 'just making shapes on the mat' can be a whole lot more challenging than it sounds. Yoga can give you the physical workout you may want, but go deeper and you'll realize it's so much more.
The practice of yoga is about creating a connection; to ourselves, to our bodies, to our minds, to our lives. Through the physical practice to the body will get stronger, but the true power of yoga is what it does on the inside. Yoga helps to calm the chaos in our everyday, the mental stuff, in our heads and daily lives and it reminds us to breathe.
MEET the founder
Boys of Yoga was founded by Michael James Wong. A yogi, teacher, meditation guide, speaker and the author of ‘Sit Down, Be Quiet’. Recognised around the world as a leading voice in the global wellness movement, he’s on a mission to break down barriers, smash stereotypes and bring the community together for a calmer and quieter conversation about the benefits of a mindful way of living.
A Los Angeles native, now based in London, Michael travels the world sharing the benefits of the practice. Over the past 15 years he has been lucky enough to learn and study from some of the most inspiring teachers, spiritual leaders and global influencers around the world all who have help shaped his approach to modern mindfulness in the real world.
Michael is also the Founder of Just Breathe, a mindful media network, bringing mindfulness to the real world. Which creates inspiring content, experiences and events to help guide audiences through the complex world of wellness, mindfulness and meditation.
He also founded Sunday School Yoga, a community offering training and support for Yoga Teachers in London.
To learn more about Michael, or to find out about writing, press or event opportunities visit his website or email email@example.com