I’ve been noticing a lot of articles lately discussing men who practice yoga, like it’s some crazy, newfound thing. First, let me just say, that, yes, it’s nice that there are men out there practicing yoga. I think it’s awesome when anyone practices yoga. I just don’t understand the recent fascination with male-identified people practicing yoga.
Yoga was initially practiced my men only. The most influential texts about yoga, The Yoga Sutras, were compiled by Patanjali–a man. Yoga was (and still is in some places of the world) a practice that men primarily partake in. This is why I don’t understand the excitement of men in the Western world taking a yoga class. What I also don’t understand--and what really grinds my gears--is that “musician” Adam Levine has been held up as the ALMIGHTY WHITE MALE WHO PRACTICES YOGA. Yawn.
Adam Levine writes lyrics that are sexist, makes music videos where he is always writhing around naked with an anonymous woman (which is super boring--and has been done before), and he’s egotistical. Check out this lovely quote from a recent interview:
There’s two kinds of men. There are men who are fucking misogynist pigs, and then there are men who just really love women, who think they’re the most amazing people in the world. And that’s me. Maybe the reason I was promiscuous, and wanted to sleep with a lot of them, is that I love them so much.
Riiiight. The fact that Mr. Levine is trying (very hard) to equate being promiscuous to his overall “love” for women is comedic and unintelligent. Also, this all somewhat reeks of the very ridiculous (and traditionalist) view that men just can’t “help” themselves when they’re around women. Let me add that I don’t care if Mr. Levine is promiscuous--or anyone for that matter--his “reasoning” is trite, however. Adam Levine: removing accountability and agency one day at a time.
Here’s another choice quote from the same interview:
You know what yoga’s good for? I’ll tell you what yoga is good for: Fuuuu-k-ing. (The interviewer adds that he ‘chimed’ that last word in a ‘sing-song falsetto.’)
Yes, yoga has shown to benefit one’s sex life, but must we act like 15-year-old boys about it? Grow up.
I get it. When someone takes part in something that predominantly is done by one group of people, it causes people to take a second look. The “outsiders” become a circus attraction. Well, I have no desire to see “Adam Levine: The Man Who Only Uses The Words ‘Naked’ and ‘Control’ In His Lyrics” (Was that as awkward for you to read, as it was for me to write? Sorry, I tried) practice yoga.
So, what started this whole tirade of mine was this article, “Why I Heart Yoga Dudes.” The author writes to “All Empowered Women in Yoga” to “work together to get more guys practicing yoga.” Again, I’m all for getting people to practice yoga, but the idea of recruiting people to practice yoga seems severely disconnected with what yoga is all about. Pushing anyone to do anything is never good.
If we’re going to celebrate white, straight, cis men who practice yoga, why don’t we also celebrate full-figured men and women, or people of color, etc, etc who practice yoga? I feel like our culture is constantly celebrating white, straight, cis men for just existing, so it’s difficult for me to join in on the excitement of seeing a dude in a yoga class. Sure, a part of me might think, “good for him,” but I really think that way about everyone I see in a yoga class.
Point is… Adam Levine is not the only dude who practices yoga--let’s stop acting like he is.