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Yoga for Men at Tejas Yoga Chicago

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Maya Henderson

Your source for all things yoga and wellness in Chicago.

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When I talk to guys who don't do yoga about why they don't do yoga, here's how it usually goes:

Me: You should try yoga. It's pretty bad ass.
Guy Who Doesn't Do Yoga: I know. I hear it's good for me.
Me: Well, let me know when you want to try a class. Lots of studios give you your first class for free.
GWDDY: But I'm not flexible.
Me: Uhm, no one can just do the crazy poses you see online in their first class. Everyone has to start from somewhere. I wasn't that flexible when I first started. You have to be strong, too.
GWDDY: Yeah, but it sucks to be that guy in the room who can't touch his toes.
Me: Sigh. 
I get it. Yes, it does suck to be that person in the room whose body won't let them do what seemingly everyone else can do with ease. I imagine for straight guys, this sucks even more when surrounded by women in tight, revealing clothing. Not only are they being asked to move their bodies in ways they never imagined, but they also must be careful not to be that pevy dude staring at the hot girl bending over in front of him (and trust me guys, you do not want to be that dude). 

So, what's a guy who's interested in trying yoga but a bit intimidated to do? Well, two of Chicago's top yoga teachers-- who happen to be men-- are doing something about it. Jim Bennitt and James Tennant offer a men's only yoga class on Wedneday nights at their new South Loop studio, Tejas Yoga. It brings men together for breathwork, posing and bonding, sans the ESPN and buffalo wings. 
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DJ Intel, the men's yoga secret shopper.

Since I couldn't check this one out myself, I sent the awesome DJ Intel (Jason Deuchler) to secret shop it for me. Here's what he had to say:

"I've been kicking around the idea of trying yoga for sometime now so when the opportunity to try the new Tejas yoga center came up I jumped at it. It's located in the South loop area and it is fairly easy to get to. It's just a simple block walk from the CTA's Red/Orange/Green Roosevelt stop. When I walked through the door I was promptly greeted by the teacher for the night, Jim Bennitt. He was very friendly and helpful. The space itself was also very welcoming. Clean, simple and it had a very warm feeling to it. I filled out some simple paper work that would gage my yoga knowledge and make it easier for Jim to teach me. Shortly after my arrival Three other gentlemen joined into the class. Two of them were experienced and the other was a newbie like me. I don't think having just men in the class was a huge concern, but I haven't done a co-ed class before. Jim gave us newbies some pointers before we started. He told us to focus more on the breathing then hitting the perfect pose. This made me feel very comfortable and at ease. The class itself was great. Jim gave great guidance and help when you were missing the posture. The blocks also helped a lot. I don't really know what to judge on yet, but based on my experience and the others after the class, I would say everybody was happy. I left feeling extremely centered. Almost euphoric. I plan on hitting this class again once I get into a more regular yoga routine."

Okay guys, so there you have it. Like I said, yoga is bad ass and you have nothing to fear, especially in a yoga for men class where men of all types and skill level are welcome to come and just do their thing. If you're still on the fence, I found this great Yoga Center at Men's Health that should help answer more of your questions.

Tejas Yoga is located at 1133 S. Wabash in Chicago. Classes are $16 and they offer a 4-week intro series for $50, although this isn't just for men. Also, if you're into great music and fun parties, I highly recommend checking out a DJ Intel event. He's all about the good time and doesn't do those lame, overpriced, dress code and bottle service clubs. Remember, yoga makes you more flexible, which probably helps with dance moves!

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5 Comments

Remiliz said:

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Hey, Maya, this is good stuff. Not enough attention is paid to getting men into yoga; I'm glad to see your post about it. Jim Bennitt is AWESOME and the new studio he and James opened is great!

Jen said:

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Intel is going to be the most limber dj in Chicago! :) Hopefully this catches on soon for more men, because yoga requires just as much concentration and will-power as a standard workout would.

LandstromPhoto said:

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As a "GWDDY" who actually has tried a few yoga classes, I agree it's pretty bad***. To get strength, flexibility, balance, focus in one wrap is rare. I've left those classes feeling great, *and* I've left feeling more sore than after any gym visit!

Why am I still not a "GWDY"? At 33, I believe I'm over a lot of the comparisons with others, etc, but It would still be nice to attend a more gender-balanced class. Your article is great, Maya! Are there any classes you know of with more guys partaking in the Loop or along the Red Line going north?

the raw yogi said:

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I heard: Most men dont look inwrad untill around age 35+
I'm glad there arn't that many men, too many of them may be caught up in ego driven things such as football. But if they were smart they would be in a yoga studio instead of a sports bar, the women are much more fun, flexible, and the smell better

Maya Henderson said:

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I agree, Raw Yogi. I think many men have this idea of what is manly and what they are supposed to do. I don't know what's more manly (and sexy) than a guy who has self-discipline, body awareness and flexibility. They just don't know what they're missing! I know it's bad, but I've always thought if I was a single straight guy I'd do yoga just for all the beautiful women!

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