Rise and shine Readers!
Before I begin, this are my opinions. I am not writing a research paper, and if I touch on topics that are too sensitive please feel free to navigate to the next post :).
It seems to be generally accepted, at least to my understanding, that fitness styles such as yoga and Pilates are female dominated. Most classes are between 80-100% women, and more frequently the instructor is also a woman. But why? I have my suspicions, some of them might be wildly incorrect and some may be more on point. I just ask that you forgive my generalizations; I have no intention of writing a research paper. I just have two points I’d like to address.
- Pilates is just too graceful.
If you have ever caught someone, as I have, suggesting that Pilates is easy I hope you at least laughed internally, or like me, just completely in their face. When I think of weight lifting, I think of men struggling to heave heavy objects to their shoulders and back down to the floor all the while grunting furiously. Said man then lumbers off awkwardly with no intention of stretching out his tight muscles, to the next-heaviest set of weights and begins the activity all over again.
Now to my point..The surface burn that one gets from weight lifting is definitely easier to identify than the internal burn that one gets from practicing Pilates. Actually, it takes some practice to identify the burning of the inner core muscles because the sensation is so different from what we may be previously familiar with. Because of this difference, I have come to believe that many (ok, men) are disenchanted by the practice because they are convinced it doesn’t ‘work.’ Well, that’s cute.
There is an overwhelming slogan attached to Pilates that it creates “long, lean, dancer muscles.’ Because our society is hell-bent on men bulking up while women remain sleek, it is understandable that this slogan would appeal more to women. I’d like to have a lot more to say about this point, but I am a woman who practices pilates so I believe my retort to this would be easily discredited. I’ll just leave it there.
So far I have touched on cosmetic reasons, however I also believe that Pilates and Yoga appear too graceful for many men to commit to. The movements practiced in Yoga and Pilates are certainly more classically feminine, which might appear daunting to our unfortunately semi-homophobic male population.
2. Yoga and Pilates were started by women, so obviously they would have a predominately female following. Wait…that’s not true at all.
Joseph Pilates started the Practice of Pilates to rehabilitate WWII Veterans who were injured in war. A man started this practice to help other men regain physical strength.
Again, minimal research conducted here, but to my understanding Yoga was first noted in a sacred text called the Rig Veda, written by the Vedic Priests in northern India about 5,000 years ago. These priests were drawn from the Brahmans, the highest caste in India. Modern Yoga, as of 1,700 years ago approximately, was developed by a fellow named Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutras. He was thought to be an enlightened being.
To recap..What if Joseph Pilates and Putanjali came and Mansplained all of this to our male skeptics? hmm.
Ta ta for now!!