Targeting the development of mobility and strength to help optimize performance in your chosen sports, Saul Phillips has created a new men’s class for Yoga allowing you to join the ranks of “broga” athletes who use their practice to stay healthy, supple and superhuman.

I have always been fairly sporty, having played team sports in my youth which transitioned into various attempts of Running, CrossFit and Triathlons. Now I have reached the stage of some form of old man body maintenance in the gym. The competitive Dad is still in there, but very much reigned in now to avoid the inevitable injury that comes all too easily these days. An interesting fact for you, most cruciate ligament injuries occur in men aged 40 plus during the all-important Dad race at school sports days. As the men do not warm up and despite their lack of regular fitness, they feel that they have still got what it takes to do a sprint at 100 per cent.

My issue these days, despite my weekly attempts to maintain fitness are getting out of bed and trying not to put my back out whilst pulling on my socks. So tight are my lower back, hip flexors and hamstrings that I almost need to do a 10-minute warm-up routine in order to function properly. We spend so much of our time sitting down at work and lying down in our sleep that our body has forgotten how to function the way it was designed.

I was recently asked to participate in a men’s yoga class or stretching as I call it. I know that this is something I should probably do along with the likes of Pilates but for some reason it just doesn’t quite sit right with me and I don’t see myself in a lycra outfit with a roll mat under my arm.

The yoga class was set in a new trendy spot in the middle of Al Quoz called Matcha, a peaceful oasis in the heart of the industrial AlQuoz.

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I checked in at reception, got myself a mat and ever so shyly stepped into the unknown. Saul immediately greeted me with enthusiasm and all other guys who arrived. The class was made up of newbies like me all the way to some guy in cool karate-style trousers doing handstands for fun!

Saul talked us proficiently through the various movements throughout the class and guided our positioning to ensure each move was practised correctly for maximum effect. Amazingly, you can really feel the difference when you do these moves correctly as the relevant muscles really burn, something I was not expecting.

Towards the end of the class we were all encouraged to attempt various ways of standing on our heads. We all gave it a crack, but I joked to myself that it is simply not happening having tried and failed. Saul asked me to try again and then asked me to stop and showed me exactly what I had been doing wrong. He pointed out that by simply aligning the hips the legs will follow. So straight back down and up the legs went and with great surprise and pride, I did it!

I left the class thinking job done with no real intention of returning. That night I slept amazingly as I hadn’t realised quite how hard my body had worked. The next morning, I noticed as I rolled out of bed that my back was not rigid, my hip flexors were actually working, and I was able to walk without fear of pulling a muscle. So, whilst I am not quite ready to invest in my own yoga pants or mat just yet, I am happy to go again and feel that the men’s class provides a lot less distraction and embarrassment.

This tailor-made space for men provides an environment that will encourage me and others to go again. My advice would be to give it a go as whatever other form of exercise you do, this can only help with the all-important body maintenance.

If you are putting your back out whilst pulling on your socks ‘You Better Call Saul’!

For more information contact: @saulphillips

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Images: Supplied