One man’s honest opinion on what it feels like to work out with women, and why he chooses not to. What’s your take?
I am happy doing a group class once in a while, for a change, on special occasions, or because my woman is there. I am happy, but you will not catch me exercising this way on a regular basis.
I have nothing against women. Quite the opposite: I like them a lot! Especially mine. Of course, I am biased, but I’d say she is the best of them all. I am still in awe of how lucky I am to have her by my side. For me, though, having women in a group class is a distraction. It may be because they are attractive, or because they move in a feminine way, or just because they have a different energy. I feel that I spend a lot of my energy on trying to focus on me, rather than the women. I do not find that helpful.
I have men friends who do mixed classes and they say that they do not mind. Some of them do not understand my point of view. They tell me that they are indifferent to whether there are men or women in class. I used to feel like that until some women told me that I always seemed to be only half present. They said that they did not see a proactive attitude in me. They would say that I lacked edge. I never quite understood what they were referring to.
Some men find it awkward that I do not share their enthusiasm for mixed classes. Some people think that I am not sensible feeling this way. They think that, because I am a man, I am not emotional or that I hold back the full expression of what I feel. That is not true.
I am capable of being with a friend and having a real and raw conversation with them. I share my fears and talk about my difficulties. I can cry when I feel the need to.
The bottom line is this: I prefer to either workout alone or with my male friends. I prefer not to workout with women not because I am prejudiced or because of any macho conditioning( at least I do not think that’s what it is). It is because I feel that working out alone or with male friends feeds my masculine side. I find that after a workout I am more present and focused with my woman and with women in general. I am able to bring them more humor because I am more grounded and much more myself.
I do occasional group classes, but the only group class I do on a regular basis is yoga in a male only class.
Yoga is an excellent complement to the other activities I do. It provides me with a space where I can turn inside and feel the peace that my body gives me, when I take the time to listen to it.
I attend a men only class because I like to surround myself with other strong men, and that inspires me. I don’t mean strong in a physical sense but in the way that they show up in the world.
So to you, fellow man reading this, I would love to see you by my side someday in class.
Portuguese, has been teaching yoga for the last ten years.
Interested in the understanding of masculinity, he facilitates men's groups and yoga for men classes. Is a part of an online men's group that unites several top personalities internationally in the field of men's work masterminding on how to best bring forward the new face of masculinity.
Lives with his dear wife, Ana. Together they have a cork yoga props business and they explore the roles of men and women in this world we are all creating together.