The Namaste Counsel


Men of all Shapes and Sizes Practice Yoga

Men and Yoga.

In India, this is the norm.

I get a special pleasure seeing men in the States, of all ages and all shapes, doing yoga.

In the U.S., we have a stereotype of who is a yogi. I never thought I fit that stereotype. It took an older (than me–lol) man living at the ashram I was visiting that first suggested I complete my yoga teacher training.

I thought I was too old. Too heavy. Too stiff. Too NOT Lululemon.

Even though I’d done yoga for most of my (long) life, I’d never seen myself as the teacher, cuz I drank the cool-aid. I decided to turn back the clock and get my teacher training after I hit my 50th birthday.

Now, I not only teach yoga to people age 4-84, but I am finishing my advanced training as a yoga therapist.

I still work in marketing communications, but I pick and choose who I want to represent, and the lion’s share are those whose blueprint follows mine.

Although I’ve worked more than 30 years in the marketing world, I am bothered by how advertising affects people. For far too many years, I was paid, in a roundabout way, to sell people things they didn’t need. To encourage consumers to prefer products in which I would never consume. To change belief systems and thus empty pocketbooks on things that only make our society move farther and farther away from all the principles of yoga.

Following is the personal story of a client of mine who is both a CrossFit and Yoga advocate. He owns three yoga studios and one CrossFit center in San Antonio.

Stevan Falk of The Union

“I was the seven-year-old in PE class that couldn’t touch his toes,” admits Stevan Falk, co-owner of The Union and Bust a Move CrossFit.

“At age 25, I would roll out of bed every morning thinking I’m not supposed to feel like this. I was full-on in the public accounting workforce the next four years, and putting in hours hunched over a computer did not help this washed-up college basketball player.”

In 1999, his former college training partner, Lisa Ingle-Stevens, now his business partner at The Union and Bust a Move CrossFit, got him hooked on yoga.

“Right after I finished graduate school, Lisa was visiting San Antonio and jabbering non-stop about this hot yoga that she was doing in Denver.  There were no such studios in San Antonio at that time, so she dragged me to Austin for my first hot yoga class.  I was floored.  I couldn’t remember the last time something had kicked my butt that badly, and I couldn’t believe how bad I was at it!  The very nice, 65-year-old gentleman who was effortlessly practicing next to me didn’t help my pride either.  It doesn’t help that I absolutely hate the heat and think that the ideal room temperature is 68 degrees.”

Yoga Erased his Pains

One month after I gave yoga a shot, I woke with no knee pain or back pain. Plus, I was missing about 15 pounds of fat with no change to my diet.  Fast forward two months and I had lost 40 pounds. Looking around the audit room at work, it was obvious that there was something to this and the regular folks of San Antonio could really benefit from it.”

That’s when he and Lisa decided to make a difference in the San Antonio fitness scene. They went shopping for small business loans, without any luck. But they were determined to spread the gospel of their personal fitness victories. Stevan and Lisa are now celebrating their tenth anniversary in business together. Approximately 400 people pass through the doors at the three Union locations in San Antonio, DAILY. They actually preach a bit of the yoga/CrossFit gospel, now, and began this month a special promotion of unlimited yoga and CrossFit at any of their four locations for only $99 per month. Plus, on Labor Day, they are offering free CrossFit and yoga at all their locations, as part of Free Day of Yoga, which began in Austin in 1999.

“Yoga allows me to do the things that I really love to do like lift heavy weights, CrossFit, compete in the highland games, marathons, and triathlons,” adds Steve.

“Ten years later the practice still kicks my butt, and I still don’t like the heat.  How about Luke Warm Yoga anyone?  If you are going to put a lot of miles on your body (or if you already have a lot of miles), then you need great body maintenance.  Yoga is great body maintenance.

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Somehow, in the I me mine world that we live, emotional and physical well being has escaped the vast majority. The Namaste Counsel encourages simple proven practices to live a healthier and happier life. Any time. Any where. By anyone.
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