Point/Counterpoint- Can American Men Do Yoga?

“Heh, downward dog.”

~Most American males

America is a country founded on the tombstones of our native population debate and discourse.  Discussion fuels change, or at the very least drunken yelling matches, and we support that.  Drunken yelling matches, that is.  Not change.  We fear change.

And of course, being stubborn, strong-willed American alcohol users, we have our fair share of office arguments.  Chunky versus creamy peanut butter?  Did the chicken come before the egg?  What’s more badass, a Bowie knife or just kidding nothing is more badass than a Bowie knife?

It is with that intrepid spirit that we delve into our Point/Counterpoint series.  This week’s topic might spark controversy, which is of course a Latin word for “cheap plow to get people to pay attention to you.”   It’s going to be a very heterosexual male centric view on a fairly popular “new age” type of exercise.  We are talking, of course, about Yoga.  Specifically, is it acceptably American for a straight American male to partake in it.  We’re excluding women for this discussion because no one has any issues with women doing yoga.  And we won’t delve into gay males because we honestly don’t know what a homosexual American male’s gym regimen is supposed to consist of, but whatever it is they’re doing it’s working.  Just ask any woman who feels self-conscious about her body after seeing an army of gay men in Lady Gaga Halloween costumes.

So that leaves us with two very opinionated members of our staff, who are here to present their views on if it is cool for a gentleman (colloquially referred to in polite circles as a “dude” or “brah”) to partake in yoga lessons.  So let us hear the sides sound off!

POINT:  Yoga gets you in shape, and you get to look at hot chicks stretching

Listen, I know that I’m opening myself to insults galore here by admitting that I will on occasion do a yoga class or three, but hear me out.  Believe it or not, yoga is actually a really solid workout.  I don’t buy into all that new age crap that they they’ll talk you through because, come on, and of course I am wary of things that have weird Easterny-sounding names, but the fact of the matter is that yoga’s made me feel stronger and more flexible.  I’m not going to be that guy that says “Athletes do yoga” because the same argument is made by high school boys defending their decision to take ballet classes, but I will say that I can see the benefits of someone doing yoga.

But apart from that, there is another very important reason that I, a single male, would do yoga:  the women.  You know how some kids do high school theater because they know that the ratio of straight women to straight guys is horrendously skewed, and they might be able to get with someone normally out of their league?  Yoga is where those kids go when they grow up.  You have about a dozen (mostly) young women wearing tight fitting pants contorting right in your general direction, and you get to appear like the cool sensitive guy that is into whatever hippy things they are going to be into until they finally start dating someone who has a job that pays more than $30,000 a year.

So is it American for Americans to try to endear themselves to attractive women by partaking in an activity that these women independently enjoy?  Yes.  It’s the same reason why it’s American for women to join fantasy football teams.  Well, apart from the fact that Fantasy Football is American, too.  But you get the idea.

Plus if you do enough yoga you turn into a rock monster, which is cool.

Granted, if you’re in a relationship, or married, there’s really no point in doing it, so at that point you should probably man up and do krav maga or something.  Which gives you just as good of a workout, with the benefit of teaching you how to kick the ass of strangers.  But for a single guy looking to lose some weight and maybe meet some women, what could you possibly have against it?

COUNTERPOINT:  Yeah, why don’t you do some kegels while you’re at it, fatty

“Oh I need somewhere to hit on women and get good tips on how to treat my yeast infection, so I guess I’ll do some fucking yoga.”  In case you couldn’t tell, Point-guy, that was my impression of you.  You know where single Americans go to hit on women?  Bars.  Because it’s a lot easier to try to talk to a hot chick when you’re both getting wasted on over-priced booze that comes with the subtext of, “If I’m paying this much for alcohol, it better come with a blowjob” than it is talking to a sweatpants clad hottie giving you the “looks like she just caught a wiff of dog shit” glare as your flop around on your yoga mat with your butt awkwardly pointing in the air and a pool of sweat dribbling off your forehead.

And point guy, the reason you might be single probably has less to do with the amount of yoga-like classes you take, and more to do with the fact that you’re not looking in the “Women looking for women” section of the newspaper personals.  So you might have better luck trying to find that special lady by going to other, more social events, like a Feminist book reading, or a Roller Derby league, or a lesbian club.  You’ve got to learn to think outside the box if you want to find the woman you can not shave your armpits with while eating oatmeal.

So listen, Point-guy, if your moon cycle is out of balance and you gotta get your chakras just right, by all means go to yoga and learn those exercises that help tighten your vaginal wall.  If you want to eat red meat, drink excessively, and find yourself a woman that will tell you that she loves your pot belly but then mumbles distractedly when the topic of Taylor Lautner’s abs comes up, then I’d recommend you not do yoga so you can continue to be American.

You might say that yoga makes you more flexible.  That’s a great trait for a woman to have, because us men are disgusting and we immediately apply it to sexual situations, but when have you ever heard someone refer to a man as “flexible” where it’s been a positive thing?  When you hear “That man is flexible” it’s usually followed up with the qualifier of “Morally.”  Once you’ve past puberty, every time a man brags about being able to touch his toes, a bunch of attractive women in referee outfits come out like a Bud Light commercial having a fantasy about an Axe Body Spray commercial, only instead of doing anything positive they hand you a card informing you that no woman will touch you sexually for the next calendar year.

Pictured above:  Someone not impressed by the fact you do yoga

So kid yourself all you want, Point-guy.  I think we both know you’re just embarrassed that the staff and I were going through your email inbox and saw that confirmation for your yoga class.  So you’re trying to rationalize it.  But come on, after a while, just give it up.  Man up and hit the weight room, or stop exercising and just sit on your couch all day drinking beer and eating unhealthy food.  Like a man.  Like an Americman.

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