Hotpod Yoga Instructor Eddie Sullivan: ‘How Yoga Can Transform a Man’s Body’
-Feb 3, Hannah Hargrave , Fitness -
If you’re a guy who thinks yoga’s not for you, you’re not alone. But before you dismiss the ideas of adding some zen to your wellness regime you might want to see what Hotpod Yoga instructor, Eddie Sullivan, shared with Lumity about the ways yoga can transform your body and mind. Eddie also runs The Whole Co and you can follow him on social media too @mangomanmovemnt & @thewholeco
Most people would jump at the opportunity to tone up, add strength, stand taller and feel more relaxed, but when the answer to all of this is yoga, there’s sometimes a recoil – especially in men.
Eddie himself was hesitant to try it, even as a fitness instructor, but he was hooked after just one class and still is, 10-years down the line.
Here he talks about why you shouldn’t let lack of flexibility or fear of the unknown stop you from rolling out a yoga mat, because kickstarting your future as a yogi can give you results you never thought possible.
Related: A beginner’s guide to hot yoga
How and when did you get into yoga?
“I got into yoga when I was 24-years-old,” says Eddie who teaches the sweat inducing HotPod Yoga classes in Worthing. “I was already in the wellness industry working as a fitness instructor and was looking for ways to manage niggling injuries and my lack of flexibility, I also knew of the mental benefits of yoga and at the time was struggling with self limiting beliefs and a lack of motivation.
“It took me a while to pluck up the courage to go to my first class. I had a preconceived idea of what yoga was and to be honest was intimated by the idea of going to a yoga class. My first class crushed all those beliefs and I was hooked!”
What was it about yoga that got you going back for more?
“Realising how disconnected to my body I was,” he says. “I thought I was in tune with my body through my fitness training but yoga showed me a whole new level of mind to body connection. Although my first class was a little bit frustrating because I wasn’t able to get myself into most postures, the class ended with me feeling amazing.
“I felt I had a deeper understanding of where my body was at and what it needed, it needed more yoga.”
I think there is still a misconception from a lot of men who think yoga is easy or a more feminine form of exercise, but that’s not the case is it?
“Yoga is both feminine and masculine, it’s both easy and hard. Yoga is what you make it, as it’s individual to you regardless of gender, age or race. If your intention with yoga is to build strength you will find strength, if your intention is to relax you will find relaxation. Instead of viewing yoga as exercise, try to see it as a tool for self inquiry, to observe what’s happening in the body and in the mind to gain a deeper connection to yourself.”
What are the main things men will notice about their bodies when they make yoga a consistent part of their fitness regime?
“They may notice more flexibility, better posture, healthier joints, improved digestion, higher sex drive and increased body awareness to name a few. There’s a broad range of benefits you may experience as yoga is multi-faceted and individual to you.”
Does yoga work well alongside a strength training regime?
“Yes yoga works well alongside weight training,” Eddie says. “It may help with range of movement, mind to muscle connection and quicker recovery times.”
For a guy who hasn’t ever done yoga is there a certain type you would suggest them trying?
“Try them all! Most classes are beginner friendly so just go for it. If a class is advanced and not suitable for beginners it will say so. If you’re not quite ready for a class, have a look online and start home.”
Because yoga isn’t a one size fits all either, is it? Meaning if a man goes to a class and doesn’t like it, it’s still worth trying a different one?
“Most certainly, If you don’t feel like the yoga class is suitable for you, try another class, or another instructor. The main thing is to try and experience for yourself.”
How many times a week would you suggest they practice yoga?
“Once a week to begin and see how it feels, then increasing to two or three times a week is a good start.”
Related: 7 celebrities who swear by yoga
With consistency and alongside a healthy diet how quickly can men expect to start seeing the positive changes in their body from yoga?
“As with any type of physical training it can take up to six weeks to see physical changes,” Eddie explains. “So if you’ve been working hard for a month but haven’t seen any changes yet, keep going, don’t give up just yet.”
In addition for what it can physically do for your body, yoga is really great for the mind too, isn’t it?
“The physical benefits are amazing but the mental health benefits can literally be life changing. Yoga teaches us so much about ourselves. Everything we learn on the mat is transferable to real life, one aspect of yoga is learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, learning how to slow down the incessant chatter of the mind, to recognise when we’re giving in to self limiting beliefs and being able to change our internal dialogue to be more encouraging.
“Yoga also helps to release feel good hormones like dopamine and serotonin so can help keep you in a positive mind set.”
For more yoga inspiration see what TV star and ‘EnergyRise’ founder Maude Hirst told Lumity about getting over her fear of yoga and meditation, and how it ultimately changed her life.