Ten years ago, it was hard to find men at most yoga studios. Not so today. Pro athletes, musicians, and other high profile guys proudly credit yoga with keeping them on top of their game, while more and more men are venturing into yoga studios and laying down their mats. According to the latest Yoga in America study, more than 17 percent of yoga practitioners are now men.
And companies that manufacture fitness wear and gear are starting to wake up to this potential market.
A new company, YogaJack, just launched its line of men’s yoga gear, which includes an extra wide, extra long, extra thick mat; a yoga strap "designed this product to hold maximum weight and tension"; and a canvas weave yoga mat bag made with special attention to ventilation (to eliminate sweaty man smells?).
“Right now, there’s not much out there for men,” says YogaJack's Jill Nadorlik . “A lot of guys are just getting into yoga and they don’t want to just be using their girlfriends’ mats."
The company's founders, Mike Foster and Jahon Jamali, are both yoga practitioners. Jamali was also in the military, and is a big proponent of yoga for both active military and vets.
The company's website also posts articles of interest to guys, including posts on how yoga increases sex drive.
“They want to create a whole culture change around the men who do yoga," says Nadorlik. " They want to throw [the misconception] that ‘guys who do yoga are wimpy’ out the window.”
Of course, YogaJack isn't the first yoga company with men in mind. Lululemon Athletica and Manduka also have longer, wider mats in darker colors, and there are numerous companies that make yoga clothes for men. But starting a yoga company just for men? We suspect YogaJack won't be the only company soon trying to fill this niche.