Not the most obvious of titles for sure, it’s hard enough getting most men into a yoga class in general, let alone convincing them that they should take up teaching pregnant women someday. As the ‘macho’ male stereotype is still yet to be fully broken by most societies, the idea that men may one day consider teaching pregnancy yoga seems like a long way off.
Ending the Battle of the Sexes
For most women being pregnant is an intimate and magical experience; being able to create a life is a true miracle. While men can equally revel in the creation of life, some may argue that they will never quite be able to relate to the experience. In such circumstances it’s understandable that when it comes to pregnancy yoga, women have taken to the teaching.
I’m here to make the case for men, from both the benefit of men and for women. You see in my opinion, the moment men start to feel comfortable teaching pregnancy yoga, and pregnant women feel comfortable being taught by men, the closer we’ll get to true equality between the sexes, leading to an evolution of consciousness. Before delving deeper into my suggestions for how men teaching pregnancy yoga will lead to an evolution, we need to go back to the origins of the current misunderstandings between the sexes.
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The Macho Male and Closed Down Female
The idea of being a man has taken on many different forms, most notably the suggestion that men should repress their emotions in order to become a ‘true man’. While in many Western cultures men are opening up to the possibility that there is life outside of beer and sports, there is still a large percentage of the world which hasn’t yet.
Granted strength of character, will and determination are strong markers for modern masculinity. However, there is no support structure teaching men how to do so in a compassionate, empathetic and loving way. Historically this has led to men taking advantage of women, in an ongoing power struggle between the sexes. Equally those men willing to try and open up to their emotions undergo an onslaught of judgement from their male peers and sometimes even women themselves.
Women in their truest expression are living embodiments of freedom and passion. Arguably, their quest for compassion has softened men for the better. Unfortunately, a number of factors have suppressed the females nurturing spirit, thus closing them off. The mainstream media in particular, has exposed women in a way which constantly objectifies the female physical form. This, along with numerous other factors, has created a distrust in men for large amounts of women. If they truly opened up to men they may be left vulnerable in a space of judgement.
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Male Pregnancy Yoga Teachers?
First and foremost, I must commend the men and women who have continued to break the status quo. Men who no longer repress their emotions and women who have the courage to break free from the judgements of society are modern-day pioneers for gender equality. Here are some reasons why men teaching pregnancy yoga will accelerate this equality:
1. Men will become more nurturing
Yoga is a discipline which puts any practitioner more in touch with their bodies; certainly the physical act of stretching opens us up emotionally. Anyone deciding to teach will have to become more nurturing and aware of the body, and its accompanying emotional manifestations. Teaching yoga to pregnant women in particular requires the most amounts of care and attention, and for this reason men will have to explore their nurturing sides.
2. Men will become more appreciative of women
If anyone needed any other excuse to admire the miracle of birth, teaching pregnancy yoga could be one. Especially since men cannot experience the same thing on such an intimate level, it gives men more of a chance to take part and appreciate the way women go through pregnancy. Even learning to teach yoga to pregnant women will help men understand more about what women experience during this time.
3. Women will become more appreciative of men
Whether or not a woman would choose to go to a pregnancy yoga class taught by a man is entirely subjective, and indeed a lot of people have a preference for the gender of their yoga teachers in general.
It could be argued that women who decide to go to a pregnancy yoga class taught by a man, will be more appreciative of the active roles which these men have decided to take. Thus starting to open up to men in general.
On a grand scale, a society where men are jumping at the opportunity to teach pregnancy yoga, and women who are comfortable going to their classes, will thrive from the perspective of gender equality. As a result, commending the qualities of compassion, empathy and love will be the new male stereotype.