I'm not your typical yoga practitioner.
First of all, I'm a dude. I'm tall (six feet, seven inches, to be exact). I played basketball for four years at Columbia. I was president of my fraternity. And after college, I worked on Wall Street as an equities trader for five years.
After years of sports injuries and work travel, I had dislocated shoulders, separated shoulders, stress fractures, bone spurs and disc problems. I'll stop there because now I'm totally fine and have absolutely no pain, partly due to yoga.
So how does a tall, ex-Wall Street-trading fraternity-jock end up practicing yoga?
Because competitive sports are rough on the body. I'm 35 and playing pick-up basketball just really isn't an option, as I'm always just one rebound (or, I'd still like to think, one dunk) away from my shoulder popping out. Not fun.
Because the gym lacks camaraderie and community. Since I turned 15, I've been hitting the gym an average of three to five times a week, lifting weights, doing the elliptical (or the "perpetual motion machine" as my good friend Michael Taylor likes to call it). Granted, lifting weights in the gym was a lot more fun in college when our whole team would lift together in the off-season or before practice. But since then, it just isn't the same.
Because I got married. Yes, another benefit of marriage, other than love and tax benefits, is finding an activity that's good for the body that you can do together. Since we both work a ton, finding date time is sometimes difficult. So what better date than a fitness date? Lifting weights together isn't a viable option for us and neither is running (not so good on my knees).
Because I found a class that was a fit for me. For a tall dude who who is looking for a workout, finding the right class is key. Quick movements with my body curled up scare me, but long and gentle movements where I feel a stretch and my quads or triceps burning is something that my body can handle.
So, for me, it was a blend of finding a replacement for my ex-athletic, now-injured body, something that my wife and I could enjoy together. But enough about me. Let's talk about all the other dudes out there who are sitting on the perpetual yoga-fence:
Jason Wachob is founder of MindBodyGreen, an online yoga and wellness guide. A former Wall Street trader, Jason is now focused on building companies that promote wellness. He has a BA in history from Columbia University, where he played varsity basketball for four years. Jason lives in Brooklyn with his wife.