Real Men Do Yoga

Although the yoga world seems to be dominated by women, Bikram Yoga at Brick Canvas studio owner and manager Joanne Dehlin says the practice is perfect for men as well. "Yoga is ideal for men," explains Joanne. "It's physical yet healing. It's the same routine, so they can gauge their progress. It increases flexibility while building muscle and healing old injuries. I'm impressed with the variety of ages, fitness levels, and professions of men doing yoga at Brick Canvas. These are real men doing yoga on a regular basis and experiencing the benefits for themselves."

· Josh Burkman, a professional UFC martial artist, has been doing yoga for more than 10 years. When he first started he was typically the only guy in the class. "Now the room might be half full of men," observes Josh, who is currently training for a February fight in Las Vegas. "Yoga is a great complement to my intensive training regimen when I'm getting ready for a fight, and then it's the perfect way to recover after the fight as well."

Brett Bailey

Brett Bailey

· Brett Bailey went to his first Bikram Yoga class on his 47th birthday. "I was overweight, awkward, shy, and felt totally out of my element," he recalls. "I struggled to make it through that first class, but I knew intuitively that I had to go at least a few times before writing it off. After my fifth class, I knew that it was going to be a part of my life. Yoga has given me a few hours out of every week to put all the other pressing things in my life aside and focus on three areas of my life: physical, emotional, and spiritual. It has been tremendous to see my body transform slowly but steadily. My mind is quieter, and I am able to focus better."

· Rain or shine, Paul Fisher attends the 6 AM yoga class three times a week. A retired schoolteacher suffering from Parkinson's disease, Paul says his regular practice helps keep the Parkinson's at bay. "Bikram Yoga works on all aspects of fitness-flexibility, cardiovascular, strength, mental toughness, meditation, and mental concentration," he says. "It's also highly individual in nature, yet I gain strength from the others in the room who are going through the experience with me. It's an intensive sport, but it gives me a sense of accomplishment.

· Joseph Edelman, ran and lifted weights regularly but was experiencing some lower back pain. His doctor suggested adding stretching to his exercise routine, so Joseph picked up yoga. He was hooked after his first class, attending once a week then three times a week; he now faithfully attends classes six days a week. "Yoga allows me to be active and capable in whatever I choose to do," he says. "For me it forms the core of the active lifestyle that I want to live. I am stronger, more flexible, happier, and continue to meet new friends that inspire me on a daily basis."

· Affectionately called the 6 AM class president, Ted Cowan is also dedicated to daily practice. He started yoga when he ruptured two discs in his back while stealing third base in a softball game. "I did score on the next base hit," he observes, "but I paid dearly for it. I have told my friends how Bikram has helped my body heal my back and how anyone can benefit from Bikram Yoga at any age. Bikram Yoga is a meditation, blood-flow, breathing, stretching, whole-body workout that brings me a sense of well-being every day without destroying my knees or feeling like I've been run over by a semi."

· Scott (he would rather not use his last name to preserve his privacy) had buddies who practiced yoga, and they often invited him to come along. "I didn't know a lot about it other than it was hard, so for the longest time I didn't go," he says. "Then I went. My first class I realized that to maintain the quality of life I wanted, I needed to do Bikram Yoga for the rest of my life. It kicks your butt; there's nothing easy about it. But my flexibility is incredible. I can bend and stretch and it helps my joints and ligaments. It detoxes my body and quiets my mind."

· One of the newest male yogis at Brick Canvas, Anuj Mishra attends classes with his wife, Pallavi, who read about it online. "I have seen improvement in overall flexibility," says Anuj, who calls Bikram Yoga a "revelation" in his life. "My body feels lighter through the day, my mind feels focused, and I have an urge to eat better food and drink lots of water, which has additional benefits."