“Women are apparently turning to target-shooting in increasing numbers,” jezebel.com reports. “And some say they find the experience calming.” In specific, one Deirdre Gailey. “Yoga’s Zen-like quality can be applied to shooting guns in a lot of ways. Shooting guns takes focus, concentration, and it doesn’t always have to be about violence.” And one Lesa Ellanson, who says the sport makes her feel “relaxed.” True story? Do you go all Zen at the range? Is that a factor fueling the influx of shooting newbies, or at least keep them coming back for more?

36 Responses to Question of the Day: Are Guns the New Yoga?

  1. I’m male but “zen” (I usually call it being present) is absolutely a big part of my enjoyment at the range. Firearms are powerful tools, they demand focus. And printing tiny groups-which I sometimes enjoy doing-takes time and patience.

    • Well, Sara did just post a review of some new concealed- carry yoga pants she just tried… and damn, do they look nice on her!

  2. It is zen-like for me. I may spend two hours and only shoot 10 rounds. I stare, visualize, get comfortable, stare some more.
    Look through the scope…. Squeeze……
    Nope. Doesn’t feel right.
    Other days? I’ll go through 500 rounds in an afternoon with the pistol. Exercising. Building back muscle memory.
    Then I feel better. Because it’s all about “feelings”.

    • “Look through the scope…. Squeeze……
      Nope. Doesn’t feel right.”

      I hear ya.

      Out at the range, sun just up. Grits and a sausage gravy biscuit settling in juuuuust riiiight..

      Ah, yes… My rifle. My Precious.

      Target set up, 300 yards. A hint of wind picks up.

      Caps off the scope adjustments. A few clicks…

      Ear Pro on. Charge rifle. Finger on trigger. Gently squeeeeeeze… *BANG*

      WTF happened? I can’t shoot for… stuff. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      Geeze, that 8- year-old 3 lanes over with a Cricket is smoking my ass. Little bastard…

      Frick this noise. Guns are too expensive anyways.

      (Not really. But some days, I wonder…)

  3. Females – loose the freaking moronic flipflops, anywhere forever. They don’t make you look good, don’t protect the feet, and are just generally useless POS. Only a woman would actually exchange $ for the things.

    • Females – loose the freaking moronic flipflops, anywhere forever.(Not gonna Happen)

      They don’t make you look good(One man’s opinion),

      don’t protect the feet(Maybe not the top, but the soles do protect some),

      and are just generally useless POS(Protect you from touching the ground with your bare feet, so hardly useless).
      Only a woman would actually exchange $ for the things(I guarantee I’m male. I also have purchased a pair, great for the beach IMNSHO)

    • Sheesh, overreaction much? Where I’m from flip-flops are pretty much de-rigeur footwear 85+% of the time for both sexes, even at work in semi-professional environments for some people. They are perfect footwear. Provide all the protection from rough/hot/abrasive/dirty surfaces you need, with a minimum of weight and maximum of comfort and ventilation. Whats not to love? Why should I burden myself with hot heavy restrictive footwear when I don’t need it for safety’s/decorum’s sake?

        • Meh. I’ve chopped down trees and pushed cars wearing shorts and flip flops. Sometimes I’d rather look like a hippie than an operator – although I’m currently wearing McCrae jungle boots and my blue combat utility uniform.

        • From BLACKHAWK DOWN, a description of Delta Force habits:

          “If it was hot, they didn’t walk around in full battle gear. They wore T-shirts or no shirts at all, and shorts and flip-flops. “

  4. Going to the range can absolutely be used as a calming/relaxing experience. Accurate shooting requires focus, breathing control, gross- and fine-motor control, erc. – all things that are similar to some forms of meditation. Because of those similarities (far moreso than the actual discharge of the firearm or punching holes in paper), I have often viewed an end-of-week range trip to be an exercise in relaxation.

  5. Yes, I am definitely relaxed, calm, and empowered when I leave the range, especially outdoors on a nice day. And jogging back and forth the 100 yards many times to retrieve the targets is also good exercise. Other people have told me the same thing. One of the many things that the anti’s don’t get.

  6. Know nothing about yoga but yes, shooting holes in paper is very relaxing. Afterward a calmness lingers. Guess you could call it “The Zen Zone” But just one of the reasons for women’s interest in shooting

  7. Going to the range is calming for me. Just something about having a stall all to myself, shooting as slow or as fast as I like, being able to tune out the world and its worries. I can lose hours just being “zen”. Don’t get me wrong, plinking and bringing new shooters and stuff is fun, but my favourite aspect of the sport is just calmly focusing on the sights and target and then BAM. I even enjoy reloading my mags.

    I never understood how people could have a hobby that they are truly passionate about and could devote any amount of time to, until I started shooting.

  8. After a stressful week working, A 2 hour trip to the range can be very relaxing. On those weeks where i can’t get to the range A few hours reloading can have the same effect. Same as it is with any hobby Golf, Bowling, etc…
    Except with my hobby, I can better use my tools to defend myself or my loved ones if the needs arises.

      • “Ya know, I find that the 5 iron fills the role better than the wedge. Of course my Anger Management doctor tells me that I need to find another outlet for my stress.”

  9. Absolutely ‘Zen and the art of the gun’ in some form. The focus and concentration required to make tiny little holes at range leaves me feeling very relaxed after a morning at the range. Particularly when shooting steel at 800-1K yards.

    Even on days when I’m testing a new build and nothing works right, is still better than a day at work.

  10. Target shooting is absolutely the most relaxing sport I’ve ever engaged in.

    But dammit, Jim, I’m not wearing those stupid pants unless I’m trying out for the soprano lead in the Vienna Boys Choir.

  11. Guns and Yoga do not go together. Its a bad analogy.

    Most women who want to carry a gun should.

    Most women who want wear Yoga pants should not.

    • +1 this is so true!

      I lived through the 80’s and stirrup pants were the same way. They actually banned them at our office.

  12. Yoga and shooting have a lot more in common than most people think. I do both, occasionally at the same time.

    There is a cultural divide between the “typical” shooter and the “typical” yogi (painting with a very broad brush here), which leads many in each camp to remain ignorant and judgmental of the other group and its sport.

    This also means that yogis are a largely untapped pool of potential new shooters.

  13. Eastern monks formalized the path to enlightenment a long time ago (though I’m sure they had no monopoly on it). Repeated chanting and motion. That’s pretty much it. I accidentally confirmed their results once while trimming hedges with a gas-powered trimmer and humming a couple of bars of an Alice and Chains song over and over. The motion was very consistent, a back and forth rocking motion with the torso, a side to side rocking motion with the arms, and as I said, the same bars hummed over and over. About halfway through the job, I noticed I was feeling pretty darned good. Not ecstatic, just…good. By the time I finished, I definitely felt what I would call a floating feeling, very calm, very collected. I sat back in my work truck and admired the cloud formations.

    I’m sure it was actually farmers who discovered what the eastern monks formalized.

  14. When I got hurt at work and had to start having surgery after surgery and not being able to walk for months at a clip, the anger and frustration got pretty bad. But in between operations, as soon as I could stand, I was at the range and it helped immensely. Putting rounds down range helped me find my center and maintain my sanity.

  15. That woman could make a video throwing socks into a hamper and it would get a lot of views just due to her personality. Just fun to watch fun people having fun. Of course it helps that she is a looker.

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