Yoga is not just for women! Here are ten poses for the male yogi.
Practicing yoga has amazing benefits for both the men and women, but did you know there are certain yoga poses that are especially beneficial for men? It’s true that there are fewer men out there who actually practice yoga, since many don’t really understand what yoga is all about. But men should be aware that yoga actually strengthens your muscles and, at the same time, provides a great cardiovascular workout, so it’s a really good way to stay in shape.
Men, try practicing the ten yoga poses below on a daily basis. You can even just incorporate them into your existing workout routine. You’re sure to be pleasantly surprised with the results!
By Devakar Sandhu
Chair pose or Utkatasana can be arduous even for the extremely fit male. This pose builds strength in the ankles, shoulders, quadriceps and glutes. It is also great to build stability and to stimulate the abdominal organs.
If you want to strengthen your deep core, your hip flexors and spine, practice Boat pose. This posture is especially beneficial for men as it stimulates the prostate gland, reduces tension in the pelvic region and aids the digestive system.
Standing Forward Fold
Uttanasana helps stretch the muscles, increase blood circulation and relieve stress. It is a great pose for active men to nurture themselves and reclaim their center. A Standing Forward Fold invites the back body to open including the hamstrings, calves and knees. This pose can also relieve tension in the spine, neck, and back and improve digestion.
Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog has become a staple in our yoga practice, and for good reason! This pose appears simple but can be very challenging. Down Dog gives the body well-rounded benefits and specifically strengthens your back, hips, calves, hamstrings, and shoulders. It’s a great posture for men because it’s a full body stretch, a great warm-up and also helps quiet the mind.
Low Lunge is fantastic for men because it allows the hip flexors to open and a great way to practice balance. This pose lengthens and strengthens much of the body including hips, chest, spine, knees and ankles.
It is not unusual for men to experience tight muscles throughout the torso. Bridge pose can help tremendously to open the upper body and release tight muscles. A regular practice of Bridge pose will generate more space in the chest, and also helps with insomnia, fatigue, anxiety and headaches.
Half Pigeon Pose
Half Pigeon pose can be a challenge if you have tight hips, but is also very beneficial for the hips. This pose helps you find length in the hamstrings, glutes, adductors and hip flexors. Those who are active in a lot of physical activity and carry heavy objects will greatly benefit from this pose. Half Pigeon is a favorite among yoga practitioners because when we open our tight hips, we are able to find relief in other areas like the lower back.
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
Reclining Hand to Big Toe is a fantastic pose to allow a slow and gentle opening of the body. In a reclined position, we can really focus on our breath and releasing tension. This pose opens the low back and hamstrings and is helpful to those with high blood pressure. It also helps to stimulate the prostate gland and improve digestion.
This pose is a great way to build full body strength. It opens the hips, chest and shoulders and strengthens the ankles, calves, and thighs.
This pose is great for the male athletes as well and anyone who does a lot of physical work as it strengthens the low back. Any sport that involves running, jumping or dynamic movements generates tension in the low back. If we continue these activities and avoid stretching and releasing tension in the muscles, this increases risk for injury. Cobra pose will help the male yogi find relief as well as build strength in the spine.
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All images courtesy of YogiApproved.com.