Pay Attention Guys! These Poses Are For You!
As many of you fine readers out there already know, yoga is dominated by woman. Yes, guys have been taking to the mat more and more, but women still rule the yoga classrooms around the country. Most men do not think yoga is beneficial for them. They see yoga as just stretching with little cardio or strength training involved. What they don’t realize is that yoga is great for building strength and losing weight. Yoga also can give you the cardio effect you are looking for as performing certain poses increases your heart rate and improves your endurance.
The following poses are designed for the male body and will make guys realize that yoga is more than just some simple stretches. See the poses below and pass these along to those men in your life who do not think yoga is for guys!
By Devakar Sandhu
1. Utkatasana or Chair Pose
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.
How to practice Utkatasana:
- Begin standing at the top of your mat with your feet hip distance apart
- Inhale your arms overhead and as you exhale, bend the knees and lower your pelvis down as if you are sitting on a chair
- Bring the weight into the heels, keep the core engaged and the shoulders relaxed
- Arms can remain reaching overhead or reaching forward and parallel to the ground with palms facing down
- Be sure to continue to breathe as you hold this pose
2. Navasana or Boat Pose
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.
How to practice Navasana:
- Lie flat on your back with your arms by your side and keep your breath normal
- When you’re ready, inhale and lift both legs off the mat – knees can be bent or straight to increase the challenge
- Lead with your chest as you lift your upper body off the mat and reach your arms skyward
- Keep your core activated and spine straight
- Remain here for 15 to 20 seconds, or longer to continue to build core strength
3. Uttanasana or 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.
How to practice Uttanasana:
- Begin standing at the top of your mat, inhale arms overhead. Exhale, hinge at the hips and bend forward – allow your head to hang between your arms
- If the hamstrings are tight – keep the knees bent and rest your torso over your thighs as you hold opposite elbows
- In either variation, be sure to keep the upper body completely relaxed and heavy, which creates a deeper opening of the back body
4. Anjaneyasana or Low Lunge
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.
How to practice Anjaneyasana:
- Begin in Downward Facing Dog. Inhale and place your right foot forward between your hands
- Be sure your right knee forms a right angle by keeping the knee over the ankle and the thigh parallel to the floor
- You have the option to keep your left knee on the mat or keep it straight and lifted
- Your hands can be placed on the mat, in prayer at your heart or extended overhead
- Keep the inner thighs and core engaged to help keep your balance
5. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana or Bridge Pose
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.
How to practice Bridge Pose:
- Begin on your back with your knees bent and feet on the mat, heels close enough to your seat that you can touch them with your fingers, palms facing down
- Press your feet into the mat to use your legs to lift your hips high
- Keep your knees close together and thighs parallel to the floor. Arms continue to actively press into the mat
- Remain in this position for 30 seconds
See the full list of poses from Yogi Approved here.
To Your Health And Wellness!