Men and Yoga. Sounds like a match NOT made in heaven, right? Since the primitive age, men have been more into doing demanding jobs like hunting, carrying huge blocks of wood, cutting trees for food & fire, and taking care of the family in general. Even though the times have changed, and gender does not make sense in the modern world, still the basic instinct of going beyond the limits is still engraved in a man’s blood. Interestingly, this sub-conscious thought protocol stays intact even during choosing the kind of workouts. No gender biases here but you would find more men at gyms lifting weights, pushing the limits, and whatnot.
Yoga is such a No-No for men these days. Pretzel like poses, twisting their arms to form a snake-like figure, or sitting in a lotus position chanting OM, it is already extra to even think about it. However, just like any other form of art, the art of Yoga & meditation does not care about gender and has the same positive effects on each one of us.
So, Why Do Men Need Yoga
Why not? Workplace responsibilities, family relationships, daily household chores (yes, men do share this space with the ladies), assuring financial stability and the list goes on. Men have a lot to do and prove too. According to many scientific studies and surveys, Stress is the number one reason why people face troubles in every sphere of their lives and men being more susceptible to negative distressed situations. No doubt why have higher chances of heart issues and diabetes.
Yoga massages every organ of the body balances the hormones brings the stress level (the heck) down and attends to every nook and corner of your possibly diseased body. So many advantages and most men fall for the “Yoga is for women only” notions.
How Can Men Inculcate the Art in Life?
- Go for Yoga retreats with family in order to get an idea of the art and how it feels to submerge the soul in a blissful activity. It is a perfect idea for vacation and time away from cacophony.
- There are different Yoga Teachers training at different places that offer free classes and even an opportunity to learn the art.
Here are 10 Yoga poses for men:
Forward Fold or Uttanasana
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- As you stand in the position, hinge forward and lower the abs towards the ground.
- You can bend your knees a little to lessen any pressure on the back or hamstrings.
- Get hold of your ankles, or your elbows with opposite hands.
- Let the Gravity do its job and you just have to relax your entire body all this while. Especially the neck.
Downward Facing Dog or AdhoMukhaShvanasana
- Stand firm on your palms and knees together with your feet and knees width apart.
- Pressing strong and hard on your palms, lift your knees off the ground and keep your legs straight.
- Do not stress your hamstrings or back, if there is stiffness, you can bend your knees a little.
- Lengthen the pose by walking your feet backward and hands forward, making a long and stretched pose.
- Relax your whole body and gradually tuck in your abs and try engaging your cores.
- Take deep breaths and repeat the pose.
Chair Pose or Utkaṭāsana
- Stand tall with your big toes touching each other and hands up in the air straight by the elbows.
- Make sure to keep the palms facing each other and a deep breath in.
- Slowly exhale, bend your knees and gradually sit back as if you are about to sit on a chair.
- Make sure your knees do not go past the toes and the spine is lengthened.
- The tail bone should be dropped low (not much) and keep stress out of your back.
- Keep those abs engaged and knees together.
Crescent Lunge orUtthitaAshwaSanchalanasana
- Start with positioning your hands and knees. Step your one foot forward as if you are about to do a lunge with your other knee just above the heel.
- Slowly inhale ad lift your knee on the ground up in the air with back heel right towards the wall in the background.
- Make sure to keep back straight and spine long, as you hold the position together.
- Hold the pose for one minute and repeat with the other side.
Warrior Pose or Virbhadraasna
- Go back to the Crescent Pose with your right foot out in a lunge position.
- Spin your one toe (left or right) in the same direction as the chosen toe and press the heels down.
- Slowly inhale and stretch your arms up and head both so that your palms face each other at the top.
- Also, your torso must come up and off towards the front thigh.
- Hold this position for one minute and change the side.
Bridge or SetuBandhasana
- Lie on your back on a Yoga mat or on bare ground, knees bent, feet flat on the ground.
- Stay in this position in a way that you can easily tickle the back of your heels but here, grab the heels as much as you can.
- Inhale slowly and lift your body up while you look towards the sky.
- Press the back of your arms gently so that you have support.
- Remain in the position for 1-5 breaths and come back.
Boat Pose or Naukasana
- Sit firmly on the floor and your knees bent and foot on the floor in front of you.
- Place your hands behind your glutes and lean towards the arms for support.
- As you perform the pose, make sure to keep the core engaged and spine straight.
- Lift both of your legs with hands extended outwards and the upper body in harmony and together coming to a boat-like shape.
- It must be like forming a 45-degree angle with respect to the floor.
- Make sure the boat pose has your legs straight and spine straight in alignment.
Reclining Big Toe or SuptaPadangusthasana
- Lie on your back with the spine and legs all relaxed and placed on the floor.
- Extend you’re facing the ceiling at 90 degrees and right leg extended along the ground.
- Slowly bend the left knee towards your chest using your hands.
- Make a loop like a strap structure around the left foot and straighten the other leg at a 90-degree angle.
- Hold for 5 breaths and change.
Happy Baby Pose or Ananda Balasana
- Lie on your back and slowly exhale while bending your knees close to your belly.
- Now inhale slowly while holding the outsides of the feet.
- Open the knees to an area slightly broader than the abs.
- The ankles should be placed over the knees and shins perpendicular to the floor.
- Gently press the feet against the hands and pulling down the hand while you create a sturdy resistance.
Seated Forward Bend or Paschimottanasana
- Sit on the floor with bottoms supported on the Yoga mat or a blanket folded and legs straight outwards in the front.
- Rock towards your left buttocks, and while you do this, try pulling the right sitting bone using the right hand.
- Slowly inhale, and lean forward while keeping the torso straight and engaged.
- There is no need to do it forcefully as the back might be stiff from a sedentary lifestyle.
- Come back to the original position without giving stress to the back of the stretched legs.
Yoga is for everyone. To help you grow and prosper in every sphere of yoga lifestyle.