Yoga is an ancient and incredible form of exercise that could be a tremendous benefit to your life.
There are numerous physical and mental health benefits to this practice, and it has been used for generations as a way to clear the mind and build strength in the body.
In more modern times, yoga has been adopted into western culture, and you'll be able to find classes all across the world.
It's a great way to start or continue your fitness regime, and if you're looking to get fit, then yoga will help you achieve your goals quicker than any other workout.
Yoga can also be helpful for those who suffer from depression, anxiety, and stress. When we feel stressed, our bodies release adrenaline which causes us to tense up and become anxious.
This often leads to feelings of sadness and anger. However, by practicing yoga regularly, you can reduce these negative emotions and allow yourself to relax.
So let's say you're considering getting into yoga, let's say you're a male – but there is so much stigma around yoga for men that you think it might not be for you.
Well, that's where we're here to help! In this article we're going to help you get into yoga as a man, we'll cover the benefits and dispel some surrounding stigmas!
History Of Yoga
If you're not convinced, let's consider some history of yoga. Yoga was originally developed in India thousands of years ago and is still practiced today.
Ancient texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads were written before yoga became popularized in the west. These writings describe yoga as a spiritual path that promotes peace and tranquility within the soul.
The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit language and means “to yoke” or “union”. Yoga literally translates to union and refers to the connection between the individual self (atman) and the universal energy (brahman).
Traditionally, yoga focuses on achieving balance through proper breathing and movement. Modern day practitioners use yoga to improve their overall well-being by increasing focus and concentration while improving posture and muscle tone.
Benefits Of Yoga For Men
There are many types of yoga and each one offers unique benefits. Some people prefer to work out using weights or cardio equipment, but yoga is a fantastic alternative.
It doesn't require any special equipment, and you can perform it anywhere. Here are some of the most common benefits of yoga:
1. Improves Posture
Many people spend hours sitting at a desk every day, which can lead to poor posture. By performing yoga exercises, you'll be able to strengthen your core muscles and improve your posture.
2. Increases Flexibility
Yoga is known for its ability to increase flexibility. By stretching your muscles, you'll be able to increase blood flow throughout your entire body.
3. Boosts Strength
Doing yoga for strength is an excellent way to not just build muscle and strength, but also improve endurance. Through various movements, you'll be able to burn calories and build lean muscle mass.
4. Reduces Stress
One of the biggest benefits of yoga is that it reduces stress levels. By focusing on breathing techniques and relaxation, you'll be able to relieve tension and calm down.
5. Helps With Weight Loss
Although yoga isn't considered a weight loss exercise per se, it does help burn calories. By strengthening your core and working your upper body, you'll be more likely to lose weight than in other workouts.
6. Promotes Overall Well-Being
According to research, yoga has been shown to improve mood and decrease symptoms associated with depression. In addition, it helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improves sleep quality, and increases energy.
7. Enhances Focus And Concentration
When you're feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, yoga will help you relax and clear your mind. By focusing on breath control and meditation, you'll be able to reduce anxiety and feel more relaxed.
8. Improves Digestion
Since yoga involves deep breathing, it stimulates digestion. This makes it great for those who suffer from digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea.
9. Relieves Pain
Yoga has also been proven to help alleviate pain. The gentle stretching motions used in yoga can release tightness in your back, neck, shoulders, and hips.
Basic Yoga Exercises For Men
In this section, we're going to outline some of the best yoga exercises for men new to yoga. These are simple poses that anyone can do. You don't need any fancy equipment or experience to get started!
1. Warrior Pose
Warrior pose is a basic yoga pose that's perfect for beginners. To start, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Next, inhale deeply, then exhale as you bend forward at the waist until your chest touches your thighs. Hold for 5 seconds before slowly returning to standing. Try doing warrior pose three times.
2. Mountain Pose
Mountain pose is another basic yoga pose. Start by standing tall with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms above your head and stretch them outward.
Then, bring your palms together and place your hands over your heart. Finally, tilt your chin slightly upward, so you look toward the sky. Stay here for five breaths.
3. Seated Forward Bend
Seated forward bend is one of the most popular yoga poses for men. It requires no special equipment and only takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Being seated with your legs extended in front of you. Next, fold forward at the waist and rest your forehead on the floor. Take five slow, deep breaths while keeping your spine long.
4. Child's Pose
Child's pose is another relaxing yoga pose for men. Start by lying face down on the ground. Next, roll onto your belly and hug your knees into your chest. Wrap your arms around your shins and hold on tightly. Stay here for five deep breaths.
5. Corpse Pose
Corpse pose is a very calming yoga pose. To begin, lie flat on your back with your arms stretched overhead. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths. Afterward, remain still for two full minutes.
6. Legs Up The Wall
Legs up the wall is a simple yet challenging yoga exercise for men. First, find a sturdy wall and sit against it. Place your heels on the wall and lean back until you feel comfortable.
Extend your arms alongside your body and interlace your fingers behind your head. Now, lift yourself up using your arms and hang upside down until you feel balanced.
7. Side Angle Stretch
To do a side angle stretch, lie on your right side with your left arm bent 90 degrees at your hip. Raise your head and gaze towards your right hand. Stay here for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
8. Low Lunge With Twist
Low lunge with twist is an advanced yoga move that will challenge even experienced yogis. Start by placing your left foot forward and bending both knees.
Your right knee should be directly below your ankle. Step your right foot out to the side until it's parallel to the mat. Keep your torso upright and turn your upper body 45 degrees to your right. Reach your left arm high above your head and grab a strap attached to the ceiling.
Hold on to the strap and keep your right leg planted firmly on the ground. Breathe deeply and stay here for 20 seconds. Switch legs and repeat on the opposite side.
9. Down Dog
Down dog is a great beginner yoga posture for men. Stand up straight with your feet together. Next, step your left foot back and lower your body until you're hovering just off the ground.
Bend your elbows and reach your hands toward the floor as if you were reaching for something. Stay here for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on the other leg.
Tips For Getting Into Yoga
If you want to try yoga but aren’t sure where to start, here are some tips to keep in mind:
• Don't worry if you haven't exercised in years. Many people find they have to work harder than they expected when starting yoga.
• If you've never tried yoga before, choose a class that's right for you. There are yoga for muscle building, while some classes focus on strength training and flexibility. Many combine different elements.
• Find a teacher you connect with. A good instructor will push you to go deeper during practice sessions, but won't force you to do things you don't enjoy.
• Always warm up before practicing yoga. Stretching muscles prepares them for the physical demands of exercise, which means you'll be able to move more freely without feeling stiff.
• Remember to breathe properly. Inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth helps oxygen flow throughout your body. This promotes better circulation and reduces stress.
• Keep your body aligned. Stand up straight, avoid slouching, and make sure your toes point directly downward.
So there you have it! Yoga is a fantastic practice that is sure to be a great addition to your life. There has traditionally been some stigma around yoga and men, but that's mostly a thing of the past!
Yoga is for everyone, and you only have to go to a class, or start practicing yourself to see the reasons why! We hope that this article has helped you understand the basics of yoga and why you might want to start practicing it!
If you still have some questions, check below for a short FAQ section that will aim to help you with any additional questions you might need!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Yoga Cost?
Practicing yoga can be done for free, or you can pay as little as $10 per month to join an online community.
The price varies depending on the type of membership you choose. You can also attend local classes for free, although these may not offer all the same benefits as private lessons.
What Should I Wear to Yoga?
You can dress comfortably while doing yoga. However, it's best to wear loose clothing that doesn't restrict movement. Avoid wearing anything too tight, since this could cause discomfort during postures.
Can I Get Injured Whilst Practicing Yoga?
Yes, injuries are common among new practitioners. Be sure to follow proper safety guidelines and listen to your body.
Is Yoga Safe For Pregnant Women?
Yes, yoga poses are generally safe for pregnant women. It's important to consult your doctor before beginning a new workout routine.
Where Can I Learn More?
There are thousands of books available that teach students how to perform specific yoga poses. Websites such as Yogajournal.com provide information on various styles of yoga.
Do I Need To Be Flexible To Do Yoga?
If you're new to yoga, there's no need to worry about being too flexible or not flexible enough. You don't have to be super flexible to do yoga; it's actually quite possible to practice yoga even if you have limited flexibility.
As long as you keep your spine straight and hold poses correctly, you'll be fine! If you're just starting out, I'd recommend taking a class, so you can observe what others are doing. Once you've mastered the basics, you can start practicing yoga without anyone watching you.
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