Practising yoga can be a fantastic way for men to build strength, both physically and mentally, and it can be a great way to challenge and push your body, as you journey towards becoming the best version of yourself.
Yoga can be practised in a group or by yourself at home, making it a good option for starting or ending your day, and for when you’ve got minimal equipment. Practising yoga outdoors can be a way to incorporate more mindfulness into your routine, leaving you feeling strong, relaxed and grounded all at the same time.
How Yoga and Meditation Benefit the Body
Focusing on your breathing, which is a key part of yoga and meditation, allows you to balance your mental and physical health, focus on endurance, increase concentration, build resistance and manage stress.
Yoga can also help men to maintain their muscles and joints, which is important for keeping on top of motor skills and keeping physical complications at bay as you get older.
Yoga can be an ideal complement to other types of sport; for runners, it can provide the concentration needed to manage continuous workouts and to help you to better listen to your body, as well as helping to prepare the abs and back.
Weekly yoga practice can also have benefits for guys who play football regularly; the likes of Manchester United and Aston Villa incorporate yoga into their training programmes.
3 Beginner’s Yoga Poses for Men to Try
Here are three poses for men who are new to yoga to get started with:
1. The Warrior
The warrior pose creates space where men need it most – in the hips. It also strengthens the knees and stretches other muscles throughout the body.
To get into the warrior pose, begin in a standing position and move your left foot around one metre behind you.
At the same time, bend your right knee forwards in a lunge-like position, until it is vertical with your right ankle.
Keep your chest and pelvis positioned forwards, while using your weight to push your tailbone towards the floor.
Extend your arms upwards towards the sky, keeping the palms turned inwards, lengthen your spine and lift your chest.
Maintain the position for a few breath cycles to build on your core strength.
2. The Half-Bridge
The half-bridge yoga pose is an easier one to start with than the full bridge position, although both stretch the back, chest, neck and hips.
Get your body into the half-bridge pose by lying on your back and placing your arms at your sides, with your palms facing the ground.
As you inhale, slowly lift your pelvis, tucking in your tailbone and lifting your lower back off the floor.
Continue to lift your back off the floor towards the ceiling, vertebra by vertebra, until you reach your shoulders.
Hold the pose for a few breath cycles to stretch the chest and work towards increasing your breathing capacity, which could prove beneficial in other sports.
3. The Boat
The boat position is designed to help strengthen the abdominal muscles, building on your core strength.
To get into this yoga pose, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Place your hands on the floor behind your hips and lift your chest to your breastbone, as you lean back slightly, without rounding your spine.
Raise your legs towards the ceiling, keeping them as straight as possible. Lift your arms off the floor until they’re in a position parallel to your yoga mat, with your palms facing downwards.
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