Yoga has been known to draw different conceptions for different people. For some, it leads them to experience the ultimate state of mind, for some, it is the perfect way to remain holistically healthy, while for some, it is the path to complete enlightenment. With conceptions come certain misconceptions as well such as – yoga is for skinny people, yoga is only for those who want to gain flexibility and tone, yoga is for women and not for burly, athletic, gym going men, and so on. The truth though?
The truth is, ‘Yoga is for Everyone’. Period!
It is for the old, the young, the challenged, the balanced, the female, and every such soul who seeks mental and physical wellness. And yes, yoga is for ‘men’ too. If you have been shying away from yoga, then here is a surprise for you, you are most likely doing it already. Remember those planks you do? That’s YOGA. The stretches you do to warm up the body, that is YOGA too. Those deep breaths you take to calm your nerves, that’s YOGA, my friend. So yeah, if partake in such activities, then you are doing Yoga already. You just need to take it up a few notches to experience the amazing benefits that the yogic science has in store for you.
Yoga benefits us all and it is especially beneficial for men. Just one yoga class a week alone can help increase endurance in men, decrease the chances of developing cardiovascular disease, and also build their bodies to recover faster from any injuries they sustain. The impact of injuries is higher when there is stiffness in our body, yoga helps release that stiffness and makes way for the wounds to heal faster or not get badly injured at all. Yoga offers a complete workout to both men and women.
Guys! Practice these yoga poses and stretch and strengthen even your tightest areas such as shoulders, back, knees and hips.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana Variation (or Half Down Dog at the Wall)
Perfect pose to start with, this posture stretches the hamstrings, calves and hip muscles while strengthening the legs and knees. Start by placing both your palms on the wall such that the torso and the hips are at the same level (or the upper body is parallel to the floor). Now press the wall and lift your buttocks upwards to feel a deep stretch in the hamstrings. Inhale and hold the position for 30 seconds while taking deep breaths. Make sure the neck remains in line with the spine. Repeat the pose 5 times.
- Virabhadrasana (or Warrior I Yoga Pose)
For the perfect stretch in the shoulders and hips and to gain strength in the upper and lower body, this pose is performed. Form a crescent lunge position by putting your right foot forward and rotate the toe of the left foot towards the heel of the right. Stretch your arms upwards as you perform the lunge and push your back inwards to form a half moon shape. Hold the pose for a minute before coming to the initial position. Perform the pose with the other leg as well.
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (or Bridge pose)
Perfect for stretching the torso, neck, spine and buttocks, to get into this pose, lie flat on your back. Bent your knees to let the feet rest on the floor. Make sure your knees are in the same line as your heels. Inhale and gently lift your hips off the floor till your chest is aligned with your chin. Exhale and inhale while staying in the position for 30 seconds. Release the pose and repeat the steps for 5 times.
- Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (or Hamstring stretch with belt)
Give a deep stretch to your hamstrings, thighs, and calves with this pose. To perform the pose, lie on your back and lift your left leg. Take the yoga strap or belt over your left foot and hold both sides of the belt. Stretch the left heel away while letting the belt take support of the sole of your left feet. Take a few deep breaths as you remain grounded on your back. Repeat these steps with the other leg as well.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (or Downward Facing Dog Pose)
This is the ideal asana to release stress knots in the feet, shoulders, hamstrings, and calves while building strength in the arms, legs and abdomen. To perform this pose, come into a table-top position which means getting on your knees and palms, all hip-width apart. Spread your palms into the ground to gain strong stability. Now, lift your knees upwards till you have straightened your legs (you can keep your knees slightly bent if you feel any discomfort in the hamstrings).
Slowly take a few steps with your hands to move forward and walk back with your feet to make a perfect triangle with your body. Rest your head between your biceps to face your feet. Breathe deeply as you engage your core by sucking your stomach inwards. Hold the pose for 120 seconds and relax. Repeat this pose up to 2 more times.
- Ardha Dhanurasana or Half Bow Pose
Ideal for stretching the hips, shoulders, and thighs along with strengthening the back, perform this posture by lying on your stomach. Take your left arm back, stretching it all the way to the back. Stretch your right arm in front of you and your right leg out behind you. Now bend your left knee and let the heel face your buttocks. Take a breath in and grab the outside of your ankle (left) with your hand and gently lift the left thigh off the floor. Exhale and inhale as you keep lifting the thigh upwards. Hold the pose for half a minute and then release. Now repeat these steps while switching sides. To perform the full bow pose, try performing both the sides together.
You will start experiencing the benefits of these yoga asanas from the first week itself. Don’t let the practice stop here as when it comes to yoga practices, “sky is the limit!” Take your yoga practice to an advanced level with certified yoga programs in India. Study at the best yoga school in Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world and enroll in a 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh at internationally-accredited yoga schools such as Yoga Vidya School, a yoga school run by noted yoga master Prashant Jakhmola.
Author : Prashant Jakhmola
This is prashant jakhmola, I born in Rishikesh (world capital of yoga), I started my yoga journey around 10 years ago from Shivanda ashram in Rishikesh, after one years of study at shivanda I moved to ‘Bihar school of yoga’ where I lived for one year and finish my yoga trainings (teacher training course, prana shuddhi course, yoga therapy course, yoga studies course). after completing my sadhana t I came back to my academic study in Rishikesh where and completed my graduation in biology and then master in yoga science, in currently I am practicing ashtanga yoga from kpjay Mysore and practicing intense pranayama technique in Rishikesh I am also sharing my practice through my teaching since last 5 years at Rishikesh and i have visited other part of the world to teach such as Indonesia, Russia, France, Nepal, Romania . at present I am running a yoga school in Rishikesh “YOGA VIDYA SCHOOL” where we provide yoga teachers training courses, yoga retreats and workshops.