Yoga for men is becoming more and more popular for their health. For both men and women, yoga helps to reduce anxiety, increase flexibility and core strength. It is not surprising that yoga classes have seen an increase in male participation by 150% in the last four years! What was holding them back?
For non-yogis, there appears to be a “no pain, no gain” mentality. If it isn’t a hardcore workout, then it isn’t really training. But yoga techniques for men can be customized and adapted to increase core work if wanted. The best program for men to make for a workout might be power yoga where a push up here and there is integrated into a grueling sequence.
“Online yoga for men” are now keywords that can list a huge source of content with 10 min yoga for men videos to do at home. All a guy has to do is pick their favorite video, get themselves a mat and maybe pick their outfit – what to wear during yoga seems to be a taboo subject in itself.
Benefits Of Yoga For Men
Yoga practice benefits men.
- A balance of the body and the mind. Studies have shown that it increases your overall fitness and reduces stress.
- Good for diabetes. Another study in India compared 30 men with type 2 diabetes and 30 men without seeing if yoga helps. And it did! After following three months of practice, diabetic yogis reduced blood glucose levels significantly.
- Improves sexual life. There are also benefits of yoga for men sexually. Yoga poses that tone the pelvic muscles and puts you in a better mood can help stimulate excitement and energy to perform.
Best Types of Yoga For Men
Hot yoga for men
Hot yoga for men has varying benefits. For the athletic types, hot yoga can help you fix recurring injuries, reduce your coughs and colds and reduce your weight. A few postures included in Bikram Yoga (hot yoga) have been found to compress and activate the digestive system flushing your organs with fresh oxygenated blood. It is also a cardiovascular workout that is lighter on the joints which normally suffer in high-impact and intense tasks during a workout like HIIT.
Hot yoga practice also compresses the throat which is needed for the thyroid. The activation of the thyroid increases metabolism and nutrient absorption. Yogis believe that certain poses massages the colon and helps remove wind. This, in turn, levels the hydrochloric acid in the gut and may fix issues such as constipation, wind, and acidity on the stomach. Basically, men’s digestive systems will get a reboot!
Power yoga for men
“Power yoga” is basically a mix of strength training and stretching. Class titles like “power yoga” or “yoga for runners” or “for athletes” will ensure that yogis get a challenging and intense workout. This is perfect for men who are looking to get more than breathwork, flexibility, balance, and stress relief from their yoga practice.
Yoga for strength training for men can be integrated into any yoga workout to increase the difficulty, but remember that yoga is beneficial in other ways outside of muscle building. Hardcore athletes suffer from tight muscles such as the shoulder, hips, and groin area. Yoga is there to release the tension in those muscles. And don’t forget, all those planks you do in any workout, stretching to rest the muscles after a workout and breathing exercises you do when you feel stressed can are all part of a yoga practice.
Face yoga for men
Yes, face yoga is a thing and men can be part of the trend too. There have been studies that show face yoga working for anti-aging. There is evidence that shows that face yoga can work for anti-aging. A study conducted by Northwestern Medicine showed that a 30-minute daily facial exercise maintained for over 20 weeks could make middle-aged women look up to three years younger.
Men can practice exercises that contract and release facial muscles which tone them up, but you need to commit. For best results, men need to do 30 mins of face yoga a day for up to six days a week. Looking for some exercises? Check out this list here.
Kegel yoga for men
Kegel exercises for men can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and bowel and affect sexual function. Many men turn to Kegel exercises after going through prostate cancer treatments to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and get them back to health. These muscles help control your urine flow.
The pelvic area has muscles, ligaments, and nerves that always seem to suffer from tightness. Many people have to learn how to release the area before they can do any strengthening exercises. Another reason for having problems around the pelvis is the difference between the left and right sides of bodies. For example, one can twist their pelvic from sitting in a bad position for too long, for too many years – like crossing one leg over another. Keegel yoga is one of the best ways to improve pelvic flexibility and strength.
Another typical problem is the imbalance between the left and right sides of the pelvic floor, which could be caused by always crossing the same leg, or standing on the same leg and throwing your other leg out to the side.
Yoga is one of the best ways to improve pelvic floor health. Here are some of the best poses for the area:
Mountain pose (Tadasana) with yoga brick
Starting with a mountain pose is always a good way to begin and to activate the hip muscles. Stand fit hip-width apart and bring a yoga brick between your thighs. This will help engage your thighs and activate the target area.
Chair pose (Utkatasana)
Integrating the Chair Poses is a great way to strengthen the pelvic area. You stretch when going down and lift when going up. Begin in Mountain Pose, and stretch out your arms straight out in front of you. While you bend your knees, bring your hips back into a squat position as you would if you were going to sit on a chair. Watch that your knees stay over your hips.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
This pose is the pose for a pelvic twist. Most people who have problems in the pelvic area will notice that in Warrior II, their lower body is imbalanced and difficult to hold in the pose. One side of your hips will be facing towards the side instead of the front.
Try to bring your left or right hip towards the center and have both hip bones facing the same side. Adjust your feet and legs if you need to, but always keep the upper body strength.
Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
This pose is really great for anyone who has a desk job and has to stay seated all day. Practitioners tend to round their backs in this pose which shouldn’t happen very much. To properly release the tailbone, try putting a small cushion or blanket under your head for support. This will minimize the roundness of the back and will increase pelvic flexibility.
To get into the pose, start by laying on your back and then inhale. While bending your knees, lower them toward your chest and open them so that they are the same width as your armpits – almost touching them. Then, hold onto the outside edges of your feet and pull back with your arms.
Locust pose (Salabhasana)
This pose works on the glutes and also acts as a counter-balance to the pelvis. Start by laying on your stomach and have your arms down the side with your palms facing the sky. As you inhale, lift the chest, arms, legs, and feet towards upward. Keep your glutes tight to hold the pose and flex those feet.
Kundalini yoga for men
Kundalini yoga is apparently very good for men, especially when starting out because you are not only challenged physically, but also emotionally – which for men can be a very hard thing to do. Yoga is a safe space where men do not need to feel the competition and instead, get support. Having men connect with their consciousness and emotions is a great way to get introduced to yoga before doing any poses.
Kundalini yoga focuses on breathwork, chants, and meditation. In Kundalini Yoga, you will discover the word “kriya”. A kriya is a set of postures, breath, and sound that focus in the direction of a specific goal. There are kriyas that focus on the liver, stabilize the glandular system, increase radiancy and glow, strengthen the flexibility of the spine, and many more.
Tantric yoga for men
Compared to India, most westerners are not as aware of the control they can have over sexual sensations and the sexual energy that creates them. Sexual energy is one of the most important energies seeing as it has the ability to create life and it should not be forgotten or shamed.
Tantric yoga is similar to Kundalini in that it focuses on meditation rather than asanas. During practice, there is a lot of focus on certain body parts such as the navel, spine and pressure points around the meridians.
Pilates vs yoga for men
A very common question is posed. What is the difference between yoga practice and pilates? Well, yoga focuses a lot on balance, flexibility and stability whereas pilates is strength and stability. Both forms of practice are low-impact, low-intensity training. If men are trying to pick between one or the other, then think about the additional benefits yoga brings – breathwork and meditation techniques.
Best Yoga Poses For Men
So what are the best yoga poses for men to make? For anyone starting as a beginner, you’d want to try out simple yoga poses.
Forward folds may seem easy, but you will be surprised to see how little you can bend down from the hips. But don’t worry, the more you do it, the easier it will become.
Other poses you can try out are cat-cow and reclining twists.
Yoga postures for men can also desert a lot of energy and focus on core muscles. There are yoga poses for abs that are great for men.
The boat pose is an extremely challenging position that works your transverse abdominals. Lay on the floor, bend your knees slightly, lift them and straighten them out in front of you. At the same time, bring your straight back away from your legs so that you are balancing on your buttocks. Hold your arms straight out and at the same levels your ears.
A nice daily yoga routine for men can include the poses mentioned above, but also a few others.
The Lizard pose is great. It is a deep-lunge stretch that loosens the hips, relieves tension in your back, and decreases soreness in the lower body. This is a great pose that works on the negative effects of extended sitting or inactivity. Start in a low lunge position, with your hands supporting you on the floor, lift your chest and hold.
Another great yoga move for men is the pigeon, or reclined pigeon move. Pigeon stretches are great for your glutes and faster muscle recovery. Once you start a pigeon pose, you will never want to remove it from your yoga workout. First, you are on all fours. Then, bring your leg in front and cross it so that your foot is perpendicular to the opposite knee. Bring your body down to rest by letting your other leg go back, straight, and flat. Support your pose with your arm in front of the crossed leg and opening the chest.
The reclines version of this pose is also very effective. Lay on your back this time with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Bring one foot over to the other leg and leave it resting on the knee. Bring your hands around the thigh of the leg that is resting and pull your leg back towards your face. You will feel the stretch in the other leg around the glutes.
Cobra pose is a great way to create an opposing movement from rounding your lower back while sitting at a desk and working. This pose really focuses on the lower back just above the hips. Start in a plank position and lower your body to the ground while keeping your arms and elbows close to your body. Once your chest is on the ground, push up with your arms so that your top half is lifted slightly and arched. Keep your head straight and look forward.
Downward facing dog is a popular pose in yoga and for good reason. It stretches and strengthens your back, hips, calves, hamstrings, and shoulders making it a full-body stretch and warm-up. Start in a table-top position and lift your hips up and back. As you bend back, support yourself with your outstretched arms in front so that they create an angle. Try not to move your hands and feet. If your feet are not touching the ground, that is ok. You will get there with practice. If you need to release the tension, bend your knee – alternating each leg- and feel the stretch more on one side as you give the other side a rest.
Bridge pose is a perfect yoga posture for men who love to work on their chest. The bridge pose opens the chest and releases tension – also in the hips. Lay on your back with your knees bent and your arms resting down the sides of your body. Your palms are facing the floor. With the help of your hands and feet, lift your pelvis so that your lower back is arched up, your chest is open and your top part of your back and neck is supported by the floor.
A great yoga sequence for men can look something like this:
- Mountain pose
- Forward fold pose
- Downward facing dog pose
- Cobra pose
- Warrior II pose
- Chair pose
- Boat pose
- Lizard pose
- Pigeon pose
- Bridge Pose
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, yoga is for both men and women. More and more men are starting to include it in their workout routines at least once a day if not more. It is a great way to relieve stress from previous workouts, helps with breathing techniques as well as meditation.
Yes, a lot of men who suffer from injuries or those who have had prostate cancer surgery, turn to yoga for rehabilitation. Yoga is low-impact on muscles and tendons that are overly active during a strenuous workout, activity, or surgery. It is especially great for beginners who have trouble with keeping balance.
Yoga mostly strengthens muscles rather than build, but there is always room to blend a few activities that will help increase muscle build. For example, when going from a downward dog to a cobra, some men like to do a few push-ups.
They are different and they are both good. The gym will concentrate on core muscle areas and the machines there are generally high-intensity. Yoga is the opposite. It can strengthen and increase your heart rate, but it will never get to the same bpm or calorie burn that a workout in the gym does – unless of course, you tailor the workout to be intense. And even though there are some gym exercises that can be done remotely, there is nothing better than grabbing your yoga mat and doing a practice at home.
It is definitely better than no exercise! It depends on your goals. Do you want to be flexible and slightly toned? Then yoga is enough. If you are looking to build on your muscles and burn calories, then you need to include some more activities.
Yes, even just 15 minutes will help you relax, release tension, and get a better sleep. After a week of doing 15 minutes of yoga, you will see the motivation for longer practices start.
Absolutely. Many people do it multiple times a day for their mind and health! A great way to start is in the morning. But if you are not a morning person – evening yoga is just as good.
Yoga has been known to reduce fat loss, increase muscle tone, build-up on flexibility, and create a lean and beautiful body.