7 Yoga Poses for Men
Written by Dr. Minakshi Welukar.
Yoga is no longer a women dominated arena. Men are also engaging in yoga as a more effective way to enhance endurance, flexibility and body strength. Going beyond yoga is a powerful weapon to ward off heart disease, osteoporosis, and prostrate problems or even prevent injuries.
Men are usually tight in the hips, groin, shoulders and chest region and hence easily susceptible to injuries. Additionally faulty diet, job-related stress or strain in relationship troubles can affect the physical and mental fitness of men. Some men are more pampered in strength-training exercises that impart little flexibility to the body. Yoga is a great way to help conquer these health issues.
Yoga, a full-body exercise, imparts the following health benefits to men:
- Stretches out tight muscles and releases tension.
- Strengthens your body muscles.
- Improves body flexibility and creates body balance to avoid repetitive injuries.
- Increases stamina.
- Additionally, meditation improves your concentration, keeps your focus and is a great help in stress management.
Yoga Journal lists out the following yoga poses having particular anatomical focus, which are highly recommended for men:
Bridge pose or setu band sarvangasana inclines your body as a bridge. A resulting back bend stretches your chest, neck and spine muscles. Stretching your chest releases the tightness in the muscles encircling your rib cage. Having relaxed chest muscles favor easier breathing. Practicing regularly, bridge pose enhances lung capacity and prevents respiratory problems. Bridge pose can also calm your brain and alleviate any stress and depression.
Downward Dog or adho mukha svanasana moulds your body like a dog. A forward bend offers a strong traction to your spine and helps you get relief from back pain. The stretching of the shoulders, hands, feet, calves, and hamstring muscles release tightness, making you more pliable. Regular practice strengthens the muscles of your neck, upper back, legs and core. Dog pose is known for its preventive effect in osteoporosis, a degenerative bone disease seen in elderly people.
Warrior I or virabhadrasana is one of the yogic workouts having a good impact on your overall body. Peculiar warrior pose stretches the muscles of your chest, lungs, shoulders, neck, abdomen and groin. It improves the strength of your shoulders, arms and all the muscles of your back. The stretching and strengthening of muscles of thighs, calves and ankles improves your lower body strength as well.
Bow pose, known by dhanurasana, resembles an archer's bow. This pose stretches the muscles of your chest and opens it favoring good breathing effect and improvement in lung capacity. Additionally, an excellent stretch is provided to the muscles of your throat, abdomen, hips, thighs and ankles. In bow pose, you also strengthen your back muscles, which is a great way to improve posture and prevent injury.
Full Boat Pose
Full boat pose or paripurna navasana is an effective exercise for your core muscles. Your entire body takes an appearance of a boat that strengthens the muscles of your abdomen, hip flexors and spine. Boat pose also encourages a healthy prostate and thyroid function.
Reclining Big Toe Pose
Reclining big toe pose or sputa padangusthasana is a highly recommended restorative pose for men. Maintaining a big toe in a reclining position for a few minutes stretches your hips, thighs, hamstrings, groin and calve muscles. It also strengthens your knee joints and promotes the healthy functioning of your prostrate. This pose has therapeutic benefits for those with high blood pressure, flat feet, infertility, backaches and sciatica.
Last but not least is corpse pose or savasana. Laying on the ground in a relaxed position calms your brain and reduces headaches and fatigue. Savasana is a great way to relieve stress and tension from your whole body.
- Read more of Dr. Minakshi Welukar.
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