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Top 8 Best Yoga Poses For Men

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Yoga has a bad rap with most men, especially with those who aren’t flexible. But yoga can help you increase your flexibility and endurance, decrease probability of injury, improve your stability, and reduce post-workout soreness and these benefits can help you in all aspects of your life. These 8 yoga moves are great for both men and women, but they particularly target issues that affect the male body.

8 Yoga Poses for Men

1. Mountain (Tadasana)

A confident posture conveys to the world that you are strong and capable. Mountain pose is just that. Through your feet, you strengthen your connection to the earth, and the pose one you can do anywhere – whether you’re in the yoga studio or in the office. It also strengthens the legs, glutes, core, arms, and back.

How to: Stand with your big toes touching and your heels slightly parted. Distribute the weight of your body evenly on the four corners of your feet: the balls, heels, and inside and outside edges. Flex your calf muscles and quadriceps. Rotate your thigh muscles, tuck your tailbone in, and work your sits bones downward. Engage your core muscles and open up your chest by rolling your shoulders back and down. Engage the muscles in your arms and point your fingers toward the floor. Lengthen your neck and gently lift your chin. Relax your face and breath. Hold for approximately 10 breaths.

2. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

If you’re like most men, you probably have very tight hip flexors and chest muscles. By stretching the hip flexors you’ll decrease your chances of injuring your lower or pulling your groin muscle. This move will also relax and stretch the hips, spine, and neck muscles.

How to: Get into Bridge pose by lying flat on your back on the floor or on a mat. Place your feet on the ground hip distance apart and close enough to your butt so that you can just tough the heels with your fingertips. Your knees should be bent so that they’re directly over your heels. Relax your arms and draw your stomach toward your spine, pressing your whole back into the floor. Press into all four corners of your feet and lift your butt and hips off the ground. Hold for 8-10 breaths.

3. Boat Pose (Navasana)

Want strong stomach muscles? Boat pose will help give you just that while also strengthening your back, arms, and legs. In yogic belief, this position also promotes healthy thyroid and prostate functioning due to the positioning of the head and neck and the engaging of the root lock.

How to: Start by sitting on the floor, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Be sure that you are sitting on your sits bones flat on the ground. Engage your core and hip flexors and lift your legs off the ground. Keep a straight spine and continually lift through the sternum. Lift your arms so they are parallel with the floor. Make sure to keep your core engaged the entire time. If you depend on your back muscles to keep you lifted, you will fall backward and put strain on your lower back. Hold this pose for 8 breaths, release, and repeat two more times.

Tip: For a more less challenging version, bend your knees to bring your calves parallel with the floor.

4. Tree Pose (Vriksasana)

Men and women can both use help in the balance department. Tree pose can help teach balance, focus, and calm your central nervous system. It also strengthens the muscles in your legs, glutes, and core.

How to: Begin with both feet flat on the floor. Lift the toes of your right foot and spread them out as wide as possible. Then, gently rest them on the ground and distribute your weight evenly through the four corners of your foot. Lock your leg muscles in place. Tuck in your tailbone. Engage your core, stand up tall, and relax your shoulders. Place your hands on your hips and focus your eyes on a spot about 3 feet in front of you on the floor. Breathe slowly, and when you’re ready, lift your left foot and place it on the right calf muscle or right inner thigh. Gently press your foot into your leg and your leg into your foot. If you feel balanced, bring your hands together in front your heart. Repeat on the other side. Hold each side for 8-10 breaths.

5. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

This position is one great way to cool the agitation and anxiety that can often rise to the surface in this dog-eat-dog world. Downward Facing Dog calms your body and mind, can relieve headaches, relaxes the neck, and stretches the muscles of the legs, arms, hands, and feet.

How to: Start with your hands and knees on the mat, palms faced down, fingers spread wide, hands a tiny bit further out than the shoulders. Align your body so that your hips are over your knees and your toes are curled under. Take a deep exhale, press into your hands, straighten your arms, and lift your knees from the floor, working your heels as close to the ground as you can get (you can keep your knees slightly bent if your hamstrings feel too tight). Elongate your spine by dropping your head between your arms, push your shoulder blades down your spine, lengthen your tailbone away from the pelvis, and lift your butt. This will cause your body to press back through your quadriceps and rotate your thighs. Still think yoga is stretching and sleeping? Hold for approximately 8-10 breaths.

6. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Sometimes the best thing to do when the world is stressing you out is to turn it upside down. This pose can help you relax and should temporarily reduce your blood pressure, which will help calm your body and mind. It will also stretch your hamstrings, calves, lower back, and hips.

How to: Begin the pose with your feet hip distance apart. Place your hands on your hips and fold forward, bending directly from the hips and keeping your spine straight. To help, visualize that you are leaning over a bar at hip height. Let your head hang and either letting your arms hang as well or hold on to each elbow. If this stretch puts too much of a strain on your lower back or hamstrings, bend your knees slightly to reduce the pressure. Hold for approximately 8-10 breaths.

7. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Looking to get a rocking core and some ripped thighs and legs? Then sit on back into Chair! It will strengthen your ankles, legs, butt, thighs, hips, arms, and core muscles. Holding this asana requires so much energy and focus that it increases your heart rate and can strengthen your circulatory system from the heat it stirs up your body.

How to: Stand tall with your feet together, and your big toes and ankles touching. Reach your arms above your head and bring your shoulder blades toward each other, then pull them down your back. Act as if you are holding a ball between the hands and flex the muscles in your arms. Keep your spine straight and bend at the knees, making sure to not let your knees go over your toes. Press your inner thighs together, tuck your tailbone in to engage the core and hold. With practice, you’ll be able to lower yourself far enough so your thighs are parallel with the floor. Hold this pose for 8-10 breaths … or longer if you can take it.

8. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

This may look like the easiest pose on the list, but, because it requires you to still your body and mind, you’ll likely find it the most challenging.

How to: Lie on the floor. Straighten out your legs and situate them so they’re a comfortable distance apart. Relax your arms, and let them fall away from your body, palms facing upward. Elongate your neck, by pulling your shoulder blades down your back. Close your eyes, relax your entire body, and breathe naturally through your nose. Relax in this pose for at least 20 breaths.

For more yoga poses perfect for both men and women, check out Beachbody’s video series 3 Week Yoga Retreat where four yoga experts guide you through the foundations of yoga.

posted May 20 by Aleena Alexander

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The teachings of Yoga talk about positivity. According to yogic texts and some of the revered Yoga teachers from around the world, this ancient science is a great exercise for arousing belief in one’s mind. It is a collection of practices, ranging from physical asanas to spiritual exercises. Yoga has a great impact on the mental health of a person, which makes the science of wellness an integral part of life. Talking about Yoga for boosting self-confidence, the 5000 years old discipline is full of such practices and theories that sponsor a well-composed mind. Since a wholesome mind can only exist in a healthy body, a proper measure must be taken to replenish the mind, body, and spirit from the yogic perspective.

Here’s List of the Best Yoga Poses for Boosting Self Confidence:

1. Phalakasana

Phalakasana

One of the major aspects of confidence is body language. Your outer appearance – the way you stand in front of a group and the art of interacting with others show how confident you are. Phalakasana is one of the best poses for building the body language. Plank is a popular exercise practised in almost every Gym and health centre. While you put the weight of the body on the palms and the toes, make sure the body from head to foot remains in a straight line.

2. Virabhadrasana II

Virabhadrasana II

The name Virabhadrasana denotes warrior. Although all three practices of this pose are considered good when it comes to instilling self-belief in oneself, the second genre is quite dynamic in practice and carries heavy benefits. The exercise makes you feel really strong from inside. Confidence is in the core of this exercise that can be attained with regular practice of this asana. The best part of this exercise is that it can be performed anytime during daytime giving a similar output.

3. Ardha Chandrasana

The Half-moon Pose is extremely beneficial for a doubtful mind. It clears all the mental agonies present in the brain and makes the thought-box healthy enough to store an enormous amount of facts and data. Ardha Chandrasana is a practice carrying lots of fun too, in an assortment of which lives the idea of calmness and self-belief. During the asana, the left foot and hand touch the ground while the right leg makes a right angle with the other one and the right arm in straight line with the left.

4. Kapotasana

Kapotasana

If you are seriously looking to boosting self-confidence along with physical strength, Kapotasana is probably the best exercise to delve into. For practising the asana successfully, bend the body over the abdomen and make sure the base of this pose should be the lower legs and the upper arms making 180 degrees between them on the Yoga mat.

5. Bakasana

Bakasana

Bakasana is all about courage and confidence. The asana is practised by carrying the whole load of the body on the palms. While physically, the Crow Pose builds strong arms and a fit body, its mental significance covers a large area including mental boosting. Since one needs to use the core and the arms to stabilize the pose with the eyes down on the floor, the confidence level of the practitioner certainly rises after completing this challenging posture successfully.

6. Padmasana

Padmasana

Padmasana is the position of Shiva, the eternal god of power, Gautam Buddha, the personification of peace, and Mahavira, the deity of spiritual awakening. Isn’t inner confidence the amalgamation of these three things? The practice of Padmasana, which is also called the Lotus Position, imitates the exercise of Meditation. The cross-legged sitting pose, when practised with the utterance of mantras in a pleasant atmosphere, brings tremendous spiritual energy to the mind preparing a person to be ready to face the challenges life throws at him/her.

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A little over a year ago I began a strength training program. After bilateral hip replacements, and the years of dysfunction that led up to them, I needed to regain strength. I'm now working out with weights at least once a week on my own. It feels good and has improved my strength and agility by miles.

I've begun tweaking my workouts recently to include a longer stretching period after my workout. As I expected, making my cool-down period more like a mini-yoga practice has benefits far beyond simple stretching. After I finish my workout now, my mind is clear, smooth and alert—like after a yoga practice. Who would have thought?

6 Yoga Poses for Cooling Down

Of course, there are lots of yoga poses for cooling down after a weight-training session. What you choose can depend on the focus of your weight training. Below are the poses I’ve found to be helpful. Bring along a yoga mat, a yoga strap and an eyebag, and make sure you approach your practice with an attitude of ease rather than one of aggression. Keep your breathing long, slow and relaxed.

  1. UnwindAdho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) is a great way to begin the unwinding process. Begin your Dog Pose by moving around—twisting, flexing and extending your spine and moving through all your joints. The intention here is to “liquefy” your joints and soft tissues before stretching. Downward Facing Dog Pose is the perfect transition pose for moving into stretching.
  2. Stretch Your Quads: There are a number of ways to stretch the quads. My favorite way is to practice Supta Ardha Virasana (Supine Half Hero’s Pose). However, this pose can be out of reach for people whose knees don’t flex all that far. If this is the case, simply flip over onto your belly. Lie flat on your abdomen and then bend one of your knees. Reach back and grab your foot and draw the foot in toward your body to stretch the quads. You can use your yoga strap if your hand doesn’t reach your foot.
  3. Stretch Your HamstringsSupta Padangusthasana (Supine Big Toe Pose) is a classic way to release hamstring tightness after a workout. Be sure to place a strap around your foot so that you can keep the rest of your body in a supine Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
  4. Stretch Your Outer ThighsSupta Ardha Padmasana (Supine Half Lotus Pose) is a great way to release tension in the glutes and outer thighs. Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed as you draw your legs toward your torso.
  5. TwistJathara Parivrttanasana (Revolved Belly Pose) is a great way to further release tension in the shoulders and core. Be sure to breathe deeply into your abdomen as you relax into the pose.
  6. Let It All Go: As with any asana practice, Savasana (Relaxation Pose) helps smooth out agitation and help you integrate your practice. Give yourself at least 5 minutes. I’ve found 10 minutes to be the minimum amount of time my body needs to benefit from Savasana after a workout. The lights in most gyms and weight rooms are pretty harsh. An eyebag makes a big difference.
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It was when I started to practice at home that my relationship to yoga changed. It went from something that I did in class to an experience that was profoundly personal, and an integral part of the way I lived. At first, I was unsure of what to do and whether I was doing it right, but I soon realized that the uncertainty is part of the process. It was in practicing just for me, without seeking the approval or validation of anyone else, that I fully understood what people mean when that say that it's "your" yoga practice. 

My advice to you is to keep it simple at first and get used to how it feels to practice on your own. Here are seven poses I recommend starting with.

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Stand with your feet parallel, either together or hip-width apart. Spread your weight evenly across the soles of your feet and lengthen your spine, as if you’re being pulled up by the crown of your head.  There are few poses more centering and strengthening than mountain pose. For added challenge, close your eyes and feel all the micro-adjustments your body makes just to keep you upright. 

 

2. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

From tadasana, bend your knees, taking your hips back and lengthening your tailbone toward the ground. Reach both arms up and overhead. 

In utkatasana, you are cultivating a feeling of reaching up and finding strength and space at the same time as being pushed down and grounded by your lower body. As well as being a powerful lower body strengthener, it is a great place to tune into your own resilience and mental fortitude.

3. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)

Fold your body forward over your legs, keeping feet hip-width apart. Resist the temptation to shift your hips back, instead keeping weight in the balls of your feet. Scoop your lower belly in and up to find more space and support for the back of your body. 

This can be a powerful and intense stretch for the hamstrings and back. Take it gently, especially at first; and to soften the pose, bend your knees, allowing your torso to rest on your thighs. 

4. Anjaneyasana (Crescent Moon Pose)

Come into a lunge with the front knee bent, knee stacked over ankle, and the back leg straight with knee lifted. Reach the arms up, bringing the palms together and taking your gaze to your thumbs. To go deeper, lengthen the front of your body to arch into a gentle backbend. Hold for five breaths. 

This is a great pose for releasing the abdominal muscles and hip flexors. It helps you to feel more energized and present, and can support you to cultivate feelings of love and gratitude. 

5. Natarajasana (Dancer’s Pose)

From a standing position, reach back with your right hand and lift your right foot, taking hold of the inside of your foot. Reach your left arm up, then press the right foot into your hand to help you to open into a backbend. Allow yourself to pivot forward, reaching the torso and your left arm out in front of you. 

This beautiful pose is a graceful way to open the front of your body, strengthen your legs and improve your balance. If you are struggling, you can loop a belt around your foot. (To help, here are 6 Tips to Maintaining Balance on the Mat.)

6. Upavistha Konasana (Wide Angle Seated Forward Fold)

From a seated position, take your legs apart to a wide angle. Then lift both arms up and hinge forward from your hips, taking your chest toward the ground. At the point you feel the stretch and opening, hold here, supporting yourself on hands, forearms or a bolster.

With every inhalation here, find more length in your spine; and with every exhalation, release and soften toward the ground. This is a powerful hip and inner groin opener, and can be intense for tight hamstrings, so go gently. 

7. (Happy Baby Pose)

Lie on your back, lifting your feet like you are squatting on the ceiling. Hold the outsides of your feet, letting your knees come down toward the sides of your body. Lengthen your tailbone down and deepen your breaths

Happy baby pose is the ultimate stress reliever. It opens the hips in a gorgeously supported way, releases the lower back, and helps you to calm your body and mind. To maximize its benefits, get playful, rocking side to side to massage your lower back. 

There's No Place Like Home

Finally, remember that the advantage of home practice is that you are free to set the pace. Tune into what your body needs, adapt to and respond to it. And if you want to spend a bit longer in a pose, do! You're in the driver's seat here. Enjoy and, most importantly keep practicing!

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