As men, we’re not typically known to practice yoga or be exceedingly flexible. And if you’re lifting weights and exercising often, the in-flexibility can result in knots and tense muscles in your hips, back and feet which can eventually lead to injuries and put you on a slippery slope where you can’t safely exercise.
With that in mind, we’ve outlined the best yoga postures for men who are just beginning with yoga. Incorporating these postures into a regular routine, even if it’s just 10 minutes after a workout, can do wonders for your life.
Best Yoga Postures For Men:
- Forward Folds Standing & Seated
- Warrior One Pose
- Downward Facing Dog
- Upward Facing Dog
- Chair Pose
- Boat Pose
- Butterfly Pose
- Half Pigeon Pose
- Bridge Pose
- Child’s Pose
1. Forward Folds Standing & Seated
Forward bends are superb for stretching your back and hamstrings. And if you have a job that requires long hours at a desk, this one’s even better because your hammies are always contracted and tight.
You can perform this one either sitting or standing depending on your level of comfort and both are equally effective.
To execute a standing forward fold, stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart. Then reach your arms straight up, exhale and bend at the hips until your hands are touching your toes. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds and come up the same way.
To perform the seated forward fold, sit on the ground with your feet hip width apart.
Then take a deep breath, extend your arms toward the sky and exhale while bringing your hands to your toes. Grab your toes or use a yoga strap to get leverage if you can’t reach your feet. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and release.
When doing forward bends be careful not to overstretch and hurt yourself. Stretching takes time and consistency. Forcing it can actually injure you and delay progress.
2. Warrior One Pose
Warrior pose is great at stretching tight hip flexors, shoulders, quads and your lower back. If you really want a shoulder workout, hold this pose for 1-2 minutes and you’ll feel the burn.
To perform Warrior Pose, start in a lunge position with one leg extended straight out in front and the other extended straight out behind you with your back foot positioned at a 45 degree angle.
From there, reach both of your arms up strongly toward the sky. You can keep your arms shoulder width apart or press your palms together. Now lean your head back and feel the stretch from your heel all the way through the tips of your fingers.
Hold it for 30 seconds and gently release.
3. Downward Dog
We wrote a detailed post on Downward Dog already because it’s such a great pose so if you want a deeper explanation, check that out. Downward Facing Dog is a foundational pose for releasing tension in your legs, back, hips and shoulders.
It’s also an aligning pose which has the ability to recenter your posterior chain.
To perform this pose, start on all fours with your hands and feet approximately shoulder width apart. From there, press your hands and feet into the mat while drawing your belly in and lifting from the core.
Keep your shoulders back and hold an “A” frame position while you focus on lengthening your spine. Hold the pose for a 30-60 seconds and gently release by coming back down to your mat.
4. Upward Facing Dog
Upward Facing Dog helps open up your chest, hip flexors and strengthen your back. It’s great for anyone who sits at a desk because when you’re hunched over these muscles tighten and become rigid.
To perform Upward Dog, lie face down on your mat with your legs straight behind you and hip width apart. Bring your hands up so they’re directly below your shoulders with your palms on the mat.
Gently press up through your hands, keeping your shoulders down and back until you’re arms are extended to a comfortable length. Hold the pose for 30 seconds or more and release when ready.
5. Chair Pose
Chair pose may look a little different but it’s great for improving balance while stretching and strengthening many of the muscles in your body.
To perform chair pose, bring your feet together so your knees are touching. Now squat down about half way keeping your weight about 80% in your heels and 20% in the balls of your feet.
Extend your hands up and over your head keeping them approximately shoulder width apart. Practice holding the pose for 30-60 seconds (or as long as you can) and you’ll do wonders for stretching and building your stabilizer muscles.
6. Boat Pose
Boat pose is a core blasting pose that builds the muscles we need to keep our posture in check during the day. Additionally, this pose is great for digestive issues and keeping things moving through your system. So if you’re feeling constipated, this might just do the trick.
To perform boat pose, get in a seated position on your yoga mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Now lean your torso back at a 45 degree angle and bring your legs up so that your body makes a “V” shape.
Take a few breaths and hold the pose for 30-60 seconds or until you can’t stand it anymore. This is not an easy pose so you may have to start with just a few seconds and work your way up – which is totally fine.
7. Butterfly Pose
You’ve probably seen Chuck Norris doing this pose in a movie before. Butterfly is famous for martial artists because it stretches the muscles of the groin and inner thighs which reduces the risk of injury during rapid roundhouse kicks to the enemy.
To perform Butterfly, get in a seated position on your yoga mat. Now bring your heels as close to your groin as possible and put the bottoms of your feet together. You can place your hands over your feet and interlace your fingers if you need help keeping your feet against each other.
At first, your knees will probably be high off the ground so you can use your elbows to gently push them down or hold the pose for a while and let gravity do the work.
There’s no time limit on this pose and it’s something I would recommend holding while you’re watching T.V. and relaxing because it’s such a nice stretch.
8. Half Pigeon Pose
Half Pigeon Pose can be hard on your knees so you want to ease into this one slowly. However, once you have it you’ll notice a big stretch in your quads, hips, glutes and hamstrings among other things.
To perform pigeon pose, get into a Downward Dog pose on your mat and raise one leg straight out behind you. Next, bring that same leg forward and across your body so your heel passes over the center line and underneath you.
At this point the outside of your shin bone should be resting on the floor. Now gently lower yourself until your sit bones are on the mat. Hold the pose for 30 or more seconds and then release.
9. Bridge Pose
Bridge pose is a classic abdominal muscle stretching pose which also has the benefit of opening up your breathing.
To perform bridge, lie on your back with your hands at your sides and feet straight out. Now bring your heels up towards your bottom until your feet are flat on the floor.
Press through your feet and raise your spine off the floor while keeping your shoulders against the mat. Feel the stretch throughout your body while you hold this for 30-60 seconds and then release.
10. Child’s Pose
Child’s Pose is ideal for stretching your shoulders and the muscles of your back. To perform this pose begin on your hands and knees and then sit back on your heels. Raise your arms directly out in front of you, as far as you can, while lowering your forehead to the mat.
Feel the stretch down your back and through your shoulders and hold the pose for 30-60 seconds or longer if you can.
As a man just beginning with yoga, these are some of the best yoga postures for men to work into their daily routines.
This would be best as either a morning routine to get your blood flowing or, for best results, after your workout when your muscles are warmed up. No matter when you do these poses though, you’ll instantly feel a change in your body.
Your muscles will become more loose and minor aches and pains will start to disappear. Just remember that you get the biggest wins when you apply this consistently so do your best to use these poses daily.