Guys: If You’re Not Practicing These 7 Yoga Poses, Then You’re Missing Out

Leah Sugerman
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Despite its long history of being a practice only for men, women seem to have taken over the modern yoga scene. And a lot of guys think that yoga for men isn’t a real thing. But that really couldn’t be further from the truth.

Yoga for men is not only extremely beneficial, yoga was actually specifically designed for men!

Yes, you read that correctly. Throughout the millennia, yoga has been a practice specifically for men and men alone. Women were not allowed to practice yoga back in the day.
 
 

The History of Yoga for Men

The practice of yoga has changed drastically over the years, but even modern asana was specifically designed for men.

Krishnamacharya (the father of modern yoga) created strong asana practices with a mixture of military drills and gymnast acrobatics to teach to his young pupils – all of which were young boys. He created yoga poses for men and, more specifically, for men’s bodies.

His goal was to get all of their energy out through the physical practice so that they could sit still for longer periods of time in deep meditation. These yoga poses and sequences that he taught to his students eventually became what we know as modern-day yoga.

But an important thing to note is that Krishnamacharya created yoga for men – specifically for men. As a revolutionary, he was also one of the first yoga masters to allow women to practice, but this was completely out of the ordinary.

From the start, yoga for men was always the main way that yoga was practiced. And women have only been allowed to join in on the fun just recently.

So, without a doubt, yes – yoga for men is a thing! And it has certainly withstood the test of time.
 

 
 

Guys, Practice These 7 Yoga Poses for Men to Create Full Body Balance:

The following yoga poses for men aren’t only accessible to men, but they are super beneficial for the male body for a number of different reasons.
 

1. Half Splits (Ardha Hanumanasana)

Half Split

 

It’s hardly a secret that men tend to have tight hamstrings. For most men, this could be due to the sports they play or simply the way they sit at work. Luckily, there’s a perfect yoga pose to help.

Let’s try it:

  • Start on all fours with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your hips stacked over your knees
  • Step your right foot forward next to your right thumb
  • Flex your right ankle and point your toes toward the sky
  • Keep your hips aligned over your left knee and slide your right heel forward to work your leg toward straight as far as you comfortably can
  • Energetically draw your front heel and your back knee toward each other to square your hips toward the top of your mat
  • Option to stay as you are or lead with your chest and hinge from your hips to fold forward over your right leg
  • Hold for a few deep breaths and then switch sides

 

Pro tips:

  • Only go as far as you can sustain comfortably – this will allow your body to further relax so you can soften into the stretch
  • You can place your hands onto blocks to draw the floor closer to you
  • You can place padding under your back knee with a blanket or pillow
  • Strive to keep your spine as lengthened as possible – tilt your pelvis forward rather than rounding your spine forward to really target and lengthen your hamstrings

 

Are tight hips your problem? Take this 40-Minute Yoga Flow For Men with Tight Hips (Free Class)
 

2. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Camel

Many guys tend to have short and tight chest and abdominal muscles because of strength training. While it’s great to have strength in these muscles, the body really loves balance. So Camel Pose is the perfect yoga pose for men to lengthen these tissues.

Let’s try it:

  • Start kneeling on your knees with your toes tucked under
  • Place your hands behind you on your sacrum (the triangular shaped bone at the top of your pelvis)
  • Press your pelvis forward and ever so slightly down to create length in your lower back
  • Activate your core, glutes, and quads, and squeeze your elbows and your shoulder blades together behind your back
  • Ever so slightly, lean your torso backwards to expand and open your chest
  • You can stay as you are or release your hands to catch your ankles. If you take this option, reset by pressing your pelvis forward in space and squeezing your shoulder blades together to open your chest
  • Hold for a few deep breaths and then simply bend your knees deeply and release your seat down onto your heels

 

Pro tips:

  • You can place two blocks next to your ankles to release your hands onto (instead of reaching to your ankles)
  • Keep length in your spine even as you backbend
  • Maintain strength in your torso and legs as you backbend
  • You can release out of the pose the same way you entered it to challenge your back and core muscles further

 

3. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Wild Straddle Forward Fold

Another perfect yoga pose for men to open their hamstrings, this forward fold works with the legs far apart to target the inner aspect of the hamstring group.

Let’s try it:

  • Start standing facing the long edge of your mat
  • Walk your feet out wide until they are roughly the distance of one of your own legs apart from each other
  • Turn your toes in and your heels out slightly to create a subtle internal rotation in your thigh bones
  • Root down evenly into the tripod base of your feet
  • Draw your hands to your hips and lengthen your spine
  • Keep the length as you lead with your chest and fold forward over your legs
  • You can keep your hands where they are or release them into any comfortable position
  • Hold for a few deep breaths before slowly rising back up to stand

 

Pro tips:

  • You can always keep your knees bent as little or as much as you’d like any forward fold – find a place to work that you can comfortably sustain
  • You can rest your hands onto blocks to lift your torso slightly higher away from the floor
  • Lean your weight slightly forward toward your toes to emphasize the stretch in your hamstrings
  • Maintain as much length in your spine as possible as you fold

 
 

 
 

4. Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

Side Plank

Side Plank is a great yoga pose for men who want to feel like they’re strengthening while practicing yoga. Because yoga is far more than just stretching, this pose can actually be quite challenging for many men to stabilize so it’s the perfect challenge to build strength and balance.

Let’s try it:

  • Start in a neutral Plank Pose with your feet touching
  • Root down firmly into your right hand and pour your weight toward the right side of your body
  • Roll to the pinky side of your right foot and stack your left foot on top of your right
  • Ground down into the floor with your hand and your foot and lift your hips up away from the mat
  • Stretch your left arm to the sky
  • Hold for a few deep breaths and then switch sides

 

Pro tips:

  • You can stagger your feet or lower your bottom knee to the floor to stabilize your balance
  • Plug your upper arm bone into your shoulder socket by firmly pressing the floor away
  • Think about resisting gravity as you lift your body away from the mat

 

5. Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)

Dolphin

Another great yoga pose to build strength and flexibility, Dolphin Pose both strengthens and stretches the chest and shoulders while simultaneously creating length in the back of the legs.

Let’s try it:

  • Start on all fours with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your hips stacked over your knees
  • Lower your forearms to the floor and align your elbows underneath your shoulders
  • Root down firmly into your forearms and tuck your toes under
  • Lift your knees off the floor and stretch your legs toward straight
  • Send your sit bones toward the sky and lengthen your whole back body
  • Continue to ground down into your forearms and press the floor away as you melt your chest toward your thighs
  • Hold for a few deep breaths before slowly releasing back down

 

Pro tips:

  • You can align your forearms however they feel comfortable for you – you can have your forearms parallel or your can interlace your fingers, etc. – choose a position that feels stable in your body
  • Try to walk your toes as close toward your hands as possible to create the shape of an upside down “V” in your body
  • Know that you always have the option to bend your knees

 

6. Crow Pose (Bakasana)

Crow

Another powerful posture, Crow Pose is one of the best yoga poses for men because it perfectly balances strength and mobility.

Let’s try it:

  • Start in a standing forward fold with your knees bent deeply
  • Place your palms on the floor, roughly shoulder-width apart and spread your fingers wide
  • Rise to the balls of your feet and lift your hips high
  • Spread your knees apart and slide them as high up your arms as possible (the closer to your armpits, the better!)
  • Squeeze your legs around your upper arms and equally press your upper arms against your legs
  • Round your back deeply and look forward
  • Lean your weight forward until your legs become light and effortlessly lift from the floor
  • Hug your heels toward your seat, round your back more, and press the floor away to lift your hips higher
  • Resist gravity for a few deep breaths before carefully releasing back down

 

Pro tips:

  • Place a “crash pad” of blankets/pillows in front of you when you’re first learning
  • Don’t jump! Instead, use the counterbalance of your weight as you lean forward to find your balance
  • Think of lifting your body weight up rather than weighing down with the force of gravity

 

7. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Childs pose

Even the strongest of men need rest, and Child’s Pose is the perfect yoga pose for men to do just that – rest and restore.

Let’s try it:

  • Start on all fours with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and your hips stacked over your knees
  • Lean your hips back to rest over your heels
  • Either draw your knees apart or keep them close together – find what feels more comfortable for you
  • Release your head to a prop or the floor and round your whole back body
  • Relax your arms into any comfortable position
  • Close your eyes and soften into the gentle release for a few long, deep breaths

 

Pro tips:

  • You can place a prop between your seat and your heels to fill any gaps and make the pose more comfortable
  • If bending your knees this much creates discomfort, roll up a towel or blanket and slide it between your knees to cushion the joint. If that doesn’t help, simply lie down on your belly to relax
  • Tune in with your breath as you surrender in this shape

 

Craving more poses? Here are 10 Yoga Poses for Men – Guys Are You Practicing These?
 
 

There Are So Many Excellent Yoga Poses for Men

These certainly aren’t the only yoga poses for men, but they’re a great place to start! Yoga for men is just as versatile and beneficial as any other style of yoga, and you don’t need to specifically practice yoga for men to get the benefits!

All yoga can be yoga for men! So never hesitate to jump in to any studio class or online session.

Just like it does for women, yoga helps men to build strength and flexibility and to calm and soothe the nervous system. It’s a practice that can offer so many benefits. And you just might surprise yourself – it may be your new favorite way to workout and de-stress!
 

Guys – This Online Yoga Class Was Made for You!

Join YA Classes teacher Billy Potocnik as he guides you through a 42-minute yoga class for men.

Yoga for Guys
With Billy Potocnik
42-Minute Class | All Levels

 

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Leah Sugerman

Leah Sugerman is a yoga teacher, writer, and passionate world traveler. An eternally grateful student, she has trained in countless traditions of the practice and teaches a fusion of the styles she has studied with a strong emphasis on breath, alignment, and anatomical integrity. Leah teaches workshops, retreats, and trainings both internationally and online.

leahsugerman.com

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