The 8 Best Yoga Poses to Reduce Stress and Enhance Your Body
Yoga is not just for women. All of you guys who want to get ripped and muscular could benefit from actually putting the weights down for half an hour and devoting some of your time to a yoga mat. In fact, certain studies have shown that the larger, tighter muscles men have could actually benefit more from certain postures in yoga than women.
If the idea of twisting yourself into knots or bending into shapes you didn’t know your body was capable of seems a little intimidating, don’t worry. You can still get a lot out of yoga without having the flexibility of a contortionist. Try these simple poses to get you started.
1. The Warrior 1
This is an iconic pose in yoga, and provides the perfect stretch to areas where men regularly need it the most – in the shoulders and hips. As well as opening up these tight areas, the Warrior one is marvelous for improving your strength and posture, building the muscles in your thighs along with the areas around the knees. The stronger these locations become, the more stable you will be during high-impact sports and work-out routines. If you want more powerful shoulders, this pose can be ideal. Just hold it for around ten to fifteen breaths.
2. The Standing Forward Fold
The standing forward fold opens up the hips, back and rear of the legs. What’s more, it’s an especially magnificent pose if you’re not particularly bendy. If your hands can’t reach the floor, then keep them on your calves, thighs or ankles, whatever you can manage. As well as stretching out your muscles, the standing forward fold eases headaches, lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, and can even give you a better night’s sleep.
3. Downward Facing Dog
The Downward dog is one of those yoga poses that just about everyone has heard of. It brings attention to most of the challenging and tight areas in a man’s body, including the shoulders, arms, calves, hamstrings, back, and hips. While stretching the body, downward facing dog also helps to strengthen the muscles in your legs and arms. Even more importantly, this pose is amazing at strengthening the heart, reducing stress, improving circulation, and helping high blood pressure.
4. The Chair Pose
The chair pose is a particularly tough yoga position, and definitely not for the faint of heart. This position has brought even the strongest of men to tears, by working the rear, shoulders, ankles, quads, and opening up the chest. It helps to improve stability and stimulates the abdominal organs too.
5. Upward Facing Dog
This is the other dog posture, that doesn’t receive quite as much fame and praise as its counterpart. Upward facing dog strengthens the arms and back, as well as opening up the chest and helping you to breathe better. It’s the ideal pose for anyone who spends a lot of time sat behind a desk. Plus, if you’re the sort of person who enjoys intense workouts, upward facing dog is a poignant way to stretch out muscles and get your blood pumping before you jump into exercise.
6. The Butterfly Pose
It may sound girly, but it’s not quite as sweet as you might imagine. The butterfly pose improves blood flow to your kidneys, prostate and pelvis, and I won’t need to tell you what specific part of your life increased blood flow to the pelvis can improve. The butterfly posture is also great to bring excess energy to your hips, for better, smoother movement.
7. The Boat Pose
This is yet another fabulous posture when it comes to building strength, helping to provide those rock-hard abs you’ve always wanted, while strengthening the spine and hips. This posture is ideal for reducing tension in the pelvic region, and it’s also known for its ability to stimulate and improve the digestive system, so that everything continues to run smoothly.
8. The Bridge Pose
A lot of men suffer with tension around their torso and chest, but the bridge pose can vanquish all of that by releasing tight muscles and helping you to stretch out to your full potential. Most people don’t realize it, but tightness in your abdomen can make your breathing shallower, which in turn makes participation in physical activities a lot more challenging.
About Benjamin Roussey Benjamin is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.