Leverage yoga as an exercise or to maximize your recovery. Learn how yoga can be a great tool for any man’s daily routine.

We’re on a mission — a mission to introduce more dudes to the world of yoga. All too often, people assume that yoga is geared primarily toward women. We blame pop culture for that, but it’s not too late to spread the love. Yoga is loaded with incredible benefits for everyone, including men… and this guide is here to break it all down! We want to give you details about the differences in yoga for men versus yoga for women and why all the dudes out there should consider getting started. There’s so much to gain!

It’s time to break the stigma about yoga being only for women. No one ever said “no boys allowed!” Yoga is for everyone. Let’s get into it. Guys, you’ll be glad you got the message.

 

Table of Contents:

Isn’t Yoga the Same for Everyone?
Yoga for Men — Beginners
Why Men Should Be Doing Yoga Online
Yoga Poses That Are Great for Guys
Chair Pose
Standing Forward Fold
Warrior II
Crescent Lunge
Half Bow Pose

 

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Isn’t Yoga the Same for Everyone?

beginner mens yoga

Yoga is absolutely for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that yoga is the same for everyone. Online yoga classes have unique benefits for men (more on that below!). Beyond that, men might experience the practice differently than women, largely due to their anatomy.

A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology lays out some of the key differences between male and female anatomy. These differences can absolutely affect a dude’s yoga practice. Based on the 468 participants who were involved in the study…

Men have significantly greater total, upper body, and lower body muscle mass than women. The women had 40% less upper body muscle and 33% less lower body muscle, as compared to the men.
Men also have significantly greater total, upper body, and lower body skeletal mass. On average, the men in the study had 36% greater skeletal mass than the women.

The difference in flexibility between men and women may also affect the way they experience yoga. Yoga Journal notes that boys generally lose flexibility faster than girls. The differences typically become obvious by adolescence. The flexibility gap grows over time. Researchers haven’t determined once and for all why this happens… but it happens!

Due to these differences in weight, muscle mass, and flexibility — basically, general anatomy — men might find certain yoga poses more challenging than women do. On the other hand, though, practicing yoga might give them a much-needed opportunity to stretch and move their bodies in a different way. A yoga instructor will give participants plenty of modifications to help poses feel more comfortable and accessible as they work their way into a yoga routine.

Dudes, we want to make yoga feel as approachable as possible so that these potential challenges don’t scare you off from starting your yoga practice. It really is worth it.

 

Beginner Online Yoga for Men

beginner yoga poses

One of the best things about yoga is that it offers a workout for people at every level. Sure, there are yogis out there who have been practicing for years and can easily get their bodies into all kinds of poses, but don’t let that intimidate you! Those experienced practitioners had to start somewhere, right?

You can start a yoga practice with absolutely zero experience. From there, your practice can evolve over time based on your fitness level and your wellness goals. The trick is getting started.

The best way to get started is with beginner yoga classes. Beginner classes will give you a chance to develop a better understanding of various yoga poses and how to move your body from one to the next. In beginner classes, instructors are careful to take things slow and to offer modifications for poses so that newbies can ease their way into each position.

After gaining confidence in beginner classes, you might feel inspired to take things to a higher intensity… or to stick with the basics for a while! Yoga has plenty of health benefits at every level, so there’s no rush to push yourself too hard right away.

 

Benefits of Yoga for Men

Everyone has something to gain from getting into a regular yoga routine, but there are a few benefits that the guys out there might really dig.

Are you looking to build more muscle? If you are, yoga is a great workout option. While yoga does not involve the use of heavy weights and equipment, it does encourage you to put your body into positions that require the support of your muscles. Yoga is a bodyweight exercise, meaning it uses the weight of your body to strengthen and tone your muscles. And you can add that strength and tone without owning or having access to weights.

This might sound weird, but yoga can also help you smell better. According to yogi Michael Hewitt as quoted in Men’s Journal, “Pheremonally, [a] regular [yoga] practice is more effective than cologne. After a class, [your body is] cleaner, more confident and focused than when you walked in.” This is thanks to yoga’s ability to help remove toxins from the body. Doing yoga in a higher temperature environment will help you sweat out even more toxins.

Yoga can even promote brain function — and with everything you have on your plate, dudes, we’re confident that a mental boost sounds pretty good right now.

 

A 2019 study published in Brain Plasticity demonstrated “promising early evidence that yoga practice can positively impact brain health.”

 

Learn more about the benefits of yoga for men.

 

Why Men Should Be Doing Yoga Online

There’s a lot of upside to getting started with a yoga practice with online classes.

First of all, it’s convenient! Gone are the days of feeling limited by a studio’s class schedule. Thanks to online classes, you can get on the mat and have an awesome instructor guide you through a yoga flow any time, anywhere. All you need is a device to stream the class and enough space to move your body!

Taking online classes will also help you say goodbye to the excuses that may have held you back from getting into new workouts and activities before. Bad weather, traffic, commuting time, work, and whiny kids will no longer keep you from exercising. With online classes, you won’t have to go anywhere to make fitness a priority — and if you’re getting on the mat at home, your kids will be there, too, so you can make sure everyone’s happy and behaving.

Dudes who are new to yoga might find that doing yoga online makes it that much less intimidating. Since online classes allow you to work out from the comfort of your own turf, you’ll be extra comfortable trying something new. And while you’ll have the (remote) support of a well-qualified class instructor, you won’t have to worry about the judgement of other people in class. The yoga world is a generally welcoming one, but we get it — if you’re trying something for the first (or second or third) time, you might hold back if there are other eyes on you. Say goodbye to those concerns with online yoga classes!

 

According to a 2012 survey referenced by The Washington Post, just 18% of yoga practitioners are men.

 

This stat may have increased since that survey was taken, but the numbers still speak for themselves — yoga is dominated by women. The convenience and comfort of online classes might be just the thing to help get more guys in the game.

Plus, online classes are a lot of fun!

Check out these tips to help you get started with yoga online!

 

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Yoga Poses That Are Great for Guys

Once you start your yoga practice, you’ll find that there are many poses available to you, each of which will tone, strengthen, and stretch different parts of your body.

As you move forward in your yoga journey, you’ll find yourself paying closer attention to the poses that are stretching the muscle groups that need to be stretched. When you feel that stretch, you may find yourself drawn to similar poses in future flows and classes so that you can develop greater flexibility in that muscle. You may also see muscle tone developing in certain parts of your body, which may inspire you to explore other positions that work those body parts.

Learning about the poses and what each one can do for you is a really fun part of the process of getting into yoga.

 

 

Here’s more detail on those poses:

 

Chair Pose

mens yoga

Chair Pose might look simple, but it’s loaded up with benefits for dudes! This position will strengthen your thighs, build power in your upper body, and improve your posture after all that time you spend sitting at your desk or on the couch. It forces all of your core muscles to activate at the same time, which can coach your body to be able to handle multiple actions simultaneously. This is a skill you can use in other areas of your life!

To complete Chair Pose, start by standing tall and straight with your feet set slightly wider than your hips and your arms hanging at your sides. Lift your arms next to your ears as you inhale. Stretch your arms straight. Keep your shoulders down and your fingers long. Your spine should remain neutral. As you exhale, bend your knees, keeping your thighs and your knees parallel. Your toes should be pointing straight toward the top of your mat. Lean your torso forward to create a right angle with the top of your thighs. Your neck and head should stay in line with your arms and core. Hold!

 

Standing Forward Fold

mens yoga poses

Men who experience chronic tight hamstrings and spinal pain may find some relief from this pose. It’s also a great position to find anytime you need to clear your head.

Begin with your feet wider than your hips and your hands on your hips. As you exhale, tuck your chin toward your chest and bend forward at your hips. Lengthen your midsection as you fold forward to avoid tucking your spine under. Relax your shoulders and neck so your arms can hang loosely. Cross your forearms and grab your elbows, or if you can, place your fingertips on the floor in front of your feet. After you’ve felt the stretch, bring your hands to your hips and lift up on an inhale.

If your hamstrings are extra tight, you can modify by bending your knees slightly so your spine stretches toward your mat more. Also — don’t pull yourself down into the fold position with your hands. Gravity should be doing the work!

 

Warrior II

mens beginner yoga

Warrior II is part of many yoga flows, so it’s a good one to get comfortable with! It’s great for strengthening your legs and ankles, stretching the groin and upper body, and increasing stamina. It’s also helpful for relieving back pain.

Start with your feet wider than your hips and your hands on your hips. Step one foot forward on your mat so your feet are about four feet apart. Raise your arms so they are parallel to the ground, then reach them out actively to the sides. Your palms should be facing the floor. Your front feet should continue pointing forward while your back foot turns out to a 90-degree angle. Your heels should stay aligned. Your back knee cap should be in line with the center of the front ankle. Exhale and bend your front knee over your front ankle. Bring your thigh as close to parallel with the floor as possible. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch to the other side.

 

Crescent Lunge

beginner yoga for men

This pose is especially great for men who practice other workouts like running and biking, since it acts as a counter-stretch for the quads and hips. It also helps build balance and stability.

To get into Crescent Lunge, start in Downward-Facing Dog, with your hands and feet on your mat, your hips pushed up and back, and your weight in your back feet. From there, exhale and step your left foot forward between your hands. Your knee should be over your ankle and your feet hip-width apart. Lift your torso upright and bring your arms out to the side and over your head. If you can, bring your palms together. Press back through your right heel and lift up through your core. Bring your hands to the floor and step your front foot back to the original position. Then do it on the other side!

 

Half Bow Pose

mens yoga poses

According to Harvard Health, bad posture is rooted in many common contemporary habits like sitting at a computer, slouching on the couch, or looking down at our phones. And bad posture isn’t only a problem because it makes you look slouchy. It can also be painful! Men with poor posture are likely to experience back or neck pain, headaches, and mobility issues. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Positions like Half Bow Pose can help turn the tide on posture issues so you feel less pain. Half Bow Pose is also great for building strength in your core.

Begin by lying with your belly on your mat. Your legs should be together or just a few inches apart. Slide your right arm over your head with your palm facing down. Bend your right knee and reach your left hand back to grab your right heel or ankle. As you inhale, kick up your right foot to lift your leg, head, and chest off the floor. You can keep your right arm on the ground for support or lift it parallel to your mat for an extra challenge. Breathe and hold that position for a few breaths. After lowering back to the floor, you can switch sides.