Yoga isn't about how flexible you are. No one expects you to be able to touch your toes in the first class - although if you can, that's great. Doing what you can is good enough. The more you practice, the more flexible you will become. When in a yoga class, don't worry about what others are doing; focus on yourself. It's important to remember that no two bodies are alike. Here are Six Great Yoga Poses for Men to get started.
Raggedy Andy anyone? This is a simple pose that can be done anytime anywhere. Stand hip widths distance or wider, fold at your hips, reach for opposite elbows, and sway. Not only does this pose have some calming effects for the nervous system, it can be a great lelease for your achilles, calves, hamstrings, lower back, mid back, neck, traps, and lats.
DOWNWARD FACING DOG
Downward facing dog is one of the most underrated poses in yoga. Not only does it increase wrist strength by introducing the body to bear weight on your hands, but it also increases ankle mobility, and traction for your spine.
LOW LUNGE WITH QUAD STRETCH
This pose is great for active men to get the most bang for their buck in mobility, increased range of motion, and active recovery. There is a lot to analyze in this pose. Your front hip is in flexion, back hip is in extension, giving a great stretch in your psoas and hip flexors. Your spine is rotated, with your top palm open to reach for your outer back ankle to receive the quad stretch you also get a great stretch in your pecs and anterior delts. You can utilize a strap in this pose to aid in the quad stretch, or stack books/blocks underneath your bottom hand to give you some height in order to make reaching around more accessible.
Otherwise known as the Deep Squat is great for men because not only does it require great range of motion in your ankles, knees, and hips, it can help with pelvic floor stability, decrease low back pain, and reinforces activation of your spinal erectors.
If you ran track or played sports in high school you may know this as the 90/90 sit. It is a great alternative to half pigeon pose. You will still get the benefits of the outer hip stretch in your front hip, while decreasing the pressure on your knee joint. In your back leg you get a stretch of your hip flexor and inner thigh. You can alter the angle of your legs and torso to increase or decrease sensation. If you rotate your torso over the front hip, it's a great low back stretch as well.
This pose is great for low back low back mobility and tight pecs. Lie on your back, bring your knees up to your chest and rock them over to one side. You may want a pillow or block under your knees until your range of motion increases. Ground through the opposite shoulder. Focus your breath into the shoulder and feel the stretch happen across your body into the opposing hip. Switch sides.