The benefits of yoga for men are vast and varied. Even though yoga has been around for centuries, it is only recently that people have begun to realize the many benefits of this practice.
Yoga is not just a workout; it is a way to connect with your body and mind, increase flexibility and strength, and reduce stress. For men, in particular, yoga can provide a number of unique benefits.
Ashtanga yoga is actually a form of Yoga that was developed by the Indian military to increase physical preparedness and flexibility during war.
Now, ashtanga yoga has made its way into gyms and professional sports teams’ training programs around the world.
Professional athletes are not the only men who are discovering the benefits of yoga, though.
Here are some of the main benefits of Yoga for Men.
- 11 Benefits of Yoga For Men
- Best Yoga Styles for Men
- Final thoughts on the Benefits of Yoga for Men
11 Benefits of Yoga For Men
Strength and Flexibility
One of the best effects that regular yoga has on your physical health is that the dynamic flow can improve muscle strength and flexibility all in one, which is essential for a healthy full-body workout because only flexible joints and muscles can be trained for optimal strength and prevent serious sports injuries that can occur from overstressing the muscles due to excessive strength training.
Therefore yoga is a great bodyweight training.
Great Cardio Practice
The continuous movement, especially in Vinyasa Yoga, is a great way to improve your heart’s fitness. Which is the muscle we want to practice during a Cardio Workout. Strengthening your heart muscle not only improves your overall fitness but can also be a great preventive measure against cardiovascular diseases.
Standing asanas, arm balancing asanas, and inversions are all great yoga poses to train your core and improve your balance. This again improves coordination and also concentration. Therefore yoga not only keeps you balanced on a physical level but also on a mental level.
With this it means helping you be aware of your body physically, like standing straight and tall, being aware of how you fuel your body with energy. What foods you eat, what drinks you drink, and how to take proper care of yourself.
It also means being aware and taking care of your soul. Your mind. Your mental health. Which people you let into your life, which words you think and speak, and also very importantly how you look at your environment.
All of the physical benefits listed above can help to prevent injuries obtained by working out incorrectly.
It is important to always warm up, always cool down, and use the above point: body awareness, to listen to your body. It will tell you how it wants to be trained on that particular day.
Improves sports performance
The above-listed benefits of yoga also improve the quality of other practiced sports. It is not without reason that a lot of professional soccer-, basketball players and Olympic athletes practice yoga regularly as well.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
If Yoga is practiced correctly, pranayama, Shavasana (or corpse pose) and meditation should not be ignored.
Pranayama which is the breathwork of Yoga can have lots of amazing health benefits for the body, one of which would be reducing stress, calming the mind, and with that also lowering anxiety.
Shavasana or corpse pose should always be the last pose of your physical yoga practice. One of its benefits also is to calm down and concentrate on relaxing the muscles of the body completely.
You should always take time to meditate. You did not practice yoga properly if you have not taken some time to calm your mind.
Calms the mind
As already said above, Yoga is not yoga without meditation which is vital to calm the mind. Yoga can be understood to balance the mind and the body. Thus it is a workout, physically for your body, but also a work in, mentally, calming you down, silencing the noise in your head, and helping you focus on the important things that might just be drowned out by the many other thoughts that circulate your brain.
Better job performance
Yoga can enhance your brain function due to the increased concentration that you can obtain by practicing poses like, tree pose and crane pose regularly.
By reducing anxiety and stress, through calming the mind, like listed above you can also feel more refreshed to perform better at your job, if it is mentally challenging or physically strenuous.
Get better sleep
In our modern stressful and hectic world, it can be quite difficult to calm down, and fall asleep.
If you do eventually fall asleep often enough the noise in your head, may it be the stress from work or the pressure from social media keeps you from coming to rest and prevent you from sleeping deeply.
Doing some Yin Yoga before going to bed, can help you sleep like a baby. Don’t forget to meditate and practice your pranayama to also still the mind not just relax your body.
Another great benefit that yoga has for men is increasing your self-esteem. Yoga will make you feel good about your body and in your body, which will improve your confidence.
Best Yoga Styles for Men
Hatha Yoga is a main branch of Yoga. Typically for Hatha Yoga are the slow and controlled movements from one yoga pose to the other, while at the same time concentrating not only on the pose but also on the breath.
Hatha Yoga is great for beginners due to its slow pace and long pauses between each new pose.
Vinyasa Yoga is practiced at a faster pace than Hatha Yoga, where the poses are connected together in such a way that you have a nice flow moving from one pose to the next, together with the movement of your breath.
The intensity and difficulty of Vinyasa Yoga can vary greatly.
Ashtanga Yoga is a dynamic and more intense form of Hatha Yoga. It is a very energetic yoga style that combines continuous movement with the flow of your breath (Therefore it is also called Ashtanga Vinyasa).
Ashtanga Yoga will definitely challenge your fitness, strength, and flexibility, and you will leave your mat sweaty, yet with new energy and a calm mind.
Yin Yoga focuses more on relaxing and calming the mind. Where the other Yoga styles like Ashtanga concentrate on strengthening the muscles, yin yoga is the very important counterpart that concentrates on the deeper lying tissues.
Yin Yoga can also be great for athletes that want to balance their ‘Yang Energies’. After a powerful workout, Yin Yoga can cool you down and calm and relax you again. Therefore it is also great to prevent sports injuries, giving the body tissues time to recover.
Acro Yoga is a fun way of connecting with friends or a partner or even bonding with your kids. It combines yoga asanas with acrobatics.
Acro Yoga can be practiced by beginners as well as advanced Yogis. You just need a partner to lift you up or that you can lift up.
Final thoughts on the Benefits of Yoga for Men
Yoga can have amazing benefits not only for women but especially for men if practiced correctly and regularly.
What is important to remember is that yoga is about being physically and mentally healthy and feeling good about yourself and your surroundings.
Is Yoga good for men?
If Yoga is practiced correctly and regularly yoga is a great way for men to gain strength, increase their fitness levels, reduce stress, and improve other sports and job performances.
Is Yoga better than going to the gym?
There is not really a definite and true answer here. Firstly it is a matter of taste, some people enjoy the dynamic flow of yoga more than going to the gym, while other men enjoy lifting heavy weights more than training only with their body weight.
Gym and Yoga both have in common that they increase your fitness and strength level if practiced correctly, you can attain an all-over strength.
Yoga has the added benefit of increased flexibility, balance, and natural body strength and movement as well as calming the mind, reducing stress, and all the advantages that come with it, as listed above.
Will Yoga give you defined abs?
Yoga is a great way to get defined abs, as almost every yoga pose, if done correctly and mindfully, activates the core muscles and thus strengthens the muscles all over.