Motivator & Yoga Mentor For Men
TwitterFacebookEmail

Daily Yoga Routine For Dudes

Most men come to yoga with aches and pain. Whether it’s from a long athletic career, or through work or day-to-day life, men are nearly always dealing with some nagging injury. A daily routine is crucial for men to begin to get out of debilitating discomfort and begin living their lives healthy and pain-free.

 

This full-spectrum sequence is great for guys who come to yoga as a raw beginner. It is also a nice foundational practice for someone who is more experienced at yoga. These basic poses are powerful tools for healing the body and maintaining strength and flexibility. These poses are the pillars in which to build on a strong practice and they are the most efficient way to keep your vitality. Make the time to go through this short set of poses routinely and you will be thrilled with the results.

 

Below are the key actions and variations for optimal alignment for men in each pose.

Mountain
Stand at the top of your mat with your feet hips width apart and your feet pointing straight forward to create more space in your low back. Root your feet down evenly, straighten your legs, lengthen your back and deepen your breath.

Arms Overhead
On your inhale, reach your arms overhead with your palms facing forward to accommodate stronger shoulders, exhale: keep the lift in your back as you relax your arms at your side.

Standing Forward-Fold
With your feet hips-width apart, bow forward and touch your fingertips to the floor just in front of your toes. Bend your knees as much as you have to touch the floor to make it accessible for tighter hamstrings for a healthy alignment in your back. As much as you can keep your fingertips on the floor, actively stretch your legs towards straight.

Half-Way Lift
Inhale, straighten your legs, bring your fingertips on the floor in front of you or onto your shins, or thighs – get as tall as you have to in order to extend your back long. Tilt your chin up.

High Lunge Twist
Get onto your fingertips to engage your arm muscle and to prevent any slouch in the back. Stay on fingertips on the bottom hand as you reach your top arm up to twist.

Plank
Make sure the center of your wrist is under your outer shoulder. For many men who have broader shoulders, this might mean your first two fingers go off of your mat – they don’t make yoga mats wide enough for dudes.

Low Plank
Keep your elbows far enough far enough away from your ribs to keep your shoulders lifted.

Locust
If the shoulders are stronger and round forward, release your clasp and work with airplane arms or use a strap to widen your clasp.

Cobra
Keep a little bend in the elbows to prevent stronger shoulders from slouching.

Down Dog
Widen your feet hips-width apart, look at your feet and make sure they are straight forward. Bend your knees half-way towards the mat and without moving your feet, widen your knees as wide as your feet. Tilt your hips up, until you feel your pelvis tilt up and a lift in your low back. Only as much as you can keep that lift in your low-back, work your legs as straight as they will go.

Chair
With your feet and knees hips width apart to create more space in your low back, bend your knees and sit heavy while stretching your arms overhead, palms facing forward.

Side Angle
Bring your right forearm to your thigh so your back doesn’t strain, and stretch your top arm by your ear.

Triangle
Get as tall as you need to to avoid any slouching in the shoulders or back. This might mean you use a block under the front hand or lift the front hand off the floor.

Wide-Angle Forward-Fold
Touch your hands down just under your shoulders to accommodate for tight hamstrings. As the hamstrings open, you can walk your hands closer to your feet  and bend your elbows to bow.

Pigeon With A Thigh Stretch
If you can’t reach the foot, straighten your grounded arm and get taller. If you still can’t reach, let it go and lower your back foot down to avoid cramping in the hamstring. If you feel it about to cramp, let it go.

Pyramid
If your hamstrings are tighter, and you can’t touch the floor, keep your hands on your hips, or bend your front knee as much as you need, to touch the floor.

Bridge
If you are not able to get your arms straight, hold the edges of your mat to get more leverage.

Supine Twist
Keep your top knee bent in order to keep your shoulders planted on the floor.

Happy Baby
Hold the knees rather than the feet to create a healthy placement for your pelvis and low back.

Seated Wide Angle Forward Fold
Start with your hands behind you on the floor and root your legs down powerfully, lean back and lift your low back up and chest up until you feel your pelvis tilt up. Only as much as you can keep your legs rooted and a lift in your low back, you can bow forward.

 

15 Minute Yoga Routine For Runers

For all of my runner friends, this short sequence will help you run more fluidly and pain-free. Just by implementing this short routine, you will run faster & longer & recover more efficiently.

This sequence stretches:

  • IT Bands
  • Hamstrings
  • Quads
  • Hips

It’s these specific areas that tend to be problematic for runners and cause torque on the knees, hips and ankles. Take the time to get a yoga stretch in and you will crush your run!

 

Why Yoga Is More Than a Workout

Skip the trendy workout yoga classes and commit to a high-quality practice.

 

lungewithblock

 

Do you stare at the clock during your workout waiting for it to end? Or maybe you space out, staring glossy-eyed at a big-screen television while you step, run or elliptical your evening away. Exercise trends such as Zumba, Tae Bo, Jazzercise, P90X and Insanity come and go. Many styles of yoga fall into this category of providing a “quick fix” because they eliminate details and the depth of a thorough yoga practice. A workout style of yoga is a popular entry point for students. However, it often leaves them unsatisfied, injured and seeking more. Rather than chase instant gratification and a temporary solution to get healthy, try quality yoga for a full, meaningful and safe experience.

A Full-Spectrum Practice

At some point, you need depth in your yoga practice to achieve healthy, long-lasting results. Like a relationship, if you are bored and not enjoying yourself, it will be short-lived. If it is purely physical, it will burn out quickly. Yoga that provides insight and fitness is a great way to maintain a practice with radical depth. You can have fun, get fit, and continuously learn and evolve. A robust yoga practice delivers profound insights on alignment, while bringing your attention to the simplicity of the breath. Afterward, you feel more grounded in your mind. It’s this mind-body experience that makes you feel blissed-out after yoga and provides a richness in your practice.

Applicable

A good yoga practice helps to find the value of its teachings in everyday life. Unlike working out, yoga classes have a specific focus or theme that is woven throughout the sequence. These are simple concepts that correlate with real-life situations. A theme could be something as simple as commitment or patience. It is a way to focus your practice and also helps to guide you in the sequence of poses you are working on. When you practice with a vision, it gives you a purpose that goes beyond the physical poses.

Acceptance Over Competition

Don’t live to do yoga. Practice yoga to live. Your physical body will go through many different evolutions through time as you grow with your yoga practice. Some poses you will achieve, some you won’t. You might be able to practice some poses today that you won’t come close to achieving in five years. The poses are fun, and are a great way to keep your vitality. However, a strong yoga practice helps you relish life and the things that matter most to you. The point is not whether you can put your foot behind your head or get into a handstand, but rather to practice showing up for the people and things you love most.

Awareness

Yoga is one of the few times in your busy life where you can step away from the phone, computer and TV to really be present with yourself. With workouts, you can mindlessly go through the motions. In yoga, you have to be completely focused on the instruction, every movement and every breath. This focused attention creates a moving meditation where you can only be in that moment and you forget about the stress of life.

Alignment

There is no limit to the ways you can approach the poses. The subtle nuances that you can focus on while working the biomechanics in your body provide a very tangible method to advance in your practice. Through this awareness, you find revelations in your body that are fascinating and keep you longing for more. Something as fundamental as how you shift your weight in your feet and the tendency to favor one side while balancing can make profound shifts in your practice and daily life. When you intellectualize the physical postures, rethink and rework them with healthy alignment, you open up your body and mind to the possibility of more.

Community

The joy of yoga is to take what works for you and your gifts and offer them to others. You learn more about yourself and the practice when you are in conversation. It is powerful to experience a yoga class with your peers. It feels uplifting, and you bring one another to a higher level. You unconsciously put in more effort and feel more inclined to be at your best when you are in the company of others.

Integrated

Overall, everyone wants to be healthy, fit and at their best. Working out is not a bad thing if done intelligently. In fact, most yoga is a great workout. But to say yoga is only a workout is like saying music is only a sound. Yes, fitness is an important part of most modern yoga systems, but it is only a piece of a very dynamic puzzle. Yoga has staying power because it is a great way to align all facets of your life so that you feel more complete and healthy.