As a child, I grew up watching cartoon characters like Superman, Popeye and Hercules. These men were brave, strong and ever helpful. Whatever be the catastrophe, they would always turn up and defeat the bad guys, no matter whatever the size of their foe. As a child, I idolized them and always wanted to be strong like them. I do realize now that it's not humanly possible to fly or lift huge boulders with bare hands, but I still believe that one can definitely work their way to having a strong body like these supermen.
The idea of having a better looking body is not just restricted to women today. Many men are particular about their look and spend a couple of hours working out every day to tone their bodies. In recent times, yoga has also emerged as a popular workout alternative around the world, especially amongst women. Quite a lot of men are usually skeptical to take up yoga due to the misconception that yoga is meant only for women.
Flexibility is something that helps do yoga, and that's where men feel left behind. Yoga experts believe that this misconception about yoga amongst men has arisen out of the fact that a woman's body adapts to different yoga postures easily as compared to a man's. According to a study, men tend to lose their flexibility as early as the end of teenage. They tend to focus mostly on the chest, shoulders and arms; and eventually end up ignoring the lower half that results in muscles being comparatively tighter in hamstrings, legs and groin regions. This is one of the reasons why men have difficulty stretching on the yoga mat and prefer to maintain a safe distance from yoga.
What men need to understand is that yoga is not an alternative for gym or cycling, but an add-on that helps them a long way. Men love pumping iron at the local gym or running miles on the treadmill, to increase their stamina and tone their body. Yoga energizes the body and calms the mind, both of which are good before you start your preferred workout regime. Yoga prepares your body for the workout by making it more flexible and also boosts your stamina. So, the next time loosen up your body with these simple yoga postures and feel the difference!
The Warrior pose strengthens and tones the arms, legs and lower back. It improves balance in the body and helps increase stamina. This posture is especially useful for men with sedentary jobs, as it helps improve the posture.
The Chair pose helps exercise the spine, hips and chest muscles. It strengthens the lower back and torso and also tones the thigh, ankle, leg and knee muscles. This posture also helps men attain a good posture.
3. Setu Bandhasana
The Bridge pose stretches the chest, neck and spine. It strengthens the back muscles and also improves digestion. This posture helps calms the mind and reduces stress and anxiety; and is very effective for men who frequently work on tight schedules and have over-stressing jobs.
(Standing forward bend)
The Standing forward bend stretches all the muscles of the back, invigorates the nervous system and increases blood supply. This posture also tones the abdominal organs and makes the spine supple. This pose helps alleviate stress and helps men suffering from insomnia or headache.
5. Adho Mukha Svanasana
(Downward facing dog pose)
The Downward facing dog pose strengthens the muscles of the chest, arms, shoulders, legs and feet. It increases circulation to the brain and also calms the mind.
The Bow pose strengthens the back and abdominal muscles, tones the arms and leg muscles, and adds greater flexibility to the back. It is also a very good stress and fatigue buster.
The Boat pose strengthens the back and abdominal muscles and tones the leg and arm muscles.
The Tree pose strengthens the legs, opens the hips and improves balance. It also brings equilibrium to the mind and rejuvenates it. This posture helps relieve sciatica, a rising problem amongst men and women today.
Stretching on the yoga mat helps add more vigor, improves flexibility and relieves your body and mind of stress. These postures can be used to warm up the body for workout, hence reducing the chances of accidentally pulling a muscle or sustaining other injuries. You can also practice a few of the resting poses after work to help de-stress yourself and enjoy quality time with your family.
Yoga works on the physical and mental level, helping you as you play different roles throughout the day. With regular practice of yoga, even men can have a more flexible body and pull off advanced yoga postures.
Learn more about the right way of doing yoga at a local Art of Living Yoga Course and unlock your body's true potential. Let trained professionals guide you to a better body and mind; and help chalk out a yoga routine that suits you best. Experience the wonder of yoga at an Art of Living Yoga course and be amazed.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Art of Living Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and an Art of Living Yoga teacher. Find an Art of Living Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on courses or share feedback? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Arun Samotra
(Arun is a writer from Mumbai, India. He is passionate about photography, travelling, world movies, graphic novels and technology.)