How Yoga Could Change Your Life? Healthy Benefits for Men.
Health is paramount to a happy life. Regardless of your age, maintaining a high standard of healthy living is usually first on the checklist of goals for men everywhere. However, temptation and laziness plague us all regularly. Yoga can help you to keep you healthy. Here is a detailed guide about how Yoga Could Change Your Life.
It’s a lot easier to grab that usual spot on the sofa and flip to your regular entertainment than pick up the weights and get to working out. Or, maybe, you’re already on the right track with your daily exercises but are looking for something new to add an extra spark to your routine. Either way, lifting all those heavy weights or going for a mile run isn’t always as motivating as you might want.
Beyond weight loss, yoga has tons of other benefits that will make you feel like the healthiest version of yourself.
Here, I’ll focus on five of the biggest health benefits of yoga for men: reducing stress, weight loss, easing joint pain, improving breathing, and increasing flexibility. Keep reading to see how yoga can help you.
Some experts have dated yoga to be over 10,000 years old. It is a predetermined set of stretching positions combined with breath control and meditation to reach spiritual wisdom, health, and relaxation. Its origins are from India, and it shares a lot of fundamental characteristics with the Hindu religion.
The process can take anywhere from 10 – 90 minutes (generally speaking) and has a wide range of difficulties depending on skill level. Students can begin with a set of simple positions and work their way up to contorted figures they never thought the human body could form. It can take place while standing, laying down, or even in a chair.
Beyond the positions, there is also a heavy focus on breath control. Between and during the different postures, people who do yoga (yogis) will either exhale or inhale at a controlled pace to empty the mind and relax the soul.
It became globally popular in the 1970s when popular opinion shifted towards spirituality and physical fitness due to the hippie and free love movements. Today, International Yoga Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries and is considered one of the most popular ways of exercising.
8 Types of Yoga That Are Great for Men
You should choose the type of yoga you want to practice based on the results you’re looking for, your physical build, and many other factors. Even more importantly, you should consider the type of exercise you like and your overall temperament and patience. The types can range from very demanding to super simple, and all have both beginner and expert regiments.
Take a look at the different types below to decide what’s right for you. Technically, there are thirteen different types of yoga. For this article, we will look at the eight most appealing and popular styles for men.
Vinyasa Yoga is one of the most common forms of yoga. Vinyasa translates to “flow” and refers to the fluid movement between positions during the routine. The change between these positions for every practice is what separates Vinyasa from other types of yoga. Most types will involve a specific set of positions every time you practice, while with Vinyasa, the positions can vary every time.
The counterpart to the fast-paced styles of “Yang Yoga” like Vinyasa and Power Yoga, Yin Yoga focuses on a slower pace and holding positions longer. It has this focus to target deep tissue like ligaments, joints, and bones. Since the process is slower, it won’t only help with accessing those hard to reach areas but also provide you with time to reflect and meditate.
Hatha Yoga combines the positions and techniques primarily from Vinyasa and Ashtanga yogas to make a wide-ranging, accessible, and diverse routine. It is the most popular with beginners because instructors can rework it in many ways to match skill level, fitness, and flexibility. The main difference between this and Vinyasa/Ashtanga is breath control. Students focus on breathing during stable postures as opposed to in between movements.
One of the most spiritual types of yoga is Kundalini Yoga. The process combines postures and movements with chanting and singing as breath control methods and a means to spiritual awakening. The exercises in this style are called Kriyas and are said to create energy and deliver it to specific parts of the body. During the practice, there are also times where people are completely still; these moments are built into the routine to allow for self-reflection, introspection, and discovery of “The Self.”
Another extremely common type of yoga practice is Ashtanga Yoga. It follows a similar movement and breathing pattern to Vinyasa, but there is less variation of movements for each practice. Each pose is mastered one at a time by the student. A strong relationship between student and master is required to select and practice postures tailored uniquely and accurately to their needs and ability. When a person perfects one pose, their master will teach them a new one, and the process continues like this until the student has learned six specific poses.
If you’re looking for a type of yoga for older people, then Iyengar Yoga might be right for you. It is the only type of yoga that requires props, and some classes can take place in a chair throughout the entire time. Iyengar yoga emphasizes finding the best alignment in poses.
The props (like chairs, blocks, blankets, and straps) help students find the proper alignment in a pose. However, some instructors have adopted the sequences using the props to allow people with physical impairments to practice yoga more effectively.
Power Yoga is the least traditional form of yoga. Instructors who are looking to create their unique styles and routines often fall under this category. It has the same characteristics as Vinyasa and Ashtanga but allows instructors room to create their poses without the other styles’ restrictive cultural and spiritual guidelines.
The most relaxing form of yoga is Restorative Yoga. It’s even encouraged to fall asleep in some of the positions! The process involves very long static pauses where a yogi can remain in a position for more than five minutes. The idea is to slowly open stiff muscles while calming the mind through easy breathing and gradual movement.
The Top 5 Health Benefits of Yoga for Men
Every person (and their body) can benefit from yoga, but here are five health benefits that will serve men.
Exercise and meditation are two of the most highly regarded methods for reducing stress. Yoga is the synthesis of both of these methods while including breathing exercises making it a triple threat for even the most stressed-out individuals.
Stress and exercise are like supervillains and superheroes. Exercise eliminates the crime stress causes in your body by producing endorphins. These endorphins are clinically proven to give you more energy throughout your day and increase your positive attitude.
Meditation and breathing exercises are also universally recommended by doctors for patients with stress issues. Often, the thought processes we repeat throughout our daily lives can lead us to a vicious cycle of self-blame and lack of motivation. Focusing on your breathing or allowing your mind time to drift and wonder helps us escape these problems and cycles of thinking.
Clinical professionals and scientists have conducted hundreds of studies about stress and yoga, and the results are almost always the same: people who practiced yoga reported being less stressed out.
Like any physical activity, yoga helps slow weight gain and helps with weight loss as well. A study of over 15,550 adults aged 53 – 57 (ages with a high risk for weight gain) revealed that average-weight people who practice yoga for four years gained three fewer pounds per year than people who didn’t, and overweight people gained 18.5 fewer pounds.
What makes this one of the more appealing weight loss methods is that each pose individually is not that demanding. People can get through an entire class and not feel the same grueling mental exhaustion of a long run or bike ride. It’s also something you can do inside your own home for cheap without relying on weather conditions or a trip to the local gym.
There are even specific types of yoga for weight loss and calorie burning. One of the most popular is hot yoga. This method involves yogis doing their postures sequence in rooms of 80 – 100℉ for maximum weight loss.
Easing Joint Pain
Doctors have proven that yoga can significantly benefit individuals who suffer from joint pain conditions, especially arthritis. The stretching involved during yoga exercises helps reach tender tissues and ligaments directly impacted by diseases like arthritis.
Making these parts of the body more flexible causes less tension and, consequently, less pain. This flexibility can also help people become more mobile, and the stress-reducing benefits also help people with these ailments get better sleep.
Yoga is so widely accepted as a method for treating joint pain that there are classes specifically designed to help people with these conditions. Ask at your local yoga studio if they have one of these classes, or look online to find a routine you can practice at home.
The circulation of air through your body is a pivotal part of the yoga process. Regardless of the type of yoga you’re practicing, it will include at least some regulated breathing exercises. This exercise can increase the flow and amount of oxygen in your body up to five times. Since oxygen is the fuel that powers your body’s organs, more of it means they will function better. It also helps flush out toxins faster.
Beyond the oxygen, yoga also promotes the overall health of your respiratory system. Certain poses can stretch your lungs and ribs positively, which makes it easier for you to breathe and for them to function. This improved breathing makes blood movement in your body much more effective, allowing for better circulation in distant extremities like your fingers and toes.
Like any muscle training, consistent work and exercise will lead to growth. It just so happens that the motions in yoga focus on stretching muscles as well as strengthening them. This stretching will increase your flexibility and reduce stiffness over time.
When first starting, it can feel as if you are unable to do any of the positions. When your instructor touches their toes, your fingers may be little more than a centimeter below the knee. However, like magic, you will drift closer and closer to your toes until you’re doing stretches and positions that you never even dreamed of.
How To Start
Now that you know all these awesome facts about yoga, you probably want to get started. Please take a look at our suggestions below so you can begin your path to becoming a yogi.
Find a Studio or Instructor
As we mentioned earlier, yoga is one of the most popular types of exercise in the world. Every country has studios and classes available. Consider googling for local studios, joining a Facebook group, or even using the yoga studio locator website to find the best options near you.
Go on Youtube
If you don’t want to shell out the cash for professional classes, you can learn at home. Youtube has many options for yoga channels that are available in several languages for all different types of yoga and skill levels. You can even find channels dedicated to the study of yoga, its history, and the latest news updates.
Download an App
Some guys need a little more interactivity than a YouTube channel. We recommend downloading an app for yoga for men; my favorite is Down Dog. The app is incredibly customizable, allowing you to pick your instructor, narrator, skill level, practice length, and even music.
With all the health benefits, it’s no mystery why yoga is so popular and highly regarded by fitness enthusiasts and medical professionals worldwide. Consider these benefits of yoga for men, look at the different styles, and think about trying a new yoga pose next time you feel like exercising. Yoga is a great way for men to stay healthy, and it’s easy to conclude that with no STRETCH of the imagination.
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