People always talk about how more men should do yoga. We see it in magazines and newspapers, and there's even an entire yoga class for men called Broga (not kidding). I realized recently that I am part of the problem because my blog caters to females, so I decided that starting this week I would try to include guys a bit more. If you're a male reader, feel free to help me out by submitting your yoga questions, and then get excited! There's lots more for you coming up starting with today's #YOGABROTIP (ok sorry, I know that hashtag is cheesy).
But in all seriousness, today's post is all about the common problems I see men having in yoga class and how to fix them. Shout out to my husband for helping me out by doing the poses. I thought it'd be more authentic that way, since I am not your average guy. ;)
So here we go- the first pose is eagle pose. It is a good pose especially for runners, as it strengthens the ankles and little muscles in the feet. You really want to squeeze the arms and legs together. The idea is to one day be able to tuck the toes behind the standing leg, but most men are not quite there yet. The biggest challenge I see, however, is men being unable to cross their arms in a way that allows the back to stay flat. This is particularly tough for guys who bulk up in their upper body. The quick fix is to press the forearms together.
The next pose is super basic - your regular old seated position. Most yoga classes start this way and if a lot of men are having a problem just sitting down then it's no wonder they don't want to come to class! The problem lies in the tilt of the pelvis. Due to tight hips, low back and hamstrings, the pelvis tends to tilt back, which you can see in the photo causes the back to round. The quick fix is to use a yoga block. Sit on the very edge of it so the pelvis tilts slightly forward. This will bring the body into alignment.
PS-More tips on how to use a yoga block.
Next up is this warrior 1 chest opener. The problem is that a lot of guys have tight chests and shoulders which prevent them from being able to press the palms together and get height in the arms (here I am doing the pose, in case you're wondering how it looks when you've got a lot of flexibility). The quick fix is to grab the forearms or opposite elbows. This little trick can apply to any chest opener, too - it doesn't have to be only when you're in warrior 1 feet.
The last pose suptabaddakonasana, or reclined hip opener. It's great for people with tight hips, but if you're really tight it might feel way too intense on the inner thighs. This is what happens for a lot of men, so the quick fix is to use a yoga block on either side of the legs for support. You'll still get a good stretch, but it won't be painful.