Like many men before me, I was skeptical about doing yoga. I didn\u2019t believe yoga was just for women but I was very inflexible (sitting cross-legged was very uncomfortable!). Practising yoga for nearly 5 years and I have experienced many awesome benefits of yoga for men.\n\nPracticing yoga will improve the connection between your mind, body and soul. There are many measurable physical and mental benefits of yoga for men. Yoga is an effective workout where you can focus on areas that your other workouts may neglect. Yoga poses bring balance and variety to your workouts.\n\nPractising yoga may not be your most intense workout but it will always challenge you. My yoga experience has changed many aspects in the way I exercise and recover. It also has a positive impact on my diet, mental well-being and overall health.\n\nYoga's popularity and participation among men is growing. In 2019, over 25% of yoga practitioners were men. There have been a number of factors that has altered the view men have of yoga.\nYoga is an Effective Workout\nThere are more than 100 styles of yoga. You will find some that are gentle and relaxing while others are more fast paced. Yoga isn\u2019t considered and aerobic exercise even though styles like Bikram and Power will make even the fittest sweat.\n\n\n\nWhat makes yoga an effective workout is that it targets the whole body. You will build strength by holding your body weight in balance poses and constantly engaging your core. You improve your flexibility by stretching your muscles and increasing your range of motion.\n\nA study found that yoga improves core and upper body strength and endurance. Participants were able to do more curl-ups and push-ups after six weeks of classes.\nYoga for Men is Different from Yoga for Women\nThe most successful yoga for men classes and programs recognise the differences in men's and women's bodies. Men are usually less flexible than women and have a higher centre of gravity. Adjusting programs and classes to reflect these differences has made yoga far more accessible for men.\nYoga for Men Modifications\nIt is easy to modify postures so a lack of flexibility doesn\u2019t discourage men at the beginning. Less flexibility in the hips and shoulders require modifications. Men are encouraged to have their feet closer in lunges and bending knees during hamstring or adductor stretches.\n\nProps like blocks and straps are prominent. Blocks allow you to get closer to the ground in forward folds and twists. Using a strap makes it possible to connect arms and hands for side stretches and opening the shoulders.\n\nConsequently this recognition lessens the risk of injury where research suggests men are more prone to yoga-related injuries. William Broad\u2019s The Science of Yoga found higher numbers of serious yoga-related injuries in men. Many teachers attribute this to men being more likely to rush or force themselves into poses they aren\u2019t ready for.\nCentre of Gravity\nThe difference in centre of gravity between men and women is often forgotten. For men their centre of gravity is higher up in the shoulder, while for women it is in their core and hips. Being aware of the differences ensure you are less likely to have a negative view of your abilities.\n\nAs a man you may be haunted by the spirit of competition that's often bred into us from youth. Whatever version of yoga you do, remember it\u2019s YOUR practice. Appreciate and enjoy what your body is capable of and it is a beautiful gift.\nYoga for athletes\nYou\u2019ve probably seen stories about athletes and yoga. Professional basketball, football, hockey players, soccer teams, golfers, and tennis players \u2013 they\u2019re all doing yoga to help improve their game and stay healthy. Naturally, those guys who want to look and train like athletes followed.\n\nBelow are some of the awesome benefits of yoga for men that I hope will motivate you to give it a try. \u201cYoga is not just for the flexible, it is for the willing\u201d\nActive Lifestyle and Playing Sports\nIf you lead an active lifestyle and enjoy playing sports, yoga for men can really enhance those experiences in the following ways:\n\n \t Yoga challenges your entire body\n \t You will be healthy as well as fit \n \t Great for managing your weight\n \t Excellent compliment to your training schedule\n\nYoga Challenges Your Entire Body\nTraining regularly with just weight equipment and machines will become less effective over time. A major issue is that they only focus on one or two areas of your body. Over time the equipment and machines will become less effective. As a result you become accustomed to the repetitive actions.\n\nConsequently you try increasing the weight or doing more reps but over time the benefits lessen. You may be growing or strengthening some of your major muscles but many are being forgotten. The result is that your body will become unbalanced. This leads to more injuries and possible long-term structural damage.\n\n\n\nYoga challenges the whole body. It requires full support from the cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular, and endocrine systems. The benefits of yoga for men is that yoga poses align your body in positions that need support. \n\nYoga also requires that you use many more muscles. You use your own body weight as resistance. Exercise that challenges your entire body is more challenging and reduces possible injuries.\nYou Will Be Healthy as Well as Fit\nNo doubt another aspect that attracts men to yoga is the desire to achieve a \u201cyoga body\u201d. If you do yoga on a regular basis you will realise that being healthy goes much deeper than the way you look. You don\u2019t just need the strength but also you want pain-free movement and flexibility.\n\nA benefit of yoga for men is that you gain more confidence in your body. You know it will support you in any physical endeavour. Yoga widens your range of motion and increases access to more muscle fibres. It does this by allowing for more substantial hypertrophy in any given muscle group. An example of this is the yoga push-up which is a precise, contained movement.\nManaging weight with yoga\nThe benefits of yoga for men are significant for weight loss. No matter your starting size you will see results by practising yoga regularly. Yoga can be very helpful for treating obesity and losing weight, but only if it\u2019s used with healthy eating, stress management, and better sleep.\n\n\n\nDeep abdominal breathing is a major part of yoga. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This helps in lowering the levels of cortisol, a hormone that forces your body to hold on to belly fat. Yoga improves your decision-making skills, helping you live a healthier lifestyle.\nExcellent compliment to your training schedule\nResearch supports the view that strengthening the core improves balance and stability. The benefits of yoga for men is improvements in balance, control and core stability. Adding yoga workouts to your other training or sporting activities is encouraged. In time you will gain more control in your stabilising and synergistic muscles.\n\nYoga is good for building strength, but it\u2019s a different kind of strength. I wouldn\u2019t recommend replacing weight training with yoga. Likewise, yoga can be good for cardio, but running, swimming, or rowing is much better.\n\nAdd yoga poses into your training programs as a substitute for core workouts. Yoga sequences also work great as active recovery in other training sessions. They are not as demanding on your central nervous system as other workouts, but it\u2019s still beneficial. You still build strength, flexibility, and balance. Use yoga to help break up the intensity of your workout routine.\n\n\n\nIf you lift on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, then do yoga on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays. If you work out every day, then consider shortening some of your other workouts. Then you can give yourself 20 minutes to do yoga at the end of your shortened workout.\nPreventing and recovering from injuries\nGetting injured while playing sports or training is a very frustrating experience. We are living in a society where a culture of working hard and playing hard is the norm. Unfortunately this has resulted in many more work and leisure related injuries. \n\nThere are many benefits of yoga for men in preventing and recovering from injuries. Regular yoga practice will ensure your body is strong and ensure you have the protection in the following:\n\n \t Combating lower back pain & maintaining good posture\n \t Cultivating a strong immune system\n \t Managing muscle soreness\n \t Restoring energy levels\n\nCombating Lower Back Pain & Maintaining Good Posture\nLower back pain is a common symptom that affects many men. Lifestyle is one of the main reasons why you may suffer from this increasing affliction. You need to work to support yourself and your family. \n\nOffice jobs require you to sit at a desk for 7 plus hours a day. You sit down when you eat and commute to work. When you get home from work you sit on your comfy sofa to relax and unwind. It turns out your day is a marathon of sitting down! Many men end up with shortened hamstrings and illiopsoas muscles. and puts excessive strain on the lower back.\n\n\n\nThe daily routines of the modern lifestyle impacts your posture. The key to maintaining correct posture is good alignment of the upper body all the time. The back should be straight with your shoulders squared and relaxed. Keep your chin up, chest out, and stomach in. Very much like a straight line. \n\nThe benefits of yoga for men is that regular practice will make you much more aware of your body. You will start to break away from bad habits that impact on your posture. Yoga is fantastic for correcting postural faults and imbalances in the body.\nCultivating a Strong Immune System\nIf you have an active and busy lifestyle getting sick is a difficult pill to swallow. Everyone gets sick at some point but you want to give your body the best chance of avoiding illness. If you are unfortunate and do get ill you want to be able to recover as soon as possible. \n\nThere are of course medicines that help you recover. You may prefer natural healing products that provide extra defence against some illnesses. Unfortunately they don\u2019t help improve the body\u2019s immune system.\n\nRegular yoga practice strengthens the immune system at the cellular level. It does this by changing actual gene expression. Another one of the benefits of yoga for men is in improving your internal defence system. \n\nYoga does this by flushing the body of toxins, particularly if you do any form of hot yoga (i.e., Bikram). This type of yoga fuels a mock \u201cfever\u201d within the body and toughens the immune system defence.\nManaging Muscle Soreness\nA benefit of yoga for men is that it encourages more stretching. By not stretching you are increasing the likelihood of sore muscles over the next few days. Warming down after a tough training session or a competitive sporting match is vital. Unfortunately many of us skip this, which increases recovery times.\n\n\n\nYoga is hugely beneficial in working out stiffness from other sports or training. When muscles are fatigued they fill with lactic acid. Yoga stretches and releases tension which helps flush lactic acid away. You can also do many yoga poses and sequences in your warm-up. Having well stretched muscles will prevent injuries as well as reducing soreness.\nRestoring Energy Levels\nHaving an active or busy lifestyle can result in you not having the energy for sports or training. Many yoga styles and classes are physically or mentally challenging. But afterwards you generally don\u2019t feel that your body has lost all its energy. Instead, it actually increases your energy levels and vigour.\n\nYou will feel more aware and revitalised and promote healing within the body. Regular yoga will help you develop mindfulness. This will teach you a better awareness in understanding your body\u2019s limits.\nManaging mental health issues and improving well-being\nThe many benefits of yoga for men which are not physical. Yoga will help you manage mental health issues and improve your well-being. Yoga benefits men by positively impacting their mental health and well-being by:\n\n \t Reducing stress and managing anxiety\n \t Boosting brain function\n \t Improving self confidence\n \t Keeping cravings at bay\n\nReducing Stress and Managing Anxiety\nToday\u2019s fast-paced culture that can add stress and anxiety to your life. Your mobile phone is ringing, your boss wants to talk to you and your partner wants to know if you have paid the bills. Yoga has been proven to help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. \n\nYoga helps you slow down and be mindful. It teaches you relaxation and breathing techniques that promote calmness . Regular yoga practice combines physical and mental disciplines to the body and mind. This can help you relax and manage stress and anxiety.\n\n\nBoosting Brain Function\nYet another of the benefits of yoga for men isn't visual and takes some time to appreciate. Yoga holds the power to transform our minds as much as it does our bodies. Research proves that 20 minutes of yoga per day is a huge benefit to the brain. Yoga can act as an instant cognitive boost. \n\nApart from scaling back stress and anxiety, yoga keeps your mind focused on a single task. This often results in improved brain functions for many men. It promotes increased brain waves and better mental clarity. This compares better to almost any other form of exercise\u2014including running. The key: connected body and breath movement.\nImproving Self Confidence\nBy stretching your yoga muscles regularly you will increase body awareness and self-confidence. Consequently when you are confident you give off a warm, magnetic energy. This makes people feel really comfortable in your presence and improves interactions. \n\nConfidence is trusting in your decisions and believing in your abilities. A final benefit of yoga for men is being okay with your limitations. Yoga will keep you humble and appreciate your precious life.\n\n\nKeeping cravings at bay\nChanges in lifestyle and work has seen men\u2019s waistlines expanding at an alarming rate. For lots of men, fast food and ready meals are a too large part of their diet. Sedentary desk jobs involve spending eight plus hours in an idle, unnatural position. \n\nYou develop bad habits and find it easier to eat lunch at your desk. You also tend to have more sugary snacks to deal with the boredom or stress of any particular day. Another benefit of yoga for men is helping you stay in the present moment. You pay attention to what is going on with you, right now.