At Yoga for Men, we believe that YOGA is for everyBODY. Big, small, short, tall and all colors in between. One important thing that yoga can teach a person is that the more time one spends practicing yoga, the more one begins to realize that we’re really all the same. We’re all just people going through our lives ultimately seeking happiness in one way or another despite how we identify ourselves (labels and attachments). So whatever stage in life you’re at, and no matter your skill level, the goal of union somehow is unchanging.
Something that I’ve been working on a lot in my own practice as of late is “floating”. Floating is done frequently in Ashtanga yoga but it’s also something that can be added to any yoga asana practice. Floating requires deep core strength, focus, and economical and efficient use of alignment. But even more importantly, proper and smooth floating demands that you get in touch with Mula bandha and Uddiyana bandha as learning to connect the bandhas together will add lightness and lift to your movement.
Meditation is one of the best things we can do for our body, mind, and spirit. Especially when it comes to achieving balance in one or all of the chakra centers, the art of meditating and visualizing is our greatest ally and tool. There are many methods for balancing and opening the energy centers. This meditation is aimed at moving through the chakras one at a time, allowing you the freedom to spend as much time as you want in any specific area. This gives you the power to customize your experience based on what you need in any given moment. We recommend moving through all the chakras the first few times. This will help you assess which ones need the most time and focus.
One of the most common questions we get at Yoga for Men is “How can I begin my home Yoga practice?” While there are many answers to this broad question, the solution varies greatly depending upon which stage of practice you are in, and what your prior physical history has been up until this point. While I’m not going to get too deep and throw a bunch of Sanskrit words at you…yet, I do ask that you give your Yoga practice an honest effort and keep an open mind to possibility.
Recently, I was asked by someone as to what to expect from his first yoga class. This person, oh, I’ll call him…”Wayne”, really wants to go down the yoga rabbit hole so to speak, but he’s intimidated by thought of being splayed-out, sweaty and inflexible in front of a room full of strangers, uncertain as to what posture to do next, or if he’d even be ABLE to do whatever posture comes next.
Yeah, I get that. Totally.
Strength. Wisdom. Grace.
Each of these portraits embody all of these characteristics. Strength and flexibility for the posture combined with a gracefulness that comes from a quiet mind. Self awareness, patience, and inner wisdom are powerfully present with each photograph.
I am interested in focusing my series on male yogis simply because the current mainstream view of yoga is that it’s for women. The majority of magazines and advertisements for the yoga industry feature women in beautiful, elegant, and enviable poses. I want to show how elegant, graceful as well as masculine men can look while practicing yoga.
Every once in awhile something comes along that changes the way you go about your daily life, or changes the way you do things in a fundamental way. In time – and after using said “something” for long enough – you begin to ask yourself, “How did I get along without THAT?…What was life even like BEFORE X?…How did I even GET BY before I knew that existed?”. These “game-changers” if you will, come along infrequently, and I’ve been around long enough know that when they do, you cherish them, you appreciate them, and you know that you’re one of the lucky ones to have found it.
Not to oversell it, but Kharma Khare’s “Yoga Reincarnated” yoga mat IS such a thing.
Recently, a close friend of mine was asking me about meditation. He knows I practice yoga and meditation and he was picking my brain to find out a little bit more about how it could benefit him. At one point he uttered the famous phrase that every beginner says about meditation, “I CAN’T meditate. I can’t turn my thoughts off.” As every yogi knows, this famous phrase is second only to “I can’t do Yoga, I’m not flexible”, which is akin to not taking medicine because you’re already sick. It just doesn’t make sense.
Here are thirteen different ways to make your way into handstand in your yoga practice. Handstand takes courage, practice, focus and determination. With a little practice, you can get there as well. The key then becomes, what are you learning from it that helps you off of the mat?
When dealing with hamstring injuries, it’s best to be proactive and avoid the desire to sit back and “let them heal”. We all deal with hamstring tightness, some more than others, but Yoga is wonderful in providing us the tools to create flexibility in the one of the tightest spots in our bodies. Hamstring muscles are also some of the biggest muscles in the body as well, making working with them a challenge.
“Avoid the temptation to rest a pulled hamstring,” says Nicole DeAvilla, an Ananda-certified RYT with a background in sports medicine. When muscle fibers tear and then begin to heal, they tend to bunch up and shorten if there’s no stretching, which makes recovery even harder. Don’t over do it, though-stretch only to the edge of the discomfort. And don’t forget about strengthening.
Learn the value of simple meditation and understand the absolute basics of how to become mindful. You can take this technique with you wherever you go. This is a valuable and portable practice to keep with you during the day, and use in your most stressful moments.
The world CAN and WILL BE a better place if more people learn these simple techniques. One minute, that’s all it takes.
“Yoga is the best thing for your sex life! It keeps you limber in all kinds of ways. It teaches you to love your body and your partner’s body. But more than anything, it keeps your mind liquid, and nothing’s sexier than that… I think yoga is a great way to force your outside of your mental and physical rigidity.” ~ Woody Harrelson