In this three-part blog series, we’ll explore “Manly Moves” designed specifically for men who want to improve their flexibility, reduce stress, and enhance their overall well-being. In our first blog, we explored how yoga can enhance your strength, flexibility, and mental focus. If you missed out on Part 1, be sure to check it out and you’ll have a chance experience your first yoga flow sequence.
For Part 2, we are going to continue your yoga journey to improve your physique and serenity! I will be introducing you to a new yoga flow sequence while you discover the power of yoga on the Total Gym. So grab your Total Gym, put on your warrior spirit, and let’s dive into a world where strength meets tranquility.
MANLY MOVES: FLOW II
Utilizing your Total Gym will help all of you “tight, non flexible” men learn to love to stretch! The Total Gym acts as the perfect “prop” to assist and accommodate your flexibility by positioning the incline at an achievable height and by using the glide board to move with you through different ranges of motion. It’s the perfect solution to help you gain the flexibility and mobility in your muscles.
Listed below are 3 yoga movements that will get you “flowing” on your Total Gym. Learn the movements first, then give them a go on your Total Gym. Adjust your incline to accommodate your flexibility and see what feels best for you when on your Total Gym. I suggest starting at a medium incline and lower it as you develop your flexibility.
Focus on performing the movements slowly with control and breathe fully into each pose. Be consistent, practice often, and make it part of your daily habits. Now let’s flow …
*The accompanying video demonstration will explain in detail how to perform these poses/ stretches on your Total Gym.*
Directions: Perform this flow 2xs through on each side. Hold each pose for a few breaths to relax into the pose. Adjust your body positioning or incline to achieve a successful experience. Repeat more rounds if you’re feeling the flow and want more!
1. Warrior I (Sanskrit Virabhadrasana I)
• Focus: to strengthen the legs, open the hips and chest, and cultivate stability
• Goal: to build strength, stability, and focus in the body and mind while stretching to open the hips and chest
• Benefits: develop strength and flexibility in the legs, hips, and spine, improve balance, posture, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve circulation and respiration
• Why it’s a good Man Move: This iconic posture stretches men where they need it most—the hips and shoulders. On top of opening these tight areas, it’s also a strengthening posture that builds the thigh muscles (especially around the knees), which means more stability and protection for sensitive joints during high impact sports. Want more powerful shoulders? Try holding this pose for 10-15 breaths and you’ll never again question whether yoga is physically challenging!
2. Runners Lunge & Half Pigeon (Sanskrit Ardha Kapotasana)
• Focus: loosen up the leg muscles and reduce hip pain from sitting, and focus to correct postural defects.
• Goal: open the hips and hamstrings, stretch the lower back, hip flexors, quadriceps, pelvis, and psoas muscles.
• Benefits: increases flexibility of the hip flexors and lower back muscles, supports digestion, and can alleviate mental stress or worry, since emotions are stored in the hips.
• Why it’s a good Man Move: Tight Hips? Pigeon will be your best friend. This posture is a challenging one, but you can ease yourself into it as your hips open more and more. Since it’s a powerful way to open the glutes, hamstrings, adductors and hip flexors, Half Pigeon can help you when you take part in physical activities, carrying heavy objects, etc. Once you release the tension in your hips, you’ll also feel the benefit in your lower back and other areas of your body.
3. Half Kneeling Hamstring (Ardha Hanumanasana)
• Focus: to target the muscles in the back of the thigh and surrounding areas of the hip complex.
• Goal: to increase flexibility and mobility in the hamstring muscles and reduce the risk of injury.
• Benefits: improves hamstring and hip flexibility and better overall mobility.
• Why it’s a good Man Move: For those sports lovers, this stretch helps reduce the risk of injury and can enhance athletic performance.
4. Childs Pose (Sanskrit Balasana)
*This is your transition move to reset and repeat on the other side*
• Focus: to provide a gentle stretch to the back, hips, and shoulders, promoting relaxation and releasing tension in the body.
• Goal: to create a sanctuary of tranquility, allowing for deep relaxation, emotional grounding, and a connection to inner peace and serenity.
• Benefits: Opens hips and relieves tension in pelvis, lengthens spine, relaxes posterior muscles, stretches ankles, stimulates the digestive system, and increases blood flow to head and neck.
• Why it’s a good Man Move: it offers a moment of introspection, stress relief, and deep relaxation, allowing them to recharge both physically and mentally, while providing a gentle stretch that aids in relieving tension and tightness often experienced in the back and shoulders.
Remember to check out the video to see how these Manly Moves flow together on your Total Gym!
Stay tuned for Part 3 as we conclude this series with another Manly Moves flow that you can incorporate into your routine, or better yet, attempt all three flows together!