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What is the best fat burning yoga?

Malewellnes What is the best fat burning yoga?

If you looking to shred and burn some extra pounds you should give yoga a try. Fat burning yoga workouts will torch serious calories and can be as effective as many other cardio training and exercises. Many styles of yoga are quite vigorous and when done regularly and consistently will lead to consistent weight loss. There are three styles that offer the best fat burning yoga workouts:

  • Bikram: Hot yoga
  • Power Yoga
  • Vinyasa: Flow yoga

Bikram Hot yoga

Bikram is the most challenging style of yoga and it is not recommended if you are new to yoga. This yoga practice happens in a heated studio of 40.6 Celsius. The sessions last for ninety minutes which is very challenging. Even if you have done yoga before, a good level of fitness is required. The benefits of the heat is that it protects muscles. This allows for deeper stretching with less chance of injury. It also very effective in cleaning the body of many bad toxins.

All these elements make regular Bikram a very effective fat burning yoga workout. You will see consistent weight loss and also feel great after each session. Regular Bikram yoga is for improving flexibility and strength and toning muscle. Additionally, you will also see improvements in your circulatory and respiratory system. Finally it provides an internal massage of the digestive system.

Power Yoga

Power yoga was developed in the USA and is a modern style. It is great if you are yoga practitioner who feels a good workout should involve plenty of sweating! Power yoga targets your metabolism helping to build lean muscle. It is a good fat burning yoga workout as you will burn a considerable amount of fat. Power yoga will include many poses that focus on building your core muscles. So it has similarities to circuit training and challenges you aerobically and anaerobically. The deep abdominal breathing in Power yoga also helps to improve circulation that intensifies fat burning during exercise.

Vinyasa Flow yoga

Vinyasa as a great yoga style for weight loss and long term weight management. It is a great fat burning yoga practice if you are a new to yoga. It is also a very effective fat burning yoga workout if your current level of fitness is not that high. The flow style sees you moving through many poses quickly. Your body will heat up and you will activate many muscles that you don't use in most exercises or workouts. This makes it very effective for weight loss and burning fat.

Fat Burning Vinyasa Flow Workout

Below is a flow workout routine for burning fat: it will to elevate your heart rate, build core strength, and burn major calories. This can be done daily but a good place to start would be to do the following sequence 2-3 times per week.

Warming Up

2-5 Repetitions Sun Salutations

Chair Pose

3 Repetitions - Hold for 8 even breaths then press up to stand

Plank - Side Plank - Chaturanga - Side Plank Progression

Repetitions 3 to 5 each side 

​Step into plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart, wrists right below your shoulders and core engaged. Hold plank for 5 seconds before transitioning to side plank by rolling onto the outer edge of right foot, stacking left directly on top. Extend left arm upwards and hold keeping base arm straight. Hold for 5 breaths then return to plank position, exhale then lower until elbows bend at 90-degree angles; Chaturanga. Inhale, press back up to plank and complete side plank on left side

Downward Facing Dog to Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior &  Side Angle

Move from Downward Facing Dog to Warrior 2 by stepping your right foot forward in between your hands and rotate your left foot so it's flat on the ground and pointing left. Open your torso and arms so right arm is extend in front and left extended behind. Focus on keeping a deep bend in front (right) knee, stacked over heel. Ensure your chest and head are directly aligned over pelvis. Hold Warrior II for 8 breaths, then move to Reverse Warrior, hold for 8 breaths. Transition through to extended side angle and hold for another 8 breaths.

Vinyasa Sequence

Repetitions 3 to 5 times

From Warrior 2, windmill arms to ground and step into plank. The lower to chaturanga moving through Upward facing Dog to Downward Facing Dog. Immediately flow through to Warrior 2, Reverse Warrior and Side Angle then back to Warrior 2. That is one round!

Chair Pose

3 Repetitions - Hold for 8 even breaths then press up to stand

Supine Bicycle

Bring opposite shoulder, not elbow, to opposite knee. Repeat 10 to 20 times on each side. One breath per movement

Crescent Warrior

Hold for 8 breaths

From Downward Facing Dog with hands pressing firmly to the floor, lengthen spine toward ceiling and press heels down into the floor to straighten your legs. Draw shoulder blades back and down toward your tailbone before stepping right forward to your right thumb staying on the ball of your back foot. Sweep torso and arms up while keeping lower belly engaged and hold pose in neutral position.

Crescent Warrior to Warrior III

Hold for 8 breaths

Warrior III to Revolved Half Moon

Hold for 8 breaths

Vinyasa Sequence

Finish with 3 to 5 repetitions 

I hope you enjoyed doing this routine and found it challenging and worked up a good sweat! If you are keen to do more yoga to lose weight or for the many other benefits it offers, I would recommend checking out Man Flow Yoga. It is functional yoga for men that focuses on technique above all else. They have great workouts that focus on the physical aspects so you can get the maximum benefit out of each posture. At the same time, they also teach you exactly what each exercise is doing for your body, so you understand the benefit and the applicability to your everyday fitness.

Using their programs, you build the basics of your physical fitness; flexibility, core strength, balance, endurance, body awareness, and proper movement patterns – which you can apply to any of your physical fitness pursuits, whether that’s competing in a triathlon, being a weekend warrior, playing sports, or playing with your grandkids. Man Flow Yoga has Daily HD workouts, provides a personalised workout program and offer a 7 day trial for $1!

Male-wellness appreciates your comments, feedback and questions on this topic or any others.

Best yoga poses for lower back pain

Male Wellness best yoga poses for lower back pain

Taking your back for granted leads to the displeasure of lower back pain. Relieving lower back pain with yoga is the now recognised as one of the best remedies. Some of the best yoga poses for lower back pain are very easy to do. The causes of back pain are various but if not addressed can develop into chronic lower back pain. ​Chronic lower back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor.

The risk of lower back injury and long-term back pain is higher in people who are obese. Also if you have poor posture or weak back and abdominal muscles. Many of the best yoga poses for lower back pain are easy to do. Doing them on a regular basis will relieve the pain in your lower back. To get the most benefit from the poses you should try to stay in them for 3 to 5 minutes. Focus on breathing slowly and deeply. This helps you manage any discomfort you experience while holding the poses.

Cat-Cow - Marjaryasana-Bitilasana

Cat-Cow is a very simple pose but hugely benefit in relieving lower back pain. It is also excellent for warming-up for your spine before any activity. The pose stretches and loosens back muscles . Doing Cat-Cow regularly develops postural awareness promoting better balance throughout the body. It brings the spine into correct alignment making it one of the best yoga poses for lower back pain. Try to do it at the end of the day as it is great for relieving back and neck tension.

How to do it: Start in a tabletop position with your shoulders over your wrists. Align hips over your knees and spread fingers wide. As you inhale, go into ‘cow’ position by lifting your head and tail-bone. Relax and let your belly drop towards the floor. As you exhale, come into ‘cat’ position by pulling your abdomen up. Round your spine toward the ceiling and tuck your chin in toward your chest.

Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana

A classic yoga pose and one of the best yoga poses for lower back pain. This is because it targets tight hamstrings which are often a major cause of lower back pain. Another cause of lower back pain is poor posture. Downward facing dog pose opens the anterior chest wall and shoulders. These can become rounded through excessive desk work, resulting in back and neck pain. It is great total body stretch that targets the back extensors. The extensors are the large muscles that help form your lower back and support your spine.

How to do it: Start on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Pressing back, raise your knees away from the floor and lift your tail-bone up toward the ceiling. For an added hamstring stretch, gently push your heels toward the floor. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, and repeat the pose five to seven times.

Seated Forward Fold - Paschimottanasana

Yoga lower back pain seated forward fold

One of the best yoga poses for lower back pain if the pain is due to short or tight hamstrings. The seated forward fold will lengthen your hamstrings and release your lower back. It is a calming yoga pose that helps to relieve stress. It is important to keep your form throughout the pose. Avoid overreaching towards your feet and rounding your back. You should concentrate on reaching your sternum forward and lengthening the torso.

How to do it: Start seated with legs extended straight out in front of you. Keep your spine long, press the heels into the ground and flex your toes. Inhale deep and extend your arms upwards while sitting tall. Try to lift through the crown of your head. Slowly exhale and begin to fold forward over your legs, keeping the length in the spin. Lead with your heart until your hands rest on your shins, ankles, feet or toes. Continue to inhale deeply to find more length in the spine and front body. Deep exhales with help you go further into your forward fold.

Spinal Twist - Marichyasana C

Most yoga sequences will include a few spinal twists poses. These poses relieve tightness as well as helping to elongate the spine. They also improve posture and your breathing. A simple but very effective spinal twist that helps reduce lower back pain is Marichyasana C.

How to do it: Keep your left leg straight and bend your right leg so your foot is flat. Place your right hand on the floor behind you for support, like a tripod. Then twist from your waist and hook your left elbow over your right thigh. Another option is to grab hold of your right knee and twist to look over your right shoulder. An added benefit of spinal twists is that helps your digestion, so try it after a big meal!

Child’s Pose - Balasana

While it may look like you are resting, Child’s pose is actually an active stretch by elongating the back. The pose will stretch the low back and relieve pain. It also massages and tones the abdominal organs. Another benefit is that it stimulates digestion and aids the elimination of toxins.

How to do it: Start on all fours, keep your arms forward and sit back so your butt is resting above your heels. Hold and breathe deep, feeling the breath reach all the way into your hips. The more you extend in either direction, the more you’ll feel relief. Child’s pose is great to do before your go to sleep at the end of a long day. Its provides a fantastic back stretcher and is great for relieving stress.

These are some of the best yoga poses for lower back pain. The poses will help to relieve your lower back from pain and warm up your body. But remember when it comes to back pain, prevention is key to a long and pain-free life. Listening to your body is extremely important. Don’t force any posture that could cause injury. If your pain is extreme, you may want to seek medical attention.

If you suffer from lower back pain have you considered yoga for pain relief? Male-wellness appreciates your comments, feedback and questions on this topic or any others.

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6 Beginner Yoga poses for Men

beginner yoga poses for men

Starting something new for the first time can be intimidating. For most men heading to a yoga class would be an uncomfortable experience. Yoga has a reputation as a practice just for woman and most classes you visit will reflect this. Doing beginner yoga poses for men at home before attending a class will help relax you. Below are 6 beginner yoga poses for men which are a great introduction to the practice. Start by holding each pose for 1-2 minutes while focusing on breathing deeply and smoothly. I would recommend doing them at home 2 or 3 times a week.

Downward Facing Dog - Adho Mukha Svanasana

Downward facing dog is one of the most important beginner yoga poses for men. It is a staple of many of the popular yoga styles and is part of the Sun Salutation sequence. The pose will strengthen your shoulders, back, hips, hamstrings, calves, hands and wrists. Its brings the attention to all of those tight areas that usually challenge men. Internally the downward dog improves heart circulation, furthermore helping to reduce stress. As a result it is hugely beneficial if you have high blood pressure.

How to do it: Start with your palms down on the floor shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart. Curl your toes, lift your hips to the ceiling and form an upside-down “V,” with back flat. Press down through palms and elongate from the hands to the hipbone. Finally to bring more length to your spine, add a slight bend in your knees which will encourage more full-body circulation.

Upward Facing Dog -  Urdhvamukha shvanasana

beginner yoga poses for men upward Facing Dog

Man doing Upward Facing Dog

One of the more physically demanding beginner yoga poses for men. It is great for warming up the muscles as this stretch and will get your blood flowing. The focus of the posture is to open your chest and also strengthen the back and arms. Highly recommended if you sit behind a desk or a car wheel for far too many hours. In addition the pose has benefits if you have breathing difficulties. Also the Up Dog aligns the spine and invigorates the kidneys and nervous system.

How to do it: Lie face-down on the floor with your thumbs under shoulders, legs extended with the tops of your feet on the floor. Tuck your hips downward as you squeeze your glutes. Finally keeping your shoulders down, push up and lift your chest off the ground. Relax and repeat. Focus on pushing through the hands as this lengthens the body and brings the wrists, elbows, and shoulders into alignment. Avoid collapsing weight onto the wrists as this can be painful and will negatively impact the chest, neck and shoulders.

Crescent Lunge - Anjaneyasana

This is a dynamic pose that stretches and strengthens the lower and upper body, while creating stability and balance. Regular runners will appreciate this beginner yoga pose for men as it refines subtle strength and balance, especially in the core and the legs. When you do the crescent lunge correctly you will experience expansion in the front of the body which increases energy and reduces fatigue.

How to do it: From down dog, place one foot forward between your hands, stacking the front knee over the front ankle, feet hip distance apart—basically in a low lunge. Keep your back knee solid but always with a slight micro-bend, and keep the ball of the back foot on the floor. Finally press your back heel toward the wall behind you keeping the heel lifted enough so as not to injure the Achilles tendon.

Warrior 1 - Virabhadrasana

​This is an awesome pose as it develops concentration and balance. It is a essential beginners yoga pose for men as it improves circulation and respiration and energises the entire body. It helps build the muscle around the thighs and knees providing more stability and protection to sensitive joints.

How to do it: Stand with your legs three to four feet apart. Turn out your right foot 90 degrees and your left foot in slightly. Keeping your shoulders down, extend your arms to the sides with your palms down. Lunge into your right knee 90 degrees; keep your knee over your foot and don’t let it go past your toes. Aim your focus over your hand for as long as you like then switch sides. 

You may have some difficulty in lining up the front heel with the arch of the back foot. If you feel unbalanced, widen your stance or raise the back heel. Challenge yourself by holding this pose for 10-15 breaths, your shoulders will definitely feel the burn!

Bridge pose - Bandha Sarvangasana

beginner yoga poses for men bridge pose

Man in bridge pose

If you experience shallow breathing it can make some physical activities more challenging. As a beginners yoga pose for men, Bridge done on regular basis can make a huge difference. The pose will open the upper body and reduce the tightness you have around the torso. Bridge is also fantastic for the hips and opening the pelvis, helping to undo some of the damage caused by sitting too much. Bridge pose is an ideal warm-up for more intense back-bends as it builds core and lower body strength. It lengthens and strengthens the spine, energises the body, and stimulates the endocrine and nervous systems.

How to do it: How to: Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides. With your knees bent, press your feet into the floor as you lift your hips. In addition clasp your hands under your lower back and press your arms down for support. Finally lift your hips until they are parallel to the floor as you bring your chest to your chin. It is important to roll the shoulders back but not to overstretch the neck so lift the tops of the shoulders slightly toward the ears and push the inner shoulder blades away from the spine. Please do not perform this pose if you have a neck or shoulder injury.

Yoga Squat - Malasana

You can actually do squats away from the gym as there are many benefits, physically and internally. Even though it is a beginners yoga pose for men, yoga squat represents the epitome of balance and strength. It incorporates stretching while providing focus to your breathing. Furthermore doing it  regularly you will experience internal change, purifying and relaxing the entire body. You will work the the quadriceps, hamstring, glutes, and calf muscles of the legs as well as strengthening the lower back and core. 

The yoga squat done properly and consistently will rehabilitate the flexibility in legs and knees and offer relief if you have lower back pain. It also provides stimulation of the abdominal internal organs, sex glands and purify the spleen.

How to do it: Stand with your feet parallel and slightly wider than your hips. Bend your knees and lower your seat toward the floor. Keep going until your hips are lower than your knees, and keep your spine vertical. If your heels come off the floor, likely from tight Achilles tendons, place a rolled-up blanket or towel under them for support. Finally straighten your spine upward and relax your shoulders. Hold for eight full breaths. 

Squatting can be difficult to begin with and if this is the case you can use the following option: Sit on the front edge of a chair seat, thighs forming a right angle to your torso, heels on the floor slightly ahead of your knees. Lean your torso forward between the thighs. Place one hand on the floor between the toes if you cannot balance with both hands up. Place a folded blanket under your heels if they do not touch the floor.

Please try these beginner yoga poses for men and let us know how you find them. Male-wellness appreciates your comments, feedback and questions on this topic or any others.