John Basedow: Despite the stereotypical female following, yoga has been used by professional athletes for years to increase flexibility, improve balance, and focus the mind. No athlete wants to be an inflexible mess, but it can be hard for men imagine themselves in complicated poses. So here are my favorite yoga moves for the physically active men.
Downward facing dog strengthens the arms, legs, and core while stretching your shoulders, hamstrings, and calves. Make sure that your weight is evenly distributed between your legs and your arms to get the full effect of the move. If you can do only one pose a day, start with downward dog.
The bridge is easy for beginner and stretches the chest, neck, spine, and hips. Tight chest muscles can limit lung capacity, and over time, this pose can improve performance in all physical activities and help relieve symptoms of upper respiratory issues.
The boat is ideal for strengthening your core and back muscles, as well as promoting healthy thyroid and prostate gland function. While beginners may need to use a hand on the floor, your balance will improve before you know it.
The meditative benefits of yoga are ideal practice for getting your head in the game. Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable position with a straight back, clear your mind of all thought or focus on one idea or word. You will see that you can banish unwanted thoughts, which is ideal for athletes with performance anxiety or stress.
Even if you practice just once a week, yoga will increase athletic performance and get you in touch with your body and even help you relax after a rough workout.