The following is a sneak peak of the 7 Keys to Yoga Success section from my upcoming book, Yoga Fitness for Men (The #1 New Release in Men’s Health on Amazon!)
Read on to learn about the most important yoga concepts to know before starting yoga. These concepts are simple, actionable, and will save you a ton of wasted time and effort.
The 7 Keys To Yoga Success
Before you get started, learn the essential concepts for safe and effective yoga fitness. These are very important, not only because they help you do yoga more effectively and get stronger more quickly, but also because ignoring them increases your risk of injury. Internalize the seven keys as you execute your yoga practice.
1. Use Slow, Controlled Movement
Yoga can feel quite different from typical, faster-paced workouts. To get the most from your time spent on the mat, you must focus on slow, controlled movement.
Follow these tips to slow down your exercise:
- Be mindful of your body. Notice all the little things, such as what each muscle is doing, body positioning, breathing, and tension you may or may not be holding on to.
- Little changes make the difference. Make subtle adjustments to improve technique. Moving just a centimeter can feel different.
- Listen to your body. Pay attention to the sensations of stretching and muscle engagement. Use your intuition to determine when to push a little more, or to back off.
2. Control your Breath, Control Your Body
This is one of the most important aspects of yoga. Controlling your breath makes your yoga workout more effective by allowing you to hold the postures for a longer time, relax more easily into the postures, and work deeper into your mobility. It also helps with innumerable non-performance aspects of fitness, such as decreased anxiety, better sleep, lowered stress, and even weight loss.
Remember these breathing techniques every time you practice:
- Match your breaths with your movements. As you inhale, lengthen your body, and as you exhale, work deeper into the posture.
- Slow down your breathing. If you’re a beginner, start with 3-second inhales and exhales. If you’re more advanced, work your way up to 5- or 6-second inhales and exhales.
- Take longer breaths in restorative poses. It’s easier to breathe longer in these types of postures, which will help you relax and go deeper. Try to work up to 10-second breaths.
3. Engage Your Core
This refers to engagement of the body’s core muscles, made up of the muscles in the front, back, and sides of the body’s mid-section. Every posture you do in yoga should involve active core engagement. Core muscles form the power center of your body, helping you produce explosive movements, protect your spine, create stability for balance, and help with just about any full-body movement you can imagine. A weak core significantly increases the risk of injury in your spine, knees, hips, and shoulders.
Use this simple technique to understand what proper core engagement feels like: stand tall, take a deep breath in, then slowly exhale all the air from your lungs. The tightening feeling you have in the muscles surrounding your belly is core engagement. Incorporate this feeling into every posture you do. It won’t be perfect at first, and you’ll probably forget to do it often, but eventually core engagement will become a habit that you will not even have to think about.
These are just 3 of the concepts. Get Yoga Fitness for Men to see all Seven!
Yoga Fitness for Men is now available on Amazon and in-store at Barnes & Nobles and Books-A-Million all over the US.
More about Yoga Fitness for Men
Yoga Fitness for Men is the ultimate no-nonsense guide to yoga, and contains everything you need to get started.
This is the book I would have wanted to read when I discovered yoga for the first time as a collegiate lacrosse player. I was tired of aches, fatigued muscles and injuries, and I wanted to find a sustainable workout program that helped me feel and perform better. I learned most of my issues stemmed from a lack of core strength, a lack of balanced training, and inflexibility.
Today, Man Flow Yoga is all about highly-effective workout programs for men which address the underlying biomechanical issues causing pain and injury WHILE getting in a great workout. Man Flow Yoga was born organically from my relentless quest to help people train better and train smarter.
Get access to 3+ hours of video routines from the book when you order now! Just send your email confirmation to [email protected].
Want to see a video routine from Yoga Fitness for Men for FREE?
Click below and enter the password “corpse” to check out the The Lazy Yoga Routine, a 32-minute yoga workout that’s perfect for when you’re feeling lazy but still want to get some movement in.