The 5 Best Yoga Poses for Men, According to a High-Level Certified Instructor

Updated: Jun. 14, 2024

Didn't know certain yoga poses boost men's health? With photos and step-by-step moves, a 15-year male yoga expert reveals the fascinating benefits from your head to your feet (and a lot else in between).

Gettyimages 1418197446 5 Healthiest Yoga Poses For Men
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According to June 2024 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women are more than twice as likely to practice yoga as men are. Though the health benefits of yoga are well-researched, ranging from pain relief to stress management, many men simply don’t seem to dabble as much—something that YogaRenew co-founder and director Patrick Franco, E-RYT500, says is a missed opportunity to promote health and fitness.

Franco has taught yoga for more than 15 years in greater New York City and is known as a “yoga teacher’s yoga teacher,” meaning he trains other yoga instructors to advance their teaching practice. With this expertise, he says the health advantages from yoga for men “are endless, but can be especially beneficial for men because [yoga] improves flexibility, enhances mental focus, reduces stress and anxiety, supports joint health, and encourages the mind-body connection.” As you read, you’ll find there’s plenty more.

Ahead, Franco outlines what he suggests are the best yoga poses for men, along with custom images, step-by-step-instructions, and the specific benefits each pose yields.

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Downward Facing Dog
Courtesy Yogarenew Teacher Training

5 of the best yoga poses for men’s health

1. Downward-facing dog

How To:

  1. Start on hands and knees with your pointer finger and thumbs at the wall.
  2. Place a bolster, such as a folded towel or blanket, under your torso.
  3. Lift the hips and straighten the arms and the legs fully.
  4. Lengthen the spine and let the head relax on the bolster. Stay three to five minutes.

Benefits of downward dog:

  • Stretches the hamstrings, calves, shoulders, and lengthens the spine.
  • Strengthens the arms and legs
  • Improves digestion
  • Relieves mild depression and anxiety

Warrior 2 pose
Courtesy Yogarenew Teacher Training

2. Warrior II

How To:

  1. Step the feet four to four-and-a-half feet apart.
  2. Extend the arms outward at shoulder height.
  3. Turn the right leg out 90 degrees and the left leg in 15 degrees.
  4. Keeping the torso lifting, bend the right leg until the knee is over the heel and the thigh is parallel to the floor.
  5. Keep the back leg straight and the arms extending.
  6. Stay for five to 10 breaths and switch sides.

Benefits:

  • Warrior II stretches the hips and groin
  • Strengthens the legs and core
  • Improves circulation
  • Promotes endurance and resilience

Bridge Pose
Courtesy Yogarenew Teacher Training

3. Bridge pose

How To:

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart.
  2. Press into your feet and lift your hips off the ground.
  3. Roll the upper arms underneath your back to support the lift of your chest and interlace your hands.
  4. Stay for one minute.
  5. Repeat.

Benefits: 

  • Bridge pose strengthens the back, glutes, and hamstrings
  • Opens the chest and shoulders, providing a stretch and inviting calmness into the heart
  • Stretches the spine
  • Relieves tension in the lower back

Reclined Spinal Twist pose
Courtesy Yogarenew Teacher Training

4. Reclined spinal twist

How To:

  1. Lie on your back and take the arms to the sides at shoulder height.
  2. Bend the knees and bring them into the chest.
  3. Keep the knees together, and bring them to the right elbow on the floor.
  4. Place the right hand on the top knee and thigh and allow your abdomen, chest, and head to turn away to the left.
  5. Stay one to three minutes and repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

  • Relieves tension and increases flexibility and mobility in the spine
  • Improves digestion
  • Calms the nervous system

Legs Up The Wall pose
Courtesy Yogarenew Teacher Training

5. Legs up the wall

How to:

  1. Place a bolster a few inches from the wall.
  2. Sit on the edge sideways with your hip and shoulder at the wall.
  3. Swing your legs up the wall and lie on your back.
  4. Bend the elbows and bring them shoulder height with the wrists above the elbows.
  5. Let the palms face upward to open the chest.
  6. Tilt the chin towards the chest.
  7. Stay five to seven minutes.

Benefits:

  • Soothes the nervous system
  • Relieves tension
  • Improves circulation
  • Aids digestion
  • Promotes sleep

About the Expert

Patrick Franco, E-RYT500, is a yoga instructor and director at YogaRenew Teacher Training Online. Franco has taught yoga to students, as well as trained teachers, for more than 15 years. He leads in-person and online yoga teacher trainings nationally and internationally on both the practice of yoga and managing a yoga training business.