Today we talk to Dean Pohlman founder of Man Flow Yoga, a no-nonsense, no-thrills yoga program tailored towards people who want the physical results of yoga without the esoterical baggage that often accompanies it.
Dean is a man on a mission. Changing the perception of yoga, especially amongst men who may wish to use this form of exercise to enhance their overall strength and physical fitness.
Can you tell us a little about Man Flow Yoga?
I am a fitness guy. I have always been into fitness and used to play Lacrosse at college. I began at a yoga class and found that it was really assisting my athletic performance.
I developed Man Flow Yoga because I wanted to start a fitness program that appealed to men and women interested in yoga for its physical fitness benefits without the meditative, spiritual and esoterical aspects associated with it.
I founded Man Flow Yoga back in 2013 with just a Facebook page and YouTube channel. Since then it has grown tremendously. I now have over 26,000 likes on Facebook and over 7,000 subscribers on YouTube.
How has yoga helped you to achieve your fitness goals?
My first yoga class was entirely by accident; I wandered into a Bikram yoga studio while looking for the tailor. Completing the class was exhausting but totally exhilarating.
I started doing yoga regularly, really in order to supplement my other workouts. I kept doing it because of the physical challenge of the workout. It was difficult, it pushed me, and this made me keep coming back because I enjoyed that challenge.
I then realised that my shoulder pain and lower back pain started to go away. I became much leaner, my core became stronger and my flexibility also increased significantly.
Interestingly I have found that I have developed much more of a connection between my mind and body. I am now much more aware that certain movements can cause certain reactions within the body. Yoga is brilliant at focusing your mind inwards to help you to listen to what your body is telling you.
Did you get a lot of resistance from your colleagues within the fitness industry for pursuing yoga?
Man Flow Yoga has been really well received in the fitness community in general. People at the gym are genuinely surprised that I maintain my fitness with just yoga. They are shocked that I don’t lift weights at all. But once I show them what I do they can see that it is a very intense and effective workout.
Have you had very positive feedback from people who have participated in Man Flow Yoga?
One of my first clients. He came to me being overweight, with high cholesterol and pain in his back and shoulders. He did not want to become super toned or build a lot of muscle, he just wanted better health and fitness so he could continue to do the things he enjoyed in life.
We started working together twice a week 1-to-1 and he was also given simple home workouts to complete. The results were amazing. Over a year he had lost 50lb and he tells me that he is able to keep active and play with his grandkids. It was a slow and gradual progress but one with real long lasting results.
Can you recommend a good place to start for men wanting to get into yoga?
Check out my YouTube channel. It has around 160 videos, anywhere from 2 to 75 minute workout videos, which are very easy for beginners to follow. They are all free and are a great introduction to Man Flow Yoga.
My Facebook page is also a great forum for people practicing Man Flow Yoga and I tend to post a lot of content and new workouts there.
I also have recently published my eBook- Yoga Basics for Men: An Intro to Man Flow Yoga. It is a great introduction to the technique and retails on Amazon.co.uk for just £1.92 and is now number one bestseller in the men’s health category.
Who are your all time health and fitness heroes?
Chad Howse on YouTube focuses on just being a man. He gives very practical and also quite philosophical advice on healthy living and posts some excellent workouts.
I also follow Rudy Mettia at YogaWarrior365.com, who is a weightlifter and started doing yoga to really support his body. He has a very no-nonsense approach to yoga, which I love and breaks down the technique very well.
Finally, how do you see Man Flow Yoga developing in the coming years?
I am very excited to be working on the Man Flow Yoga App and a set of DVDs. I want to see Man Flow Yoga becoming the go-to yoga for straight up physical fitness. I would also like to start certifying people in Man Flow Yoga to help others teach and proliferate this great technique.
Ultimately I would like to see Man Flow Yoga becoming the counter-culture to the yoga establishment. Yoga as a full-body workout to improve endurance, core strength, body control, and flexibility, without any of the thrills. Just great fitness.
Photography: Man Flow Yoga
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