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3/17/2015 2:47 PM grooming • 0 Comments

March 2015 - Dean Pohlman

Dean Pohlman is the creator of Man Flow Yoga, an aggressive approach to yoga that focuses on the physical benefits including core strength, flexibility, body control, balance, and endurance. In January 2014 Pohlman was named by as one of “10 YouTube Fitness Gurus Hotter than Chippendale’s Dancers" and in October of 2013 he was featured by the Huffington Post Live in their segment “Why More Men Should Do Yoga." Pohlman works with multiple gyms in the Austin area and also with clients all over the world via webcam. Man Flow Yoga is currently one of the top 2 most popular yoga for men pages on Facebook.

You say “Man Flow Yoga is yoga for physical fitness: all of the physical, and none of the frills.” How do you incorporate in the spiritual side of the practice with your clients?

Very simple: I don’t. Man Flow Yoga really is yoga for physical fitness. You don’t have to be spiritual while doing yoga poses. I treat it the same as I would treat a weight lifting workout. I think a lot of people think that yoga is unique in that it emphasizes the connection of the breath and body, but that’s simply not true. I’ve been merging breath with movement ever since I was a kid. I’m exposing people to yoga in a whole different way by showing them that it doesn’t have to be spiritual. I’ve been doing a plank with proper form since I was 10. Why does it become spiritual if done without the context of yoga? (It doesn’t.)

You’ve said yoga has completely transformed your life. Give us a specific example of this.

Yoga completely transformed my life because it made me realize that I wasn’t as fit as I thought I was, and I realized that I was destroying my body with a lot of the workouts that I was doing. Had I persisted in my exercise routines the way I had been before starting yoga, I think that my body would have given out on me by this time. Yoga is helping me to prolong my vitality, and allow me to do what I want to do physically for longer. It added aspects of physical fitness to my previous levels of physical abilities that had not existed before, namely my flexibility and my body control and awareness.

What advice can you give to dudes who have never done yoga before? What are they missing?

I wrote an editorial titled Stop Being a Pussy and Do Yoga a couple weeks ago that I think would aptly apply to this question. Basically, you’re missing out on physical benefits that are going to make you more confident, make you more physically fit, and make you look better. The main reason why people don’t do yoga is because they don’t want the spiritual or meditative side of it, but you don’t have to do any of that to participate. Just find an instructor that jives well with you, and don’t force yourself to adapt to ones that you don’t enjoy.

How has yoga helped you achieve your fitness goals?

Yoga has significantly helped with flexibility, bodily awareness, and my body control. I am much more in tune with my body then ever before. I notice little aches and pains that I didn’t notice before. I’m acutely aware of imbalances. Yoga has also helped me achieve my fitness goals regarding how I want my body to look. I reduced the excess muscle bulk and am down to single digit body fat.

You train clients in-person and via webcam. What are the pros and cons of each?

Training people via webcam has been a surprisingly rewarding experience. When you train people in person, you have the ability to make physical adjustments, either to correct someone’s posture or to help them get deeper into the pose. This is obviously not possible in remote training (training via webcam). I see this as a pro and con for both methods. Regarding training in person, physical adjustments can be considered a crutch; it is a direct correction that forces people into proper technique. When you are training via webcam, however, you have to provide subtle cues to allow the trainee to find the proper technique on his or her own. This means that people learn the bodily mechanics to performing a designed pose on their own, instead of with physical assistance. The con is that if the instructor is not experienced enough then he or she will be unable to provide the necessary cue to help the trainee achieve correct posture.

What do you think is the most common misconception people have about yoga?

The most common misconception people have about yoga is that there are only two types of yoga: hot yoga and yoga. There are actually many more kinds of yoga. Some are focused on the physical challenge. Some are focused on breathing. Some are focused on meditation. Some are focused on spirituality. If you want a tough workout, search out the classes called “power yoga,” “ashtanga,” or “bikram.” That’ll give you a good start.

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