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Ask Dean – July 3rd

Daniel Widdows, United Kingdom

Alright Dean, quite curious about something. Whether or not Yoga, in genera,l is good for building muscle. I’m getting into Calisthenics and was wondering if you could give me a bit of advice. Would your yoga be best done on it’s own, or accompanied by weight training/body weight training for building muscle?


Yoga is fantastic for building muscle – if done in the right way. Doing a restorative yoga practice (light, easy, flowing, etc) will be good for helping you build muscle as a complement to weightlifting. Doing Man Flow Yoga, on the other hand, will help you build muscle on its own, because you are combining the strength training found in calisthenics (bodyweight exercises) with the restorative,  bodily-maintenance stretches found in restorative yoga.

Caleb McKnabb, Cross Country Athlete / High School Student

Hey Dean. My name is Caleb and I have been looking at your videos for a while and now that Im doing cross country at my school I though you had the physique that was good enough to not be completly skinny and still have a good enough body to run. My problem is tht in 6’1 and about 130lbs and I wanna try to put on muscle but with my matbolism Its hard to gain and easy to loose. So how can I get the body that I want and keep up wit my lifestyle?

Caleb – I’ve got some bad news for you. As long as you are doing cross country, it’s going to be difficult for you to put on muscle mass. That’s because your body adapts to the exercise that you do. The act of running for long periods of time causes your body to lose extra mass in order to make the runs easier. My suggestion for you is to take a few months off of cross country, and spend that time doing Man Flow Yoga or other bodyweight calisthenics that will help you build lean muscle, and then re-enter your cross country training after 3-4 months, doing both in conjunction with one another. However, I recommend incorporating Man Flow Yoga into your cross country training regardless of aesthetics, because if you are not strengthening the muscles that support your running (quads, glutes) and stretching your hamstrings, lower back, and IT band, then you are at a risk of injury! Hope this helps. 🙂

Brad Murphy

Hi Dean,

I am just wondering if your practice consists mainly of independent yoga, or if you also pair it with weight training.

Thank you,


Lately I’ve been doing weight training once every other week or so for 15 – 20 minutes, but yoga is still 80% of what I do. The other percentage is made of pull-up exercises or resistance bands to help strengthen secondary pulling muscles not targeted by yoga.

Mark Short

Love the man flow yoga. I am a big fan of ben greenfield and learned of you through his podcast. I do triathlons and am trying to get back into golf by strengthening my core – I have 2 degenerative discs in my back. I just started doing man flow yoga 3 weeks ago and now do it every other day, with bike/run/swim/lifting on other days. Really focused on diet out of ben’s book beyond training as well. Question I really need some help on is a good yoga routine to do as a warm up before playing golf. Thanks, and keep up the great work!


I haven’t golfed consistently since I was 14. A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend surprised me by taking me out to a driving range. I thought I would be crap, but to my surprise I was hitting the ball 200 + yards with a 4 iron! The point of that story is that before I started hitting the ball, I considered the swinging motion involved in golf and what I would want to target before I started. Ultimately, I decided on exercises that involved twists, core engagement, poses to relax my shoulders, and scapular stretches. Here are five exercises I would go: standing twists (slowly), eagle arms, warrior 1 with goal post arms, deep squat with core engagement, and forward fold with fingers interlaced behind back.

2 thoughts on “Ask Dean – July 3rd”

  1. Dean,
    I started Man Flow Yoga over a month ago and was pretty much doing it every day with good success. A few weeks back I developed inner ear vertigo and have not been able to resume yoga. My physical therapist told me that yoga frequently causes vertigo and I need to be very careful not to trigger it by doing yoga. As I’m trying to get back on the program I’m wondering if you have encountered this issue and what approach you would recommend to start doing yoga again.

    1. Great question Tom! It could be a combination of things. If it’s a physical issue, like Benign paroxysmal position vertigo, you might have to proceed consciously, taking your time and being aware of certain poses. Deep breathing and fully exhaling can help with that. Or you might be dehydrated, so be sure to drink water before hand and regularly through out the day. I would recommend asking this in the Facebook MFY Community as well. I’d be curious to hear how many other people experience this!

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