Last week, I posted an article about one of the youngest members of the Man Flow Yoga Community; a Man Flow Yoga Manbassador who had transformed his body using just bodyweight exercises, and is now capable of spectacular physical feats such as one-hand handstands, advanced core strengthening techniques, and much more. This week, I want to shed some spotlight on LeStryet Yow, recently appointed Manbassador, a true yoga BAMF that puts himself through more workouts than most people 1/3 of his age can handle. LeStryet came to yoga after excessive wear and tear from high-impact exercise forced him to look elsewhere. His physical results are impressive. The bottom line from LeStryet, in his own words: Running kept me in shape physically and mentally. Yoga now does that but at a much better rate and much better outcome.
Read on to learn more about LeStryet!
Throughout my professional career and the early years of retirement, I was physically active; running, supplemented with bicycling, and light weight training. I am 65 years old, retired at 52, and started practicing yoga at a local studio in March 2014. I was introduced to Man Flow Yoga™ in December 2014, entered his challenge program, took both private and group on-line classes, and attended his last 7-day (two-a-day sessions) retreat.
My practice now includes sessions at the local studio and at home using the Man Flow Yoga Video Library. Since starting, my weight has decreased by 30 pounds, my body fat percentage down by 6 points, my waist down 4 inches, and my mobility and flexibility have improved. While I do experience some joint, sciatica, and arthritic pains, they have been kept these in check.
The yoga journey began as a result of joint and arthritic pain. During the summer of 2013, I had to eliminate running which was the activity that kept my weight and temperament intact. While searching for alternatives, my daughter introduced me to hot yoga. I absolutely fell in love with the practice because of the physical exertion and sweat. To learn more about the practice, the poses, and the benefits that I could anticipate, I bought a couple of books since practicing in groups limited immediate feedback and posture corrections. In August/September, I added both vinyasa and yin specifically to target upper body work, cardio, and connective tissue. Vinyasa sessions were fast paced; in and out of the poses, down to the floor, then up! I had questions about the poses, transitions, foot placement, balance, hip direction, depth. Thus, it was back to the Internet to search for books, descriptions, and pictures.
That’s when I discovered Man Flow Yoga™. His web site provided the details. I subscribed to his YouTube channel and signed up for emails. The Internet was filled with providers; but there was something about Dean. He really was interested in helping his viewers achieve their goals and demonstrated a sense of shared ownership. He actually did the workouts on his videos while talking, as opposed to voice over, and monetary compensation did not seem to be his focal point. I watched his YouTube workouts and took notes, and I participated in his 28 day challenge. But, similar to group sessions, working out with a video did not give immediate feedback.
I contacted Dean after the challenge to discuss taking private sessions in order to go deeper in my practice; for I felt I had reached a stalemate. After an initial assessment, I started private on-line lessons specifically to address form, strength, execution, mobility, flexibility, and frequency. Dean identified my lack of body symmetry, my dependence on the stronger leg, the fact that I avoided using certain muscles and compensated by overusing others, and that some areas were extremely tight. During the sessions he watched, gave corrections and complements, stressed form over depth, and emphasized core engagement. There was a specific session dedicated to the use of mobility tools and their importance. After each recorded session, he developed a customized assignment to be practiced before the next session.
Diet and rest were other areas that were discussed. I made significant changes in my diet; reduction of sugars, bread, and dairy, more vegetables, less red meat and more fish, ghee and coconut oil. He was also instrumental is me re-assessing my daily supplements and changes were made.
Significant progress has been made; squats are lower, balance is improving, core is tightening, lapsing into auto-pilot is minimized, mobility and flexibility are improving. My forward folds are closer, my lizards are lower, my pigeon is lower. My temperament is better, but still can be improved. I practice to live better and to keep up with my three grandkids! Now, to continue!
You can follow LeStryet on Instagram at @LeStryet. LeStryet lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, Wanda, in close proximity to his children and grandchildren.