More than flexibility

Dean PohlmanBlogs1 Comment

Maybe it’s because I spend all day working with yoga in some shape or form, but I am constantly reminded of just how little people know about yoga. I recently jokingly told a friend who is moving to Austin to not worry, and that I would make him do any yoga if he wanted to stay with me for a couple of days. He responded, “I could definitely use some work on flexibility.” I wasn’t mad at his response, but just kind of surprised. I thought to myself, “Shit, are we still only here with yoga? Is it only understood as flexibility training?”

I get asked on an almost daily basis on what my diet and exercise regimen consists of. The diet takes at least a couple of sentences to explain, but the exercise only takes one: “All I do is yoga and pull-ups.” Then the incredulous stare, followed by, “You only do yoga? No weights?” Nope, no weights. Setting aside the fact that I do a specific type of yoga (Man Flow Yoga) that I have developed out of my own experiences, yoga has all the necessary ingredients to help people achieve the toned, muscular look that they are looking for. To be sure, some people put on muscle and develop toned muscle more easily than others, but there is no reason why the movements involved in yoga (and specifically in Man Flow Yoga) will not help you build muscle, develop core strength and body control, and build endurance while simultaneously improving flexibility, and thus reducing the risk of injury, improving strength, and speeding the rate of recovery.

If you have done yoga before, you will know that a yoga workout is much more than a stretching class, and that you are working on so much more than flexibility. If you have not taken a yoga class before, let me explain it like this: Think of doing variations of wall-sits and planks. Got it? Okay. Now do that for an entire hour. That is what Man Flow Yoga workout consists of. Minimal time is wasted in transitioning from one pose to the other. One exercise is followed by an exercise that works the exact opposite muscle group, so that muscles switch from lengthening (stretching, working on flexibility) to contracting (flexing, working on endurance and strength) for the ENTIRE hour. More than that, your entire body is involved. Even if you are concentrating on flexing the front knee to contract the hamstring and work on endurance in your thighs, at the same time you are extending the back knee to work on flexibility in the opposite leg as well as endurance in the quadriceps (the front of the thigh). On top of that, your abdomen is engaged and your arm muscles are flexed. There is so much going on in one movement that it is impossible that you are only working on flexibility.

A Man Flow Yoga workout is not stretching: it is body-weight resistance exercise. It is often misinterpreted as stretching because it is unique from other forms of body-weight resistance exercise in that there is an emphasis on flexibility IN ADDITION TO holding up your own body-weight for an entire hour. Here are a few exercises found in yoga that you have most certainly done if you have a background in physical exercise or sports: Lunges, squats, push-ups, pull-ups, planks, side-planks, leg-lifts, and handstands. I guarantee you that ANYONE could get the body that they want using only the above exercises as long as they were utilizing proper form, doing enough reps and allowing their body enough time to recover, and eating properly. I guarantee it. Man Flow Yoga combines all of these exercises into an hour long full-body workout that emphasizes extremely exact execution (three cheers for alliteration) in order to promote complete control over your body, expand total body efficiency, increase range of motion (flexibility), and TONE THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR MUSCLES. It is the constant refinement of body-weight exercises in reps that last minutes instead of seconds. There are no breaks. That is why I can only do yoga (Man Flow Yoga) and look the way that I do, and there is absolutely no reason why it will not work for you as well.

So, to summarize: Man Flow Yoga (and most yoga, in general) is not stretching; it is a physical exercise that focuses on the refinement of body-weight resistance exercises. Instead of doing sets or reps, poses are held so that muscles are constantly lengthening or contracting. Low-impact so that anyone can do it, but enough muscle engagement to make you look like a swimsuit model.

Thanks for reading. Check the YouTube channel for FREE workouts (www.youtube.com/manflowyoga). Also, now available from Destination Fit is a 65-minute Man Flow Yoga workout that you can view for free on the website, or purchase the digital download for $14.99 so that you can view it anytime, even without an internet connection (https://www.destinationfit.com/auditions/man-flow-yoga) Please also consider casting a vote for me on the Destination Fit website so that I can win an opportunity to work with their film crew to record an entire MFY workout series. It is only $5 to vote and would mean a ton! Also, I am excited to announce that I will be doing LIVE MFY sessions broadcasted from my YouTube channel on Mondays at 8:00 PM CST (9:00 PM EST, 6:00 PM PST). My full class schedule and availability for private/remote training lessons are here. Send me an email at dean@manflowyoga.com for details!

One Comment on “More than flexibility”

  1. I’m so chuffed to have discovered MFY. For most of my life I’ve engaged in traditional weight training and “bulking up”. I’ve always had the stereotype about how yoga was for women and how it was all just about being flexible. I was SO skeptical about even giving it a try. I was finally talked into going to a yoga studio here in London about 6 months ago and was so surprised at how challenging it was and how much of a work out I got from it. I’ve been going ever since. I appreciate that it is female dominated and I”m so happy to have found your workouts and the energy your bringing to yoga. Keep it up man. It’s GENIUS!!

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