Dean Pohlman is the creator of Man Flow Yoga, a fitness-oriented online experience that provides workouts, information and motivation. Parvati Magazine’s Karl MacPhee caught up with him to talk about his approach to fitness.
Pavarti Magazine: What would you say is the vision for Man Flow Yoga?
Dean Pohlman: The vision is to show guys that you can get stronger in every way you expected possible from yoga (and more!) without having to embrace a yoga lifestyle. The point isn’t to replace your traditional workouts; it’s to show you how yoga can fill the gaps of typical fitness programs so you can do what you desire to do – especially as you age. I’m showing guys that our unique approach to yoga helps guys get stronger, prevent injury, and perform their best.
PMAG: Your athletic background plays a key role in your message. How do you feel this contributes to the trust you have with your followers?
DP: I wouldn’t be where I am without my athletic background. It’s the whole reason I started yoga in the first place, and it’s the reason why I have a fitness-centered approach to yoga. I’ve grown significantly since starting Man Flow Yoga, and I think you can see the development of Man Flow Yoga as well. I think being authentic contributes hugely to the trust of those who are open to learning from me.
PMAG: What would you say are the most common struggles your members have regarding their health?
DP: I think the biggest struggles most people have with their health is that they lack the motivation to stick to a workout program themselves, and they don’t want to master the basics before moving forward.
When I say they lack the motivation to work out, I mean they aren’t clear with themselves on why they really want to be more serious about their health. They don’t make fitness a priority. They allow other things to get in the way. It’s important that people get very clear with themselves on why they want to make wellness a non-negotiable part of their lives, in order to see the results they want with their fitness programs.
People see the body type they want and assume that the best way is jumping straight in. They don’t see the months and years of efforts experts devoted to mastering the basics. To get started, I recommend:
1) Figure out why you want to be healthier in the first place. If the reason doesn’t strike a chord in you, keep digging deeper.
2) Make sure you have adequate levels of ACTIVE mobility – not just passive range of motion. You should be able to control your body without external support. If you don’t have solid mobility levels, work on it with a combination of yoga and MFR work (myofascial release – foam rolling, lacrosse balls, etc).
3) Practice proper muscle engagement – make sure the right muscles are firing, in particular, your glutes, core, hip flexors, and scapular stabilizers. If you’re not using these muscles when you work out, you’re going to end up injured sooner or later.
Dean Pohlman is the founder of Man Flow Yoga. His mission is to show guys how to practice yoga in a way that allows them to improve their performance, prevent injury, and increase overall functional fitness. Dean is a former collegiate lacrosse player for the University of Wisconsin and the Turkish National Lacrosse Team. He works with National Football League and Major League Lacrosse professional athletes