The first time I practiced Yoga was in 2011, after I gifted my mom with a little book of Asanas—it would have been resigned to a dark corner of some kitchen cupboard had I not rescued it and devoured its contents. I remember trying out Warrior One Pose in the mirror and thinking: "Shit, I look like a shit cool yoga dude, check me out balancing like a boss". Of course, Yoga is about leaving your ego at the door, so, clearly, I needed a little more work.
In my mid 20s, I dated a Yoga teacher for a few years and also traveled to India so I guess it was only a matter of time before I became completely enamoured by the ancient art. Or so you would think. I remember going to a Yoga class in Kovalam Beach and hating every arm lift, side stretch and Namaste. (I think I'll Namaste away from Yoga, I thought). Yes, in the birthplace of Yoga, I decided, it wasn't for me, so I toddled over to meditation school instead, while my then squeeze was squeezing his glutes in a backbend. It wasn't until about a year later when I decided to give it another trial. This time, I was hooked. There's something magic when your breath and body move as one, something you can't replicate elsewhere, but honestly, I just loved how it gave me rock solid leg muscle and cheese grater abs.
So, let's take a quick look at some of the fellas responsible for my new adoration for this wonderfully calming workout. The original workout.
Dean Pohlman | Manflow Yoga | Mixed—Fitness Focused
Having suffered with physical problems since a young man, Dean found Yoga, it appears, by accident.
My first yoga class was entirely on accident. I was looking for the tailor and stumbled into a Bikram Yoga studio. I had always been interested in yoga but had never taken a yoga class before that day. I asked the yoga instructor if this class would help my athletic performance. (At the time I was a lacrosse player for the University of Wisconsin.) She told me that it would help me tone my muscles and make me much more flexible. That was exactly what I was looking for.
Not one for the more spiritual elements, Dean prefers to lead his classes, solely a workout, and not moving meditation. Not a scratch of incense to be found in his Texas-based residence. Dean's YouTube channel doesn't just feature flows, but individual exercises for a range of different reasons: Need mobility, flexibility or strength in a certain muscle group? Come to Mr Pohlman. And tune into Dean's Facebook page, where he hosts regular Q&A Live streams about everything from diet to goal setting. He's more like a life coach than anything!
Patrick Beach | Patrick Beach Yoga | Vinyasa
Probably the most famous male Yoga teacher in the world right now, or at least the most visually pleasing and followed on social, is Patrick Beach. Beach by name Beach by nature he travels the world with his sidekick Carly teaching yoga and spreading his word to hoards of awaiting students. And if you watch, you'll see how this man moves like a muthafucking gazelle in the wild. I've never seen someone casually hop into a headstand. Patrick, one day I'll get into a headstand, I promise. Check him out on YouTube for some vegan recipes and travel vlogs, too.
Tim Senesi | Yoga with Tim | Iyengar and Vinyasa
I found Tim Senesi last year after a long break from doing any kind of physical activity at all; unless you count drinking gin and dancing. To look at Tim now, you would never think this soft spoken gentleman—with a rocking body—was once overweight, depressed, isolated, and in incredibly poor health. Tim's world changed after an elderly, yet spritely man came to speak at his university. It wasn't long until he got a taste for asana, and soon became an "accidental" Yoga teacher.
I kinda fell into teaching yoga. I was in my third year at San Diego State University, living in Ocean Beach. Some friends encouraged me to start teaching yoga classes to pay my rent for the summer instead of returning home like I was planning
I follow Sensei's workouts if I fancy something chilled and fluid. Even his more advanced flows are still pretty relaxing. He has a calming presence, even through a screen—it's that voice, Tim! Just read us bedtime stories.