Scott Sonnon – Six Degree Flow Review | Scott Sonnon – Six Degree Flow Download
ARE YOU struggling with nagging weight and size issues?
DO YOU believe you’ve already attempted every method to regain a toned, trim, firm and most importantly fluid suppleness which we seemed to have effortlessly as children?
HAVE YOU completely exhausted your patience and drained your energy with the painful, injury-inducing repetitiveness of the same mundane approaches that leave you frustrated and cynical?
If so, I have an exciting story of hope and triumph to share with you. What I am about to reveal involves a simple, fun, fulfilling, and painless (even *gasp* pleasurable) method for losing unhealthy levels of fat, watching the inches disappear AND eliminating harmful distress to your physical and mental health. It will change the way you fit in your clothes for certain, but more importantly, it will return the way you feel powerful and graceful in your movement; dare I say, more powerful and graceful than you’ve ever been.Let’s talk about the deeper benefits than just those! Expect to have all-day energy without crashes, kiss excess tension and anxiety goodbye, sleep like a baby, and eliminate those old pains and injuries.
You won’t have to go to the club, or attend the latest studio. As a matter of fact, you can stay in the same room you’re in now, or even at the side of your bed. Regardless of your level of flexibility or level of conditioning currently, you don’t need to struggle or aggravate any prior issue. You begin to notice dramatic changes after the first few sessions.
So what is it that I’m discussing? A revolutionary approach to movement, and flow (that’s right – flow) which rewires your body and improves your quality of life (and although highly conjectured – quantity of life)!
All you need to flow is to exhale, down-shift and recover. A natural by product of that will be the delight of a new wardrobe as your body changes to reflect how awesome you feel.
If you’re like many people, you might be surprised to consider flow as “true” exercise. Perhaps you only consider it to be something like flexibility, dance, or some other “lite” type of exercise, especially when you associate flow with conventional movement approaches.
However, you’re going to find there’s an entire science untapped by conventional approaches. Honestly, that’s the real reason I want to share this spectacular news: the transformative benefits to your body, health and life are too tremendous to keep this field a secret.
If you don’t know me from my books or articles, my name is Scott Sonnon. Decades ago, you’d expect that I would have been the last person to be coordinated or perform disciplines like martial art. My joint disease and learning difficulties made exercise an agonizing proposition – mentally and physically. Every time I tried to stretch my limits, I ended up with some type of injury or severe pain, or just frustratingly hopeless that my body wasn’t improving in health and fitness potential.
Then, in a twist of fate that landed me in Russia as the first Westerner to formally intern there to learn their Training System, I discovered flow. Despite the damage conventional exercise did to my body, since it had been my only alternative, and from my traumatic childhood I HAD to get out of my circumstances, I had pushed myself to the breaking edge – many times breaking. So, when I found flow, it was like a healing bath: smooth-moving, concentrated, recuperative and restoring the lost access to my movement potential from aches, pains and injuries.
Following flow, I was finally able to heal my old injuries, recover my lost range of motion, and – quite ironically – finally started to see massive changes in my appearance without even trying anymore. By down-shifting, slowing and focusing, I actually accelerated in my transformation into high-performance health.
Flow revolutionized not merely my physique, but more importantly my mind and mood. How could it not since movement – mind – and mood are inextricably interwoven, like a tapestry. Let one become snagged, and you entangle the rest, limiting their syngeristic integration. Although I had thought becoming a competitive athlete and world champion were the only ways for me to regain health and fitness, I had found quite the opposite: they had left me with even more injuries – a broken back and a snapped neck which riddled me with nerve pinched agony, like the straight jacket of pain in which I had been born. But in flow, I discovered that not only could I be free of pain, but when I did check in and slow down, I looked around and saw my muscle finally starting to grow, my shape beginning to lean out, and my body appear to be what I had originally thought an athlete should look like.
I look like a 25 year old athlete at 45, this year, thanks to flow; but better than this, I have better and stable energy all day long, more so than most people in their 20s. I sleep great every night, no longer deal with the nagging issues I once suffered, and regularly surprise people when they learn that I’m “middle aged.” HA!
|Who is Scott Sonnon?
Scott Sonnon was forced into a life of seeking alternative exercise options due to early childhood joint disease and motor challenges. Institutionalized for his learning difficulties in a psychiatric hospital, teachers and doctors advised that he set low-bar realistic expectations on his potential.
Through tremendous persistence he rose to become an adjunct professor of physical education at Penn State University, a US National Team Coach and a 5 time world martial arts champion.
Suffering a broken neck, back, leg and arm, he sought out non-surgical options to healing, and became the first Westerner to formally intern with the former Soviet Union science researchers.
Healing his own injuries, he then became renowned among firefighting, military and law enforcement, for ELIMINATING injuries from the government agency who hired him to renovate the health and fitness programs at their academies.
His breakthrough programs help people transform their bodies from painful low performance to painless peak performance using his flow routines.
Though the very down-to-earth authenticity of his presentation, and the heart wrenching stories of triumph he shares from his youth have put him in great demand of nearly a half million miles of flying a year, his heart has always returned to his birthplace, working with families and helping men, women and children prevent pain and injuries and restore job functionality, physical vitality and expand quality of life in 32 countries!!
He’s been featured as a keynote speaker for TED Talks, Mensa, Arnold Classic (the world’s largest athletic event), and as a global master instructor for the Nike Training Center; and featured in Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Black Belt and other magazines.
How can flow be so effective at burning off calories?
Why would something simple and smooth like flow be able to make such dramatic transformation to your body? Because when you flow, you may not be sweating like a downpour, but you’re still giving yourself an incredible internal workout. I will give you some of the geek-science behind this, if you’ll let me, because – being beaten up for so many years, and having the responsibility of not repeating that abuse for others – I’ve had to do more than physically practice, I’ve also had to rigorously study and research the scientific methodology which supports it.
Could these exercise lies be PREVENTING YOU from getting into awesome shape?
Lie #1: Only intense, painful exercise can burn fat.
SCIENTIFIC FACT: An equal amount of calories (and more importantly – unhealthy fat levels) are expended by doing flow itself. Exercise science calls the synergistic effect of threading movements together to produce a sum total impact greater than if you performed the identical exercises for the same number of repetitions but independently – the “complex training effect.” Furthermore, since you practice smooth transitional movement in flow, you can do it without laboring your breath, without aggravating old pains, and while exceeding the results of conventional exercise.
Lie #2: Flowing movement won’t help you shed unwanted fat.
SCIENTIFIC FACT: Flow has been proven in evidence-based research to burn more fat. Vinyasa (the Sanskrit work for “flow”) – due to its recuperative benefits – was shown by the American Journal of Managed Care to produce superior fat-burning results. This presumably results from the changes in our cortisol levels which prevent cravings and binging.
Lie #3: “Harder is better”
SCIENTIFIC FACT: Your body cannot tell the difference between types of resistance. It only knows complexity (or lack of it). Though the “no pain – no gain” mentality still infiltrates the fitness world, your nervous system only has room for precision or pain; and pain trumps precision at the gateway to the spine. With flow, you can exercise in a way that challenges your movement complexity using only your own bodyweight, and so gently that only precision enters your nervous system – meaning: you only see positive results, without aches, pains and injuries.
I taught Physical Education as an adjunct Professor for Penn State University, and was awarded a Master of Sport degree, so I have done my homework on biomechanics and kinesiology. I’ve even conducted university level research into the impact of breathing and its impact upon performance published in the Journal of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. You would be stunned to learn what I discovered from that experiment.
In the mid 1990s, I began assisting the senior psychologist at a neurobehavioral clinic in movement therapy for brain damaged and mentally ill children. Taking our early successes with the children to research upon university students, we discovered that flow entrained the subjects to perform better under stress.Our research concluded that you can use flow to both counter-act distress (excessive stress), and to recover to normal, positive levels of challenge. This is the definition of resilience: to recover rapidly from strain. Flow, like no other mechanism in the human existence, provides us with the password to that encrypted server. I’ve refined these concepts over the years, as a national team coach for several different sports, and as a consultant to those who statistically suffer the hardships of distress with an average mortality of age 54: firefighters, police and soldiers. Using flow in agency level academies, I’ve reduced training related injuries to zero while showing superior performance and weight and fat loss over all prior academy classes! (Zero injuries had also never before happened in their academy histories!)
This is due to the fact that flow permits your joints, especially when they’re inflamed and achey, to move painlessly around each other – eliminating “wear and tear.” Since your sense organs for balance, precision, accuracy and power are in your joints, you gain the ability to have superior fat-burning, muscle-building results without pain and injury! Remember these aren’t individual anecdotes. I’ve proven this at a governmental level.
The secret sabotage that retains unhealthy levels of fat… and how to switch it off
Flow will burn off the fat without pain and injuries, while downshifting and focusing on smooth quality of movement. The most important aspect of flow is how it regulates the sympathetic nervous system to normalize levels of cortisol.
Cortisol is often called the “stress hormone” due to its secretion during physical or psychological stress. Excessive stress can disrupt balanced cortisol secretion and not only promote weight gain, it also affects where you put on the weight. Though you can’t “spot reduce” – you can “target gain” body fat. Studies show excessive stress can cause elevated cortisol and fat deposits on the belly and waist. This is often referred to as “toxic fat” since abdominal fat correlates with cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes, and may contribute to the reality that the world’s number one killer isn’t a bomb, a bullet, a virus or a bacteria, nor even a cancer. It’s stress-related disease.
Our amount of cortisol secreted in response to excessive stress varies between us, with some more reactive than others to stressful events. Normal exercise burns fat, but unfortunately, if the hormonal environment has been imbalanced, the harder you exercise, the more fat your body stores. Thankfully, we CAN train our reactivity to stress to be high and uncontrolled or low and controlled through breath, movement, posture, and mental skills.
Suffering a childhood of obesity, I gravitated into a fighting career, trading one set of excessive stressors for another, and causing me to move from being over-fat to “skinny fat.”
FLOW, I discovered, de-stressed my life and allowed my hormonal balance to be restored, which caused the insulation against my perceived threats to melt away… Not the conventional approach to fat loss, but it was significant enough that I invested myself in researching the phenomenon.
Fat disappears and stays gone!
Obviously you can appreciate how manageable levels of stress are preferable since excessive levels (distress) lift your cortisol, and cause fat retention. Thankfully, positive soothing stress (which we call “eustress” in coaching psychology) can be used to remove distress. And rigorous studies show that flow decreases your levels of cortisol for this very reason!
The Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University verified research that demonstrated one hour of flowing movement can lower blood cortisol levels in both highly stressed men and women with no prior experience required.
However, although your body releases cortisol every time you’re in a physically or mentally stressful situation to help protect your body from the full impact of stress, it also helps your body regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure, as an anti-inflammatory and an anti-allergy agent, to calm the immune system. In fibromyalgia, cortisol levels are generally low, meaning stress has a far greater effect on those with chronic pain. Studies involving cortisol replacement have had mixed results, however, and it’s generally considered safer and more effective to raise cortisol levels naturally, such as with flow.
Flow normalizes your balanced level of cortisol: increasing and decreasing it when needed. The ability to BALANCE HORMONES means that you can get the positive stress without the negative stress; you get the fat-burning, muscle-building exercise, without the pain and injuries; you look great AND feel great!!
Did I also mention that flow – by definition – is also challenging, interesting and fun!? If you enjoy and feel stimulated by something, you don’t need to remember to do it, or dread doing it. You keep doing it because it is fun! Of course, you’ll just watch the inches melt away while you’re having too much of a good time.
Clinical trial proves 19 pound difference in those who practice flow yoga 30 minutes per week!
In 2005, medical researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle set out to do a medical study on the weight-loss effects of flow yoga, involving 15,500 healthy, middle-aged men and women. Researchers removed all other factors that could influence weight change – such as diet or other forms of exercise. The researchers discovered that flow yoga could indeed help people shed pounds, amounting to a difference of 19 pounds lost and not gained by the yoga practicing group, with as little as one 30-minute session per week. That equates to moving from a size 12 to a size 8, in a half hour of yoga a week.
Imagine how great it would feel to be able to remove your painful aches and limitations while at the same time getting all of these wellness side benefits of fat-loss and muscle-strengthening, without senseless starvation dieting. See, that is the real benefit of flow – you get all of the mental, emotional and energetic quality of life from painless movement, and all of the healthy physique goals as a natural by-product!
Build more strong muscle while you melt away fat.
Since your nervous system can’t tell the difference between your own bodyweight and a barbell or a squat machine, you can feel free to release yourself from any lingering “no pain – no gain” pressure. Strengthen your chest and arms, flatten your belly, power up your seat and legs, back and shoulders without the crushing weight of external resistance.
When you’re in flow, you do more than just remove pain and prevent injuries. You go farther than gaining quality of movement and increased potential. Because you’re lifting, squatting, twisting and resisting your own bodyweight, you challenge and grow the supportive musculature which chisels away unhealthy fat, yet regains your cat-like suppleness in a way conventional strength training just cannot replicate. By developing this lean, strong muscle, you don’t have to do endless hours of calorie burning cardio, because you become a metabolic furnace. You displace unhealthy fat with healthy muscle: the more that you do, the more you stoke the furnace. You burn fat all day long, rather than only when you exercise.
You will love how you feel, and be astonished by how you look as a simple consequence of practicing flow. And as any yoga or tai chi teacher will demonstrate, the positions and transitions of flow will help strengthen your bones and align your posture so you’ll look to others as vibrantly confident as your nervous system makes you feel. Crazily enough, there’s still more to come…
Looking awesome is a natural by-product of feeling awesome! Be prepared to feel like “Everything is Awesome!”
For me, rapid aging began in my childhood. Due to physical limitations, I was forced to seek out alternatives to the conventions (since these orthodox approaches surprisingly accelerated becoming “old.”) Being young is defined by the ability to adapt and remain in flow. Being old is defined by the inability to adapt, and rigid inaccessibility to flow. Aging is the passing of the years where with each year passed comes an increased responsibility to actively choose daily those behaviors which keep us youthful rather than make us old. Because of flow, I’ve actually restored my youth, despite doctors claiming I’d never amount to anything, and should not place my expectations too high. As a coach for national teams, I had quickly discovered that our training made us stronger and able to expend greater amounts of energy, but we had extreme difficulty in translating that into the performance. We worked harder and used more energy than our opponents. But certain people appeared to use less energy, and less force, and yet achieved more. When competing against these masterful athletes, it was as if kicking at a river, or striking at a briar thicket. How could you hurt what did not accept your force? How could you injure what never resisted your blows? Instead, we were always playing catch-up, while they seemed to be much more agile; in reality, they were only maneuvering in unconventional ways, fluidity which defied our conditioned expectations. As a result, they were cycling faster through the loop of observing our crude efforts, orienting upon our slow decisions, and deciding to act rapidly. Flow, I learned, improved quality of movement, rather than merely the quantity and allowed me to perform with greater ease, less injury and more precision. I didn’t predict that this would also increase my quality of life and quantity of longevity!
In flow, I discovered a renaissance in age-defying lifestyle evolution. I learned the difference between exercise which improves the effectiveness of your strength, power, stamina and endurance, with what was called “biomechanical exercise” – which improves the quality of your efficiency of your coordination, agility, flexibility and range of motion. Even from watching the movements, my quality of movement improved, because – I learned – that our nervous systems are limited only by our conditioned expectations.
The first block to my potential was lifted by challenging the belief that I could do these things, and confront my fear of my lost movement.
- The 2nd obstacle was removed when I stopped trying to force through them, which was the opposite of what I needed to do. Emptying my cup and starting over by practicing the skills, suddenly my movement made huge leaps in development.
- The last obstacle disappeared when I accepted the reality that I could continue to improve, and that masterful performance was possible for EVERYONE; not just the top 15% of the genetic deep end, but also those of us, like me, who swim upstream from the shallow end.
I can say without reservation, realizing that flow is available to everyone has been the pinnacle of my career discoveries. It allowed me to focus on consolidating the science of flow into concrete, easy to follow, simple to progress building blocks of movement. You won’t become an overnight Musashi. Your won’t be able to levitate, throw fireballs, or teleport either (“I’m still trying”). I’m not going to give you hype because FLOW doesn’t need selling!
With that no BS caveat stated, by practicing flow, you can expect that YOU WILL:
Increase your ability to express power while decreasing how much effort is required to do so. Recover much more rapidly from sudden changes in movement, accidents, collisions, destabilizations, and forced translations. Be smoother in everything that you do, all your exercise, recreation and even job-related activities will be done with greater suppleness and grace. Feel much more energy throughout your body, and throughout your day, and that will have a dramatic impact upon your mood, attitude and perspective. Reduce and eliminate acute and chronic pains that may be riddling you, leading to improved quality of life. Prevent injuries from happening, and lessen those severe injuries which may occur, as your connective tissue strength, joints, and response time improve. Be able to navigate obstacles and challenges with ease and imagination as your body learns to adapt to new physical skills at an accelerated rate. Become keenly sensitive to movement, position and tension, as your bodily awareness improves. Improve your strength, cardio, flexibility, agility, endurance, stamina, as well as your physique. But many things will do that. Very few disciplines also offer the above. I know flow can do all of these incredible things for you like it has for me and thousands of my students.
DANGER: Not ALL movement instruction will restore your flow! Most will continue accelerated aging!
Believe me I learned this the hard way. The consequences of poor coaching for me are disastrous, which is why I’ve suffered a broken back and a snapped neck. Some coaches, themselves already crippled in injury and pain, continued their generational hazing by doing to us what had been done to them, under the misguided belief that they had succeeded because of how hard their training had been. Unfortunately for most of us, we did well in spite of our teachers, not because of them.In other approaches, I learned that working harder didn’t necessarily mean better. Working longer didn’t mean better. Working faster didn’t mean better. Only working better meant better.
I discovered in my travels training with the greats that you can’t just go out there and move around, and find your flow. Our nervous systems are amazing at compensating for hidden problems. We develop avoidance behaviors which quietly conceal limitations and lost potential, so if you don’t use a specific formula for exploring your movement, you’ll just be reinforcing old structural dysfunction: you’ll be strengthening your problems, rather than strengthening your freedom of movement.
You have to have the right movements, with the right steps, using the right mechanics of breath, movement and alignment. Unfortunately, most exercise, movement and even yoga teachers haven’t received sufficient education in how the body healthily flows. So, a lot of instruction out there puts you at risk of injury. One of my friends, who is a local physician, says that he gets 90% of his clientele from the local gyms, not from referrals, but from exercise induced pain and injury. Look, even the Yoga Journal itself – probably the most respected of its kind – reported that yoga in America had a 9% injury rate: Nearly 1 out of every 10 people were getting injured by going to a yoga class… That’s not yoga’s fault. That’s an educational problem!
Unfortunately, most yoga, movement and exercise coaches will advise you to go a little farther than you’re comfortable. They don’t even understand what the “edge” is physiologically. They don’t know how to observe the markers when they’re in person to prevent you from stepping over the edge. They don’t know how to advise you how to safely recover back from it. And they certainly don’t know how to organize programs that you can do on your own without them present so you can safely approach your edge without exceeding it. That’s how I’ve gotten destroyed in the past by bad teaching. Frankly as a university professor, I consider it negligent to even teach without understanding these basics.
Flow shouldn’t EVER hurt, by the very definition of FLOW! Whenever you’re exploring your movement in flow, you must turn your awareness inside to your own experience of the breath, motion and alignment. There are measurable, definable, knowable markers to determining whether you’re in flow, or approaching fear or force. When you try to forcefully or fearfully resist a motion, you strengthen problems.
You can achieve DRAMATIC RESULTS with only changing how you understand how to integrate your breath with your alignment cues and transitional movement through simple motions, in even only 14 minutes a couple times a week. Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the good doctor:
“The wonderful thing about Scott’s flow program is that it really works! I have seen incredible improvements in my agility, range of motion, cardio-respiratory endurance and overall robustness. I haven’t been able to move like this in years! In addition, the incrementally progressive manner in which it is presented makes it safe for people of all ages and fitness levels, and can be performed almost anywhere, at home or when traveling. I recommend it to all of my patients in my chiropractic practice.”
Dr. Mitch Simon, Michigan
Well, there’s finally a solution… gradual, painless flow instruction for getting better faster!
Motivated by the success that I had with my own health and fitness, and that of the thousands of instructors certified in flow around the world, I consolidated the most graduated approach I had had to develop to give everyone access to flow, not merely with successful physique transformative, fat-burning, muscle-building results (though including them) but also with belly-to-fingers and toes painless peak quality of life! I have been keeping this approach restricted to my international instructor cadre, and my private clients, but it has become such a foundational component to the success of tens of thousands that it has already been aired on Australian, Costa Rica and Swedish television. So, it’s time that I brought it straight to you, rather than waiting for you to have to find one of my staff coaches in your area. So many people have been popping out of the woodwork in the past 5-10 years talking about natural, primal, paleo, primitive movement – and flow, that I knew it was time to share the science I had distilled into an easy to understand algorithm for physical empowerment.
I wanted to offer to you the easiest and safest educational approach ever created for YOU to appreciate all of the amazing transformative results and health benefits that flow has to offer you. Should you have a highly scheduled and hectic lifestyle like mine, you’ve probably been looking for a method that can graft on to your schedule and does not inconvenience your otherwise “full” calendar of daily activities. The total-body, muscle-building, fat-burning, pain-free flow program which inserts effortlessly into your calendar!
You can now access this transformative package anywhere, anytime, with anyone at any level! No parking spaces, no traffic jams, no membership fees, no competitive onlookers, no creepy participants, no uncomfortable environment whatsoever. Save yourself the gas money, too, on those lost transit hours. Just you, your flow, and your fitness results. Restore your vibrant, pain-free range of motion and quality of movement, while rippling new strength and melting old fat. Get all of the physique by-products of FEELING AWESOME!! Prepare yourself to be shocked at the simplicity of the program design. You have to understand, because of my learning and physical challenges, I needed to learn how to make even the most complex movement accessible to someone with my genetic limitations. My mind has been my greatest asset, despite all of the amazing side benefits which flow has given to my body. And despite my scholastic teachers claiming that I shouldn’t have high expectations for either athletic or academic achievement, these flow methods I’ve created have appeared in universities across the world – and are now in gyms in 32 countries. Why? Because they’re easy to replicate.
A method is useless if only the creator can perform it. But despite stepping on the mat with elite athletes at world championships and sometimes winning, I was not really an “elite athlete”. I’m just a former learning disabled kid from rural south-central Pennsylvania who had amazing coaches, and blessed opportunities to learn the sciences behind optimal health and longevity. None of my achievements can ever cloud the fact that I was nothing spectacular; just a less than ordinary individual by the standards of my teachers and therapists. But flow has allowed me to live an extraordinary life of abundant health!
You’re going to get Dashboard Access to Flow!
I lean heavily upon my experience in alternative education programs, so the step-by-step instruction is so simple that it’s designed to be impossible to forget. If you ever felt uncoordinated, be prepared to reverse that within a week of practice, if not the very day you begin watching my videos on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Take flow on the go!!!
And since it’s also organized to be readily grafted into even the busiest schedule, you’ll be shocked at how fast the results start showing!!
What do you want to be fit FOR: For now and in pain,
or forever and free?
Place your highest premium on power, strength, endurance, stamina or physique. But ultimately, these are merely means to an end; an end which, if they fail to fulfill that end, categorically define you as “unfit.” Sorry, but it’s my job as a coach, to not try and seduce you into reading, but to give you an opportunity to shake yourself from the slumber into which the media and marketeers compel us to fall comatose. We need to keep each other awake. We need to ask: for what are we becoming fit?
For many decades of focus, our society has emphasized physical fitness, we have become distracted by only the outward appearance of fitness, and by the quantifiable output of “objective” performance. Fitness doesn’t matter if it decreases your quality of life. No one wants to be the most attractive cadaver in the cemetery, nor have the tombstone epitaph of “heaviest lift but shortest life.” Many experts have taken to explaining that exercise is like a sport (if not actually, a sport). Therefore, they advise you that you should anticipate injuries and expect to eventually no longer be able to perform without agony and decrepitude. These excuses rationalize the belief system which has made means into ends in themselves; they’ve mistaken the process for the product. One virtue defines the ultimate goal of all physical exercise. We use common descriptions for it, because it answers the question “fit for what?” What are you becoming fit FOR? You want to be pain free? You want to be able to do the physical tasks and activities which we encounter without fear? You want all of our range of motion? You would love to have all of the beautiful physique by-products of poise and grace? THEN, YOU WANT FLOW!! When I first began researching it in the late 80s, it was nothing but an unidentifiable bucket term. But as stress physiology and exercise science coalesced with the now concrete field of “flow psychology” (itself a combination of biochemistry, neuro-physiology, positive psychology and coaching psychology), flow became a legitimate field of study. The term now even appears in university courses, some using much of what I’ve published on the subject:
Does your fitness increase your flow in life?
Is your exercise increasing your ability to experience a robust physical life, devoid of pain? Or are you on the death-row of fitness, anticipating the inevitable decline or catastrophic injury which will end your physical vitality? Regardless of what you’ve been taught before, or what has been beaten into you, this ultimate physical experience of flow is not just for the un-aged. It can be as ageless and elegantly simple as increasing a range of lost motion, relishing a 2nd (or 3rd, or 4th) wind, or spending an entire day playing soccer with your kids and grandkids with no limitations and dread of tomorrow’s pain. I can share with you how to make flow immediately accessible to your body, without having to give up on those extrinsic rewards of a toned, powerful physique, whether you’re totally new to exercise, or an old pro, you’re going to unlock greater potential and reap deeper benefits.
Balancing cortisol levels aids in body composition
(And removes and prevents snacking and binging)
When you get stressed out, one of the chemicals dumped into your system is cortisol. When balanced, it’s beneficial. But when stressed out, excess cortisol causes craves for salty and sweet foods. Biologically this was a good thing because it motivated the tribe to bulk up when resources were scarce. However, that works against you when you have virtually unlimited access to food. The less you move, the more your nervous system gets stressed. The more you move with force or fear, the more your nervous system gets stressed. The more stressed you become, the more your body dumps excess cortisol into your body to try and calm you down. Unfortunately, this results in “ego depletion” – the technical name for draining will power. Since “will” is a chemical state of mind, increase the stress, decrease the ability to withstand impulses to snack and binge from all the excess cortisol in your bloodstream. If you find it difficult to calm down, like most Western people do, if you find yourself in a schedule so hectic that you feel fortunate to have stumbled upon a program which is only 14 minutes because that’s all you could “spare” for exercise, and if you feel like food has become the enemy to your body from all of the ego depletion which stress has wrought upon your will power, then flow is an answer for you. Flow can be performed anywhere, anytime to evaporate the stress, balance your cortisol levels, and remove the craving. Now that would be awesome, wouldn’t it? I’ve included one of many bonuses in the 6°Flow package a video and book called Resilience Breathing which will help you prepare for these cortisol induced episodes when you’re not able to do a flow session using your movement, but only your breath.
Flow breathing, you’ll find in the 6°Flow book and videos is central to your ability to progress gradually in challenge so that you can increase muscle and decrease fat while keeping cortisol at balanced levels. I’ve had to master how to coach breathing, not just for national teams, fire departments, law enforcement agencies and military units, where breathing SAVES lives, but also for all of us who want positive CHANGES in our quality of life. Take a moment to test me. Find a calm space. Locate your heart rate on your neck. Close your eyes. Inhale through the nose by letting your belly move out, not by lifting your chest. Keep your spine upright and tall. Exhale through the mouth slowly, feeling the space between your heart beats grow longer and longer and longer. That exhalation is a key mechanism in the parasympathic nervous system for restoring the “tend and mend” reflex – the polar opposite to the sympathetic nervous system’s “fight or flight” reflex, which is bound to the inhale, bracing and pressurizing. The slower your heart rate, the greater that parasympathetic tone. Just do four more breaths (come on, just do four; it’ll only take a moment, and frankly you probably need it.) Notice how much calmer you are now. That’s really how fast you can start to normalize the hormones in your bloodstream. You’re super responsive! So, imagine how that would impact when you feel stressed out and experience the ego depletion as your hand starts reaching for the chocolate cookie. Normalize the hormones and you suddenly no longer suffer a craving. Okay, you’ve made it this far, so now I’m going to jeopardize losing you. Why? Because I’m going to talk about the more nebulous virtues of flow: how it helps you transform your body image, as much as it transforms your body!
Stronger structure through careful movement burns more fat
Regardless of what others may have to say about my physique, complimenting abs, glutes, shoulders or back, the most common compliment I receive from people is that despite how muscular I appear, I move like a panther on the prowl. Looking great is nice, but not at the expense of freedom of movement. If you’ve ever been in nerve pain, then you know that the best reflection in the mirror is still agonizingly not worth it. I’d much rather be able to dive roll over my kids bombing me with their sleds down the slopes, and hit them with a mortar round snowball while inverted, than receive compliments on my physique. For me, and probably for you, FUN-ctionality is the most important virtue. But there’s a little scientific fact that goes unexplored here: the stronger your frame becomes, the more any and all movement burns fat off you effortlessly all day long. If you restore your flow, you’ll burn more fat without all of those mind-numbing hours on the recumbent bike or treadmill. I’ve used my experience as a physical education professor, as a national team coach and as a government consultant, to create positions and transitions in the flows which are easiest for you to access while providing you with all of the side benefits you’re looking for!
I’ve done this for classes as large as 800 people like when I taught flow at the Nike Academy as one of their global master trainers. It was accessible to 799 of them; all except one lady who had just gotten out of surgery on a knee replacement 3 days earlier, but didn’t want to miss the class. She still was able to do some of the flow! By training these whole movements, you release the chassis of the body and unlock what experts call “myofascial meridians” – which are basically like long lines of muscles from head to toe and belly to finger tips. The more muscles that you move, the faster you melt unhealthy fat and restore your natural flow. There is NO place in your body which can hide from the strength you’ll be given, and as a result no place which can retain unwanted fat. Tighter, stronger, leaner, more powerful and more poised. Flowing! I’ve meticulously crafted each of the positions and transitions in 6°Flow so that you can access these degrees of freedom and grow stronger in whole movements, rather than as a “bag of parts.” However, there’s another aspect of flow which impacts your health in a surprising way, but it is an under-discussed though thoroughly researched and proven scientific FACT!
You can’t hate your way to being fit! You can only love your way to flow!
What dirty little secret will fitness magazines and marketing companies never admit? If you have struggled with fat loss like I have, and you’ve come through the other side and gained a lean physique, you may have been unprepared for a surprising revelation. If you’ve been told a million times by media and marketeers that the body they want to sell you will make you happy, you’ll be surprised that you’re not any happier. Body changes don’t change body image. ONLY QUALITY OF LIFE – FLOW – CAN CHANGE BODY IMAGE!
Distorted body image means you see your body for your perceived negatives, lacks, flaws and insufficiencies. You look at yourself and see only what you can’t do, don’t have, and aren’t yet. No matter how much more muscular, you feel like you look frail; no matter how thin, you feel big; no matter how tone, you feel flabby; no matter how strong, you feel weak; no matter how far, fast or frequent you can exercise, you feel fatigued. This distortion of body image can be caused by: Perfectionism, or feeling down and frustrated about your physical flaws. Conforming to certain ideals, which are usually found in advertising and other media. Being focused on how our appearance has led to us losing relationships, and opportunities. Believing that we must be a certain weight or size to be happy. Judging aspects of our body instead of paying attention to the whole. When you look in the mirror, with our distorted image, we only see the body parts that we deem unattractive. Here’s the dirty little secret: You will indeed feel BETTER from your body changes, But you probably won’t necessarily be any HAPPIER because of them. You only feel happier when you clear your body image. I’ve trained some of the most outwardly beautiful people in the world: actors, celebrities, billionaires, fashion and physique models. Their appearance didn’t make them any happier. In fact, the pressures of their jobs often led to the opposite: the more their body changed, the more critical and unhappy they became. In all honesty, the same happened to me: from severely weak and overweight to a champion athlete who for all intents and purposes of fitness books and videos, magazines and television, must work as a “model.” The attention I received didn’t make me any happier, and I discovered wasn’t the kind of attention I wanted, as it served to amplify the voice of my own distorted body image: “Your shoulders look great. Your back is huge. I want abs like that.” I am just a coach. I’m no guru. I get angry, sad, frustrated and mad. I feel anxiety and fear. My happiness cannot be found in body changes. My health can begin there, but a distorted self image can make even the most fit body in the world into a toxic environment which eventually corrodes its host. Even your health depends upon your happiness and clearing your body image. Statistics show that 80+% of people who change their bodies retain their distorted self-image. The problem starts too young, as the media and marketeers encourage appearance so dreadfully early: 65% of young people think they are too fat and begin to experiment in “dieting” at an early age which can rapidly lead to eating disorders and the host of distorted self image behaviors. Building confidence in your image of yourself is the foundation to letting go of needless worries. But learning to love yourself for what you are isn’t an easy thing to do; though it is worth it. One of the most important virtues of flow involves its reconnection of you to your body, mind and heart. You are going to look good NOW because you feel great NOW. And then you can appreciate with detachment all of the fat loss and strength development that comes as a natural by-product of bringing flow into your life.