Downward Facing Dudes: Broga for Men

New yoga studio helps guys get flexible without losing their masculinity

It's not like yoga studios are decorated in pink ruffles and everyone wears a tutu to practice their lotus positions.

But men who want to limber up without losing their sense of manhood can now try “broga,” yoga geared towards guys.

The Somerville, Massachusetts-based studio by the same name is trying to make yoga less intimidating to men by marketing the centuries old practice as, “strong, energetic, challenging… an amazing workout.”

Whatever it takes to help these guys touch their toes.

While you might think guys would like nothing more than to have scantily clad, uber-flexible women doing doggie-style positions in front of them, turns out, some men feel embarrassed by their rippled physiques that are unbending and uncooperative in the face of balance postures like tree pose.

Instead of encouraging guys to be a little less competitive in nature, which I think is the point of yoga, broga tells guys to bring that competitive streak to the mat, in a man-centric class that trades spirituality for strength, and nixes Sanskit terms for the familiar. They even rock out to Radiohead during their sun salutations. I didn’t realize good taste in music was a guy thing.

I am not a yoga fanatic or purist. I enjoy a yoga class that focuses on the mind as well as the body, but isn’t so entrenched in the spiritual side that we’re trying to align our chakras. Still, yoga is meant to be holistic -- its benefits come from the connection between the mind and the body. If you’re doing yoga strictly for the athletic benefits, you’re missing the point of yoga, and might as well be taking a stretching class at the YMCA. I haven’t sat in on class at Broga, so I can’t say exactly how much it differs from a class at Jivamukti or Laughing Lotus. From its depiction in the press, it sounds like the P90X version of yoga -- hardcore with a dash of mindfulness tossed in.

Still, in all fairness, I think the Broga yoga studio is just trying to bring yoga even more to the masses by removing its hippie-dippy stigma and replacing it with a dose of humor. Anything that takes itself too seriously in my opinion deserves to be poked fun of a bit. That's exactly the reason we can’t help but laugh a little at the guys who are so easily emasculated that they are more comfortable taking a class called Broga than something that’s been practiced by men the world over since the beginning of time.

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