Calling all downward-facing dudes: The new ‘Broga’ classes that hope to bring yoga to the male masses
22:06 GMT, 27 March 2012
Yoga. First it was relaxing, then it was dynamic, then for some men it was naked and most recently it has been called damaging.
Now, just to keep the evolution thriving, there is Broga – a new fangled form of the practice that is tailored distinctly to men who might previously have opted for a tennis racket or running shoes.
Hailed on the website as a yoga class 'where it’s okay if you can’t touch your toes', Broga is designed for the 'bro' who wants to keep his heart rate pounding and his ego in tact while standing in tree pose.
Brogis: Robert Sidoti, co-founder and head instructor of Broga, a new hybrid of yoga that appeals to 'the male body and psyche'
Co-founder and president of Broga, Adam O'Neill told MailOnline: 'Broga is founded on the belief that millions of men could live happier, healthier, more fulfilling, injury-free, self-aware, and (maybe even) longer lives if they incorporated yoga into their current health and wellness regimes.'
But aware that when it comes to yoga, many men find issue not only with flexibility but with the incense and chanting, 'Broga has been created for the male body and male psyche.'
The hybrid practice aims to present familiar strengthening poses to its male clients using language and in an environment that is more identifiable to traditionally athletic men.
Mr O'Neill's partner and head
instructor, Robert Sidoti, points out that just because they play
Radiohead and The Black Keys in classes, however, does not mean that Broga is 'a
dumbed down version of yoga.'
Dudes not dogs: Broga recognises that many men take issue with the more 'spiritual' aspects of yoga and are intimidated by expectation they are flexible enough
Embracing the developments he sees happening in the yoga world, Mr Adams explained further: 'We have a tremendous amount of respect for the history, tradition, and spiritual foundation of yoga, but yoga (particularly the Asana practice) is evolving as it always has.
'Yes, the physical practice of Yoga (the Asana practice) is just a small part of the larger Yoga, but it's the part that most people can readily identify with and begin to partake in.'
In an interview with Today.com, Mr Sidoti said: 'A lot of guys come here after years and years of sports, but their bodies are out of whack. Some have cement shoulders or really tight hips.'
Bros forever: Co-founders of Broga, Adam O'Neill (left) and Robert Sidoti (right)
Traditional yoga classes, they say, present a lot of men with poses that they are simply not flexible enough to hold.
Matt Carpenter, a teacher from The Omega Institute in Upstate New York, concurred that a male-centric yoga class is a good way to channel the natural qualities a man might bring to the practice.
He told Today: 'Men often bring a competitiveness, an intensity, and a seriousness to their yoga practice. We try to balance that by helping them grow in the direction of softness [flexibility] and openness.
'A good way to connect is to appeal to the strength aspects of yoga, the focus on discipline, or the quiet mindfulness – that Zen Samurai mindset.'
Whether Broga is acceptable to the die-hard yogis who claim the discipline has been misinterpreted by gym-fanatics looking to join in a fad, the appeal of Broga will surely be irresistible to anyone in Sommerville, Massachusetts or Martha's vineyard where the classed are held.
A quick glance at the website reveals a Broga surfing retreat in Costa Rica and a simple strong slogan: 'Get real. fit.'