If you’re a guy who feels too shy or emasculated by the idea of attending a yoga class among a sea of women, you can now feel at ease at “Broga,” a studio and practice geared toward men, with two locations in Massachusetts.
Co-founders Robert Sidoti and Adam O’Neill created Broga as a safe space for men who may be self-conscious about not being as flexible as the woman on the mat next to them in class, or want the benefits of yoga without the Sanskrit chanting. The studio’s website reassures men: “Broga is a yoga class geared for men (where it’s okay if you can’t touch your toes).”
“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,” Sidoti told MSNBC. “Many guys would rather go play tennis or a sport because it feels like exercise.”
Broga emphasizes the aspects of yoga that would most appeal to the discipline of other more traditionally masculine exercises; the site explains its practice as “core-strengthening, muscle-toning, stress-reducing, clarity-enhancing yoga postures with functional fitness exercises for an amazing workout.”
The studio features neutral colors and abandons more traditional New Age-y music in favor of a soundtrack featuring the Black Keys, Radiohead, and Bon Iver. The instructors are also less of a traditional zen instructor and “more like a buddy giving you pointers,” Sidoti told Yahoo’s Shine blog.
Broga also offers yoga retreats, the next one in mid-April in Costa Rica, featuring daily Broga classes, guided jungle hikes, surfing lessons, water-fall rappelling, and “world-class fishing.”
But it’s not just a “bro-cation,” the co-founders insist. “This is not a dumbed down version of yoga,” Sidoti told the Boston Globe last year. There’s a lot of movement linking the postures, but adding push-ups and variations of squats. People see the name ‘Broga’ and they think it’s just a bunch of idiots. But there’s integrity.’’ Totally, bro.