Do men need their own yoga studio?
Co-founders of the Massachusetts-based Broga yoga studio certainly thought so, touting their program as a “strong” and “energetic” class “where it’s okay if you can’t touch your toes.” Putting aside the fact that it’s okay in any yoga class if you can’t touch your toes, there is certainly some truth to the subtext here: stereotypically, yoga often isn’t exactly viewed as a hyper-masculine pursuit.
Broga could easily come off as a branding trick (retreats become “expeditions,” musical choices veer toward The Black Keys and Radiohead), but the actual series was also developed to include some non-traditional moves that will appeal to men.
“This is not a dumbed down version of yoga. There’s a lot of movement linking the postures, but adding push-ups and variations of squats,” co-founder Robert Sidoti told the Boston Globe last year.
Still, the emphasis remains on breath, strength and balance, along with flexibility. It might seem gimmicky to pander to men with “bro-cabulary,” but anything that makes men more likely to enter the studio is a good thing – particularly as they advance in age.
"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 Today.com.
And the truth is that many professional athletes, those icons of American manhood, practice yoga -- including LeBron James, Emeka Okafor and Tony Parish. They know that the practice is an effective counter-training technique and can be an important element of recovering from injury.
So would you try broga?