There’s often a very obvious gender divide in gym spaces, with men typically preferring the gym and women preferring classes. For that reason, Yoga doesn’t always get the male attention it sometimes deserves. Enter Broga, a witty play on words that attempts to break down the misconceptions about yoga and encourage more men to practice.
What is Broga?
According to their official website:
“Broga is a yoga class geared for men (where it’s okay if you can’t touch your toes). Strong, energetic, and challenging, Broga combines the best core-strengthening, muscle-toning, cardio-working, stress-reducing, clarity-enhancing yoga postures with functional fitness exercises for an amazing workout.
You’ll get that pumped-up feeling you get from working out and a deep flexibility and relaxation feeling from “working in.”
Basically, Broga is a yoga-inspired fitness class, one that does away with the meditation music and hours spent breathing and doing little else. It’s a challenging fitness workout but still manages to draw on the ideals of yoga, listening to your body, improving flexibility as well as strength, and practising mindfulness in a fitness environment.
Is Broga bullshit?
When any fitness craze takes hold, it’s important to ask: is it bullshit? So many of them are! Beachbody Diet? Barf!
I went along to one of the open classes hosted by MoreYoga introducing Broga to a wider yoga-going audience.
My main concern was that, in an attempt to break down the female stereotype, Broga would be overly heterosexual. That there would, in fact, be swarms of bros just bursting to show off their handstands and act overly competitive with each other when performing the more manly-looking poses. Instead, the crowd was a 50:50 split between men and women, and I’m 90% sure that all the men were gay.
In truth, the only hetero I encountered was our teacher, Max, who managed to walk the fine line between no bullshit straight guy and encouraging “no bromo” instructor. Refreshingly charming without any need to refer to the poses by their Sanskrit name, Max was an ideal teacher. One who was hot enough to grab your attention but not one to make you feel bad about it.
What is a Broga class like?
The class was familiarly-structured, with some stretches and vinyasas to get us warmed up, followed by longer-held poses that built strength in our legs, core, and upper body. There were challenging poses that make your muscles shake – holding chair pose, and then twisted chair, pose for what seems like ages – as well as an opportunity to practice some balances with the support of your classmates.
“Part of it is the Broga buddy up, like a yoga bromance, where you partner up with others and help each other practice. So either helping you stretch, or supporting you when you try a handstand or headstand. So instead of the teacher doing it, the students help each other out.”Max @yoga_to_the_max
The focus of each section is always on combining strength with good form and flexibility, challenging yourself while listening to your body’s limits, making it accessible for beginners as well as advanced practitioners.
Where can I Broga?
Broga is a trademarked class, so you can practice is in plenty of yoga studios and fitness clubs across the country. MoreYoga is a network of affordable yoga studios across London. They’re simple and uncomplicated studios dotted around the city that are entirely lacking in pretence and are really affordable (more details below).
Since Broga is a licenced class there is that familiarity when you attend into different classes.
“The teacher will vary the class slightly but there is a pretty fundamental sequence, with key moves and stretches that you’ll recognise when you come back to class.”
Why should I go to Broga?
If you’re put off by the meditation, chill-out, la-la music, it breaks that stigma. Broga is a tough class to come to. It has that personal training vibe meets yoga class.
Broga is nowhere near as “Bro” as the name implies, offering a chance to work hard, sweat, and stretch in a welcoming, non-competitive environment. Not many gyms can say that!
Broga will run at MoreYoga Brixton, Finsbury Park, Soho and Hackney and is free from 1st – 15th April.