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BY COLIN MIXSON
Yoga mat? Meet yoga Matt!
A Tribeca fitness center is giving the term Downward Dog a whole new meaning with “Broga” — a yoga workout routine that cuts out all the “fufu” spiritualism that guys mistrust, and pumps up the volume with songs by Rage Against the Machine and Led Zeppelin, so a man can still feel like a man, while still getting his stretch on and practicing his breathing, said Aqua Studio instructor Emma Galland.
“Rage Against the Machine is not something you usually play in yoga, and the men feel it’s manly,” said Galland, who teaches Broga at Aqua Studio every Saturday at 1:15 pm.
Aqua Studio’s approach to yoga is perfect for that type-A crowd populated by guys named Chad and Lance, who are looking to augment their athletic portfolio with additional hip and shoulder flexibility, without running the risk of an accidental glimpse at their innermost self, Galland said.
“It’s not fufu the way we teach yoga,” Galland said. “We don’t say ‘bring your hands to your heart,’ we say ‘bring your hand to your chest.’ We don’t say ‘reach for the sky,’ we say ‘put your hands over your head.’”
The tunes likewise are geared towards men, who may fear that tantric chants and whale music will spoil their high-intensity vibes with an air of relaxation.
“Here we play Jack Johnson, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana — basically bro music,” said Galland. “It’s really like a cool, California, riding-your-motorcycle kind of playlist.”
While Galland’s man-spired workout routine does away with much of yoga’s eastern trappings, it’s the physicality of Broga that really keeps men coming back for more, she said.
Broga focuses more extensively on cardio workouts, with plenty of pushups and mountain climber moves, while retaining the yoga stretches that target areas where men are typically less flexible than women, such as the shoulder, back, and chest.
As a result, Broga practitioners become better equipped for more traditionally male exercises, such as weight lifting, due to having an increased range of motion, Galland said.
“It increases flexibility which makes them stronger in the weight room because they have a bigger range of motion in shoulders and hips,” she said.
But Broga is not without its dangers, Galland said, and may evnen serve as a gateway to more traditional forms of yoga, where men might be subjected to things like meditation and inward reflection.
“Broga is the place to come for men to discover yoga,” she explained.