Pose before bros: Tribeca gym makes yoga macho

Photo by Emmanuelle Galland Aqua Studio’s “Beer and Broga” class is yoga geared to bros, replacing sitar music with rock, and chakras with craft brews.

Photo by Emmanuelle Galland
Aqua Studio’s “Beer and Broga” class is yoga geared to bros, replacing sitar music with rock, and chakras with craft brews.

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.

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3 Responses to Pose before bros: Tribeca gym makes yoga macho

  1. The tone of this is ridiculous. A real man has feelings. Men can self-reflect. Real yoga instructors are certified by the Yoga alliance – this is a fitness class misleading by using the word yoga.

    – A man who does yoga and is more fit than most in your classes

    • Emma Galland is certified through the Yoga Alliance and studied in India, so you know. She takes yoga very seriously and most likely agrees with you regarding how fit yogis are. However, getting more men to do yoga in the US is a challenge which is why Broga serves as a great way to get them in the door. After a few classes many skeptical and reluctant men see just how challenging and rewarding yoga is.

  2. Christopher
    I am the instructor. I am a traditional yoga instructor certified by yoga Alliance and I have taken my training at the source. In I did, Rishikesh. In Sanskrit. And practice ashtanga yoga daily for two hours. What the article fails to mention is that Broga Yoga Was created 8 years ago by a Yoga Alliance credited instructor Robert Sidoti and we have a family of instructors teaching Broga all around the world, as far as New Zealand! Come take a class on me and you’ll see. You will practice Pranayama and vinyasa yoga augmented with core strengthening, cardio and strength moves. The tone of the article is the tone of the journalist. Meet me and be the judge judge. I have 20 years of experience in the industry of fitness and nutrition and hold credentials from the most serious institutions.

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