Issues
Charlotte Hannah
July 22, 2013

Broga Is the Inevitable Yoga for Dudes


If only men were allowed to do yoga. All that sweating, stretching and strengthening, along with the camaraderie that comes from taking a group fitness class, really seems like the kind of thing lots of exercise-loving dudes would be into. It’s just too bad we live in a world where every yoga class is women-only.

Oh, wait — you’re telling me dudes are allowed to do yoga, but some of them are just so insecure in their masculinity that the only way they’ll do it is if they have their own special man version of it?

Well, it’s a good thing broga exists then. (Yes, broga.)

Broga, which is by all accounts a real phenomenon, is a new type of exercise for brotastic manly mans. It claims to offer all the sweating, stretching and strengthening of regular yoga, but without all the Sanskrit, chanting and religious elements – you know, the chick stuff. It’s a class where a bunch of sweaty, lightly clothed, toned dudes can do the downward dog together without worrying that it might seem gay.

Broga doesn’t discriminate, though. Some of broga’s hot yoga bros are ladies who come for the non-fuss, fitness-oriented atmosphere. But with advertising like this …

Photo credit: Broga UK / Screenshot by Twirlit.com

Photo credit: Broga UK / Screenshot by Twirlit.com

… there’s no doubt as to who broga’s aimed at.

Now, I totally get the desire for a class that provides the physical benefits of yoga without the “mystical stuff.” (Although you guys do realize that the so-called mystical stuff is kind of the point of yoga, right?) I’m just curious as to where the assumption that only men would have that desire came from, not to mention the assumption that “regular yoga” is for the laydeez.

Some of the broga classes seem pretty cool. According to this article, one broga studio replaces New Age chanting with the Black Keys, Radiohead, Awolnation and Bon Iver, and hippy-dippy instructors with laid back fitness buffs. That’s a class I’d go to. So why the implication that it’s a man thing?

In the end, broga as a concept isn’t that bad (although that name is terrible). I guess if it makes yoga more accessible to dudes, that’s cool. I’m just sick of this weird assumption we have that a vast number of everyday things – carrying one’s stuff around in a bag, practicing personal grooming beyond the basics for the sake of self-esteem, enjoying cooking things on a surface other than a grill, having feelings – are emasculating.

I mean, am I the only one who thinks it’s sad (and also deeply unattractive) when a man can’t just do a regular thing that might be perceived as a little feminine without having to man-ify it and give it a stupid name that’s a portmanteau of “man,” “dude,” or “bro” along with the actual name of that thing? (See: broga, murse, merby, brogurt (ew) et al)

Oh well. If nothing else, this broga thing makes for some great headlines.  Downward facing dude, anyone?