Is “Broga” Coming to DC?

Studios and instructors are tailoring yoga classes toward men with a “bro” atmosphere—and yes, beer is included.

By: Douglas Bair

Guys, count the number of times you’ve bragged about your flexibility at the gym or challenged your workout partner to see who is more limber. Yeah, didn’t think so.

But who hasn’t complained about stiff shoulders and a sore back after neglecting a warmup stretch? If touching your toes is more challenging than maxing out on the bench, it may be time to refresh your workout regimen.

A few years ago, a couple of “bros” outside of Boston, Robert Sidoti and Adam O’Neill, noticed this lack of flexibility in men, along with the increased case of injuries that simple stretching could help prevent. As their girlfriends and wives headed off to yoga classes, they saw a potential cure for their sore muscles: “Boga.” The idea, they explain on their website, is for a guy to be able to go to a yoga studio without feeling intimidated by the soccer mom on the next mat while she’s balanced in crow’s pose and he’s struggling to get one foot off the ground. Currently, the yoga world is dominated by females, who make up about 72 percent of the yoga-practicing population. Broga offers “an accessible yoga-based fitness program taught from a man’s point of view.”

Beyond the Boston studios, many other yogis in the US have adopted the trend with similar “brograms” (some include post-class happy hours and in-house draft beers). Most recently, they have popped up in Brooklyn and San Francisco. But will broga make its way to Washington anytime soon?

Penn Quarter’s six-month-old yoga-cycling studio Sculpt DC has noticed this curiosity as more men look to explore yoga, which led to the studio’s four-week men’s foundation course that introduces the poses and benefits of yoga to men.

“It’s implementing both the physical and mental components together,” says Sculpt owner and managing director Madhuri Nayak. “We see a lot of these men coming from other disciplines, so we want to show them how yoga can make them better CrossFitters or runners.”

Sculpt offered the foundation class for the first time in the spring and had an overwhelming response by men who could not register for the course because mat reservations filled up quickly. Listening to those requests, the studio will once again host weekly 75- to 90-minute sessions for four weeks in late June as a place where men can learn the basics and lay a foundation to implement yoga as a cross-training method.

“It will be taught by a male instructor, Branden Garnett, who has practiced yoga for seven years and is an active CrossFitter,” says Nayak. The course “highlights how yoga can help men, as well as working modifying poses specifically for men that might be dealing with tightness or lack of flexibility more than women.”

Nayak also mentioned the class participants like to head to happy hour together nearby afterward.

Namaste, bro.

Visit sculptdc.com or e-mail info@sculptdc.com to register for the four-week course. $75 for 75- to 90-minute sessions once a week; class space is limited to 10 to 12 men.