Broga—Yoga for Bro’s.

Via on Feb 1, 2011

Power Yoga has birthed a whole new breed of men who do yoga.

These men are not Yogis, they’re Brogis.

Beside catios, nothing is trendier than yoga

…right now—and thanks to the success of bandana enthusiast Baron Baptiste, “Power Yoga” studios are popping up in cities around the nation like Peet’s Coffee shops (Starbucks is a stretch.)  Maybe it’s the sweaty workout or maybe it’s the manliness of the word POWER, whatever the reason regular guys (Bro’s) everywhere are getting their Downward Dog on and creating a new breed of male yogi called, Brogi.

By “regular guy” I mean a man who doesn’t have beads in his hair, keep a “consciousness journal,” use the term “mindful” and eat kale, goji berries, maca powder and wheat grass on a regular basis or actually ever. Brogis eat real food, not raw food. They drink beer, not broth. A “green diet” for a Brogi is when he has a Caesar salad before his NY Strip. Eating “locally” means going to a pub within walking distance. A food-share is a plate of nachos or wings.

(NOTE: clicking on the links below will help explain this article a lot.)

Brogis are old school, not new age. Brogis spend the weekend in ski lodges, not sweat lodges. Brogis go to work seminars, not breathe-work seminars. Brogis seek counsel from golf coaches, not life coaches.  Brogis are not precious and emaciated, they don’t wear little shorts, shirts made from hemp, or have dragon tattoos. Brogi’s don’t join “Men’s Groups” to talk about their feelings with other guys but they often join men’s leagues to compete in sports with other guys.

You will never hear a Brogi employ the word Namaste unless he’s talking to a woman and mistakes the word as her last name. For example, “I’m sorry, did you say your name was Rachelle Namaste? Are you French?”

Brogis don’t “practice” yoga, they just do it. They don’t believe a workout will give them a spiritual experience or fix an identity crisis. They live in a world where problems are solved with solutions, not stretches. Brogis aren’t at the yoga studio to find themselves, they’re there to lose their hangover.

Brogis don’t wear jewelry, and if they did it wouldn’t be made out of wood or crystals. Brogis read the Wall Street Journal and Yoga Journal. They read the Wall Street Journal for news, and Yoga Journal for being romantic with themselves. Brogis are never perfect, but don’t pretend to be so. They’ll talk to you, not have a dialog. If you date a Brogi and it goes terribly wrong he won’t blame it on his Saturn’s return, unless his ex-girlfriend’s name is Saturn and she just returned from living in Australia.

Brogis don’t reek of Patchouli, but agree Axe is no better.

A Brogi will look you in the eye and tell you what he thinks, not gaze into the distance and tell you what to think.

Brogis love the yoga workout, but the yoga studio can be a confusing place filled with strange people and unusual sights, sounds and scents. Yoga is so mainstream now almost every style of yoga is offered at a local gym, but doing yoga in a gym is a bit of a canned experience, like praying at the chapel in the airport. So to help these Brogis navigate the strange world inside the yoga studio here is a cheat sheet.

Yoga Lingo:

Setting the intention: Often in the beginning of class, once the teacher has talked about him/herself for a good ten minutes that you’ll never get back they’ll tell you to “set your intention” for the class. This may seem odd since obviously your intention is to do some yoga. That’s why you just drove across town and paid to be there. “Setting the intention” in yoga-speak means getting psyched up, like listening to AC/DC in the locker room before taking the field to play in a sporting event.

Aum: Some teachers will make the class say Aum three times before class begins. This can be a little awkward, especially when only a few people join in. It can also be very funny when one of those new age yogi dudes Aum’s really loud and twice as long as everyone else. This may be some kind of hippy mating call, although it’s probably never worked. Feel free to mouth the words, like during the Lord’s prayer.

Namaste: Some yogis feel the need to greet fellow students by saying, “Namaste.” This is like the guy who goes to an Italian restaurant and orders in Italian even though he’s in an Olive Garden in Ohio. Consider his greeting a fist bump and look at him and say, “Hey.”

Shanti shanti shanti: If a yogi is really carried away with himself he might say goodbye to you with, “Shanti shanti shanti.” Basically he’s saying “Peace out.” Pretend not to hear him and keep walking out the door. If it’s a female yogi walk even faster because she probably considers herself a “Yoga Goddess.”

Perineum: Your taint.

Drishti: Many times during class the teacher will tell you to focus your drishti. Drishti means where you’re looking, which is most likely the perineum of the housewife in front of you.

Mala: A beaded necklace. Yogis wear malas as universally as people used to wear those yellow Livestrong bracelets before they lost their sizzle faster than bacon on ice and became not quite so dope.
Chaturanga: A pushup. Marines do more chaturangas than anyone.
Lululemon: Ralph Lauren
Kombucha: Red Bull with vodka
Yoga Journal: Victoria’s Secret catalog
Yogi Training: Golf camp
Teacher Training: Amway
Yogi Toes: Beer cozy
Cleanse: Crash diet

Yogalites and Yogalebrities

Yoga, just like every other fitness craze, has it’s own group of Yogalites and Yogalebrities who have their own dvd’s, clothing lines, studios, and some of them even go on tour. You’ll hear their names dropped around the studio a lot because regular yogis love to talk about the famous yogis they worked out with. So to help Brogis understand who these people are below are some comparisons of yogalebrities to celebrities.

Rodney Yee & Colleen Saidman : Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie
Baron Baptiste : Jayden Smith
Shiva Rea : A mix of Madonna and Ann Coulter
John Friend : Two parts Donald Trump, one part Jerry Garcia, with a sprinkle John Tesh on top.
Bikram Chodroy : Simon Cowell meets Archie bunker
Judith Lassiter : Tipper Gore (Both love censorship.)
Tara Stiles : Sarah Palin (Mavericks)
Seane Corne : Daryl Hannah (Activists)
Rainbeau Mars : David Beckham (Adidas sponsored Los Angelites)
Kathryn Budig : Pam Anderson  (Pam bared it all for PETA, Kathyn took it off for Toesox)
Amy Ippoliti: Rooney Mara (up and comer’s)
Sting: The lead singer of The Police

Yoga Places

As much as yogis like to brag about which yogalites and yogalebrities they’ve worked out with, they love even more to talk about the yoga places they’ve been. Two popular destinations that a Brogi may overhear yogis in the studio talking about are Kripalu, and Sivananda. Kripalu is home of the workshop junkies where people go to try to become a better person. It’s kinda the opposite of Las Vegas, although rumor has it what happens at Kripalu, stays at Kripalu. Sivananda is pure spiritual tourism where people wear robes and pretend to be a monk . . . for a week.

Yoga Teachers

Perhaps the most mind boggling aspect of working out at a yoga studio is the actual yoga teacher. Often these people are very young but speak with an incredible amount of authority on how to lead one’s life. Brogis, beware of preachiness from anyone, especially those who are younger than you or have more than two tattoos. If you happen to space out while they’re talking, don’t worry, their secret to success usually involves nothing more than breathing, which is pretty much mandatory for doing everything in life, except swimming underwater.

Yoga Breath

When it come to breathing yoga teachers have a funny understanding of how the breath works. For example, they’ll tell you “send your breath” to your thighs, or your back, maybe even your perineum. Brogis, if you can not do this do not despair. It’s impossible. Here’s how breathing actually works: air passes through your nose, goes past the epiglottis, into the trachea, through your vocal cords in the larynx until it reaches the bronchi. From the bronchi, air passes into each lung then follows narrower bronchioles to the alveoli, at which point it is diffused into the pulmonary capillary.

Yoga Asanas

Yoga teachers sometimes speak in Sanskrit. Don’t worry though, the studio didn’t just move through time and space to a remote village in India. You can still drink the water. Some teachers just really love them their Sanskrit, like the girl who goes to London for ten days and comes home with a British accent.

Yoga Music

The yoga studio introduces to a whole new style of music to a Brogi, unless his mother had a midlife crisis and happens to own some Krishna Das (real name: Jeffrey Kagel, from Long Island, NY.) The chants set to Top 40ish beats will probably stick in the Brogi’s head for the rest of the day or even longer, frustrating him to no end with odd words swirling in and out of his thoughts. Ironically most of this foreign music played in the studio is performed by middle aged white people from America who changed their names to something more “authentic.” Authenticity is very important to yogis. Just ask Jeff, I mean, “Krishna.”

Yoga Classes

Another hurdle for Brogis is understanding the various styles of yoga classes offered at their studio because often the studio’s class descriptions are written in yoga-speak rather than plain English. So here’s a simple breakdown of what a Brogi can expect at the following yoga classes.
Vinyasa: Like practicing a controlled fall or being drunk in front of your mom and trying to appear sober.
Ashtanga: Dinner at grandma’s.
Bikram: A flight to Tokyo with no air conditioning and a very confrontational flight attendant.
Kundalini: Lamaze class on acid with lots of singing.
Yin: Naptime. Best after a few hits of the Afghan Kush from your local dispensary.
Forest: Enduring a break up conversation with that girlfriend who “needs to talk.” Assume the position, you’ll be in it for awhile.
Jivamukti: Stepping into a foreign land.
Power yoga: Jane Fonda workout meets PX 90 meets Cirque to Soliel while listening to the soundtrack from glee in a sauna.

***NOTE: The actual style of these classes is bound to change to whatever whim your yoga teacher happens to be chasing that day. They may run the air conditioning when the room is supposed to be heated, or teach a level III Power Vinyassa class like a level I Yin. This can be frustrating, especially when you paid for a heated room and a tough workout. But don’t lose your cool, Brogi. Just do as your teacher tells you, and send your breath to your pulmonary capillary.

About Jimmy Gleacher

Jimmy Gleacher is the author of three books and movie. He is currently working on his fourth book, THE YOGA TERRORIST. He lives in Boulder, Colorado. For more information please visit his website, jimmygleacher.net.

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48 Responses to “Broga—Yoga for Bro’s.”

  1. Harrient says:

    Jimmy Gleacher: Idiot.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Amy Ippoliti and Tabitha, Red Fox. Red Fox said: Broga – Yoga for Bro’s http://bit.ly/eyFH3d [...]

  3. noah says:

    how is ashtanga dinner at grandmas? I'm all for a giggle but this is retarded.

    • Colleen Nguyen Colleen says:

      I was wondering that too! Besides that and all the typos in the article, this was a good one!!

    • Kristin says:

      going through the motions b/c it's a set series?

      hard to get through because you're having the same conversations (I mean vinyasas) with grandma?

      depends on your grandma I guess! (also, I love ashtanga!)

    • Jamie says:

      Relax and don't be so serious Noah. Also, who uses the word " retarded" ? Not good

  4. Yogini3# says:

    This guide is also for women who take up yoga after sweating it out in a gym, smoking up the pool lanes or grappling in the ring for years. Women who like YRG Yoga. Women who have partied hearty in their day. And Not the ethereal, fine-boned former long-distance runner types who have overly populated yoga studios until recently.

  5. Carol Horton Carol Horton says:

    Hilarious! But somehow I'm suspicious that Boulder is harboring a lot more Brogis than other parts of the country (except maybe L.A.).

  6. An instant classic – thanks Jimmy!

  7. Hi, Jimmy.

    This piece reads like an uproarious extended YogaDawg spoof. (That's a very high compliment.)

    Thanks for making us laugh.

    Bob W. Yoga Editor
    (Join Elephant Yoga on Facebook)

  8. Ah!! This was so fun to read!! Love the male-listic translations!! Thank you so much. Much love, Tanya

  9. Colin Wiseman Colin says:

    Completely awesome, and I may start calling myself a Brogi…I still like a beer and a cheeseburger!! But a brogi might not heart their yogi like I do.. .http://iheartmyyogi.com

  10. Lionel Sanchez says:

    Great way to further categorize and generalize the human race. Thanks :(.

  11. HI-LA-RI-OUS!!!
    I laughed the whole time! I love the fact that you embrace men and their manlihood so we especially stop trying to make men be and act like women! I am a Yoga Teacher myself and I could relate to a lot you were talking about, I (really) believe in being authentic, meaning not changing the way you talk, act and look because you are a yoga teacher. There are too many people trying to be someone else.
    Really really great article!!!!
    Jenn

  12. candicegarrett says:

    Totally great, funny article. I didn't know Kale qualified as a hippie food, but what do I know about brogis? LOL

    Missed having Iyengar yoga listed there though on the styles section…too bad. Maybe it's not "power" -full enough?

  13. Rebecca says:

    Hilarious!!! Thanks for demystifying the yoga experience and reminding us not to be so up-tight!!

  14. Pavanatanaya says:

    As a yoga teacher, I have seen Men who are more respectful in class than alot of the chattering Mammies who think the studio space is a place to vent their daily laundry. Sanskrit in class may not be neccessary but is adds spice to the class like spagetti sauce adds to pasta. As a male practitioner, I have been in any number of classes that the Female teacher treats as a girls club. Making sexual innuendos about men in class. How would that fly if I made such remarks about women in my class?…Yeah I thought so. While I enjoyed your Brogi article, I saw that you ran to safe ground. Yoga does not belong to Women nor Men. Brahmanic behavior in a teacher is important. If you dont understand what Brahmacharya is, you shouldnt be teaching.

  15. Colin Wiseman Colin Wiseman says:

    Aye keep those sassenachs oot ma country!! (am kdding!!)

  16. jenX says:

    It's obvious (to me at least, as a yoga teacher and writer) that you're trying pretty hard to be funny and cool but for the average guy, I think you pull it off. If your job was to get more dudes comfortable with the idea of yoga, nice work. I'll share it on my Facebook because, as a teacher, one of my interests is getting more brogi's doing yoga. PS – Getting your breath to your thighs simply means watching the muscles expand and contract as your breathe. Duh. PPS – And for the folks who are worried about getting injuries in Power because you move through the poses so fast the teacher doesn't have time to show you which poses you're screwing up, do Forrest (spelled with two "r's"…do your homework Jimmy). You'll get your ass kicked but won't leave with a shoulder injury because your f'ing up your chaturangas. I mean, push ups.

  17. Alison says:

    Despite fear of the word "bro", I must admit your descriptions of types of yoga are pretty darn spot on. Dangit. ;)

  18. [...] I looked for yoga poses that mirrored my life. Hopefully this video, shows you that yoga can be for drinkers and regular people too. Joe Yeoman loves you. He is an MFA candidate at the Jack Kerouac School. As a displaced [...]

  19. Tobye Hillier yogi tobye says:

    Interesting to note, that the Irish for shoes is…… bróga!!!!!

  20. Eric says:

    Bonega – yoga for boneheads from Boulder

  21. [...] recently read an article on Elephant Journal, titled Broga – Yoga for Bros. Broga is a term author, Jimmy Gleacher has coined to describe guys who do yoga. Written from a [...]

  22. gbernardwandel says:

    [sigh]
    I understand that it is an attempt at humor, but Bob W. you and I are in disagreement. To me YogaDawg *IS* funny and in a way I believe to be less pointed and more informed. When you are informed about your topic, you can make fun of something without seeming one-dimensional. This article attempts to appear as if it's informed, yet it has glaring omissions and misappropriations. It is focused in a way I find tedious, unforgiving and unproductive.
    As a yogi:
    -I do not like Patchoulli, Axe, yoga music, I wear no Jewlery, wood, crystal or beads.
    -I have not changed my name to sound more authentic yet I celebrate Krishna Das's right to rename himself to feel more at one with his art even if I am not a fan of his music.
    -I will look you in the eye tell you what I think, and tell you to think for yourself, before I'll even considering telling you what to think.
    -I practice yoga with the intention of self-inquiry, how can I better myself in this moment to be able to serve my creator and my fellow man in the next moment.
    -I rarely find my practice a "workout" but a "work-in" which can direct me on the path to spiritual enlightenment. It does keep me in shape because asana is a strive for balance.
    -I am not buying spirituality a $20 a class from my teacher, nor am I selling spirituality at $10 a class to my students. I can start the inquiry from what I learn, and I can point to it for others from my own experience.
    The more I can focus on this body with inquiry, the more miracles happen. Touching my toes in my 40's was my first miracle, banal yes, but it was a great place to start.

    I can't find much I agree with in this article, save for 2 sentences:

    "….but the yoga studio can be a confusing place filled with strange people and unusual sights, sounds and scents. Yoga is so mainstream now almost every style of yoga is offered at a local gym, but doing yoga in a gym is a bit of a canned experience, like praying at the chapel in the airport."

    However, I have prayed in the chapel at the airport, and I continue to practice and teach yoga in a gym. I find both those activities appropriate when needed. If you gotta eat do you not open a can of peas because it would be a "canned" experience? I love the fact that I can go to my gym, practice yoga for long hours by myself, and take a long sauna and shower afterwards! I was ecstatic to find a place in the airport free of noise, muzak, and stressed out people to spend some time in prayer. The studio is a confusing place, full of sights and sounds that are daunting. I work in a studio too, and I try and make it less intimidating for anyone who is a new-comer. Yoga is very mainstream and in its commercial explosion it is even more difficult to navigate. An article like this does not make it any easier. I guess I wouldn't mind that if I thought it was in any way humorous.
    (btw/ Marine pushups are done with movement, emphasis more on the explosiveness of the concentric contraction of the pecs. elbows turn out so the pecs harder than the triceps. Caturanaga conversly the elbows traditionally are drawn in using more of your tricep and you stay in it holding your muscles isometric contraction. both are good "workouts" so Marines are very fit, but I don't think they do more caturangas than anyone save for the ones that practice yoga )

    Yogadawg will post things I am not fond of but they illuminate me in some way that makes me feel connected to people who practice yoga or people who don't! (sometimes I am even repulsed like Y.O.G.A. video he posted last week) This article just makes me wish there were more informed people writing yoga humor.
    end of pt 1

  23. gbernardwandel says:

    Pt 2:

    Finally, I can't sign off without pointing out that nothing Judith Lasater said in her letter to the Yoga Journal had anything to do with censorship. (btw that is how you spell her name, misspelling her name makes it appear dubious that you've actually read anything by her or know much about her) I can't speak for every aspect of her life, but I have not ever seen anything of hers in print refer to censoring anything or her loving censorship ( I have read every book she's written and several articles)
    SHe doesn't need defending but for anyone who doesn't know who she is here is an excerpt of the letter:

    "I’m concerned about ads that have stimulated both confusion and sadness in me about where the magazine is now and where it is headed. I am confused because I do not understand how photos of naked or half-naked women are connected with the sale of practice products for asana, an important part of yoga. These pictures do not teach the viewer about yoga practice or themselves. They aren’t even about the celebration of the beauty of the human body or the beauty of the poses, which I support. These ads are just about selling a product. This approach is something I thought belonged (unfortunately) to the larger culture, but not in Yoga Journal.”

    Post from her FB page around the same time:
    “‘Yes’ to nudity and the gorgeous human body; ‘no’ to using it to sell yoga!”

    Sadly, I feel this Broga article isn't even selling anything, nor posing any inquiries it appears to be adding more divisiveness to an already fractionalized community.

  24. gbernardwandel. Thanks so much for your detailed response.

    I hope I won't sound contradictory when I say I agree with everything you wrote. Like you, I embrace all forms of Yoga, and I have good friends who happily exemplify all the things Jimmy is spoofing.

    I read this as Jimmy spoofing himself and his stereotypical frat boy viewpoints as much his Yoga subjects. If I met Jimmy and he said, "No, I'm serious. I meant all this stuff literally", then I'd be on your side 100%, embracing the diversity of Yoga, and the diversity of people.

    Thanks again for writing.

    Bob

  25. gbernardwandel says:

    You are welcome.
    I am glad to be able to air my opinion.
    I have plenty of friends who exemplify what is said in this sketch too.
    You don't sound contradictory, we find different things humorous. I also know he doesn't mean this stuff literally.

    I like it when YD takes the forms of yoga and calls them "The Nerds," The Jocks," The Hippies," etc.
    As someone who's tried different forms of yoga I know what he means and the humor comes from the power of allegory. Even people who are unfamiliar can still relate to the themes as they have been spoofed in mainstream comedies.
    Saying Forrest Yoga (Another misspelling) is "Enduring a break up conversation with that girlfriend who “needs to talk.” Assume the position, you’ll be in it for awhile." I'm sure a lot of people can relate to that situation and there probably is some mainstream familiarity but I can't connect it to Forrest Yoga, nor do I find it funny.

    I appreciate your time.

  26. Elise says:

    Hi Jimmy. I think you have some funny stuff here but needs a bit of refinement, Judith Lassiter is like Tipper Gore because she wants Censorship. Try again Think of a celebrity with a lot of integrity that gets pooh poohed in Hollywood and then you've got Judith.

    • Tony in Berkeley says:

      Judith Lassiter…integrity? She is not very nice nor very open and sharing when you meet her in person. So when I hear her speak out publicly without the fake saccharin piety, I'll believe her to be "authentic."

  27. you might want to check in with the guys who first coined (and trademarked) the name "broga" and have been working diligently to craft a real yoga for men program, minus the anti-yoga jargon. please do your research better before you give a potentially great program a bad wrap…

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