The next time you hear ‘Broga’ mentioned by your friends, they might not be referring to Broga Hill, but a form of dude-friendly yoga created by Robert Sidoti and Adam O’ Neill in 2012. We spoke to Daniel Chandranayagam, Malaysia’s first licensed Broga yoga instructor to find out more about this fitness trend, and why it’s more than just 'yoga for bros'.
Broga is a combination of yoga and HIIT
‘Broga yoga is a fitness-based yoga programme that was designed for men, but is open to all,’ says Daniel. ‘With Broga, we try to meet men at the point that’s accessible for them, which is strength. It comprises movements such as lunges, squats, push-ups and locust rows (to engage the upper back), as well as a HIIT section. Most love – or love to hate – HIIT, and Broga’s fairly different from the usual yoga practice.’
A typical class starts like any other yoga session, with dynamic stretches to get the blood pumping. Then comes the HIIT component, which is a boot camp-like training session that gets your sweat glands working overtime through no-jump burpees and push-ups. Towards the end, static yet strong stretches like the shavasana (corpse pose) slow down your heart rate and balance out the intense workout you just went through. The entire session takes about an hour, and each session has different levels of intensity to match the participants’ fitness and experience levels. ‘Broga includes a lot of bodyweight exercises into a flow that makes it a pretty unique experience for guys. As with other forms of yoga, we know how to regress and progress the poses or sequences for the guy on the mat,’ Daniel says.
Broga works on different muscle groups
Broga’s movements tend to engage the smaller muscle groups, as opposed to weight-lifting that focus on the larger muscle groups. During Broga, some of the moves – and holding certain poses – can prove a lot more challenging than conventional workouts as they involve core muscles and other less-engaged muscle groups.
Broga classes is meant for a wide range of people
If you’re hesitant about your flexibility (say, if you find it a stretch to even touch your toes) but still want to experience some form of yoga, then this is the class for you. It’s also a holistic form of physical therapy. ‘Yoga’s great for preventing and rehabbing injuries because it really is a mind-to-body connection,’ Daniel says. ‘We aren’t banging out reps for time or trying to beat personal records; we’re engaging our mind to our bodies, and trying to move our limbs in the right direction with as minimal postural deviation as possible.’