5 Factors to consider before joining a Broga class

 

1.What is Broga?

Broga is a system that is effective in providing men with the best health benefits of yoga in addition to building muscle and weight reduction. Most men associate yoga with feminine moves hence reluctant to join a class. While some men turn a blind eye and sign up, the ratio of men to women in an ordinary yoga class remains low at 1:5. Broga is aimed at creating a comfortable environment for them to feel right at home. Being surrounded by your fellow men will help you relax and focus on the class hence effective results.

 


2. Benefits of Broga

Broga, just like any other form of exercise has vast benefits to men. While some perform it for its health benefits, others stick to it simply for relaxation. However, broga exercises work towards; athletic performance, core strengthening, clarity-enhancing, muscle toning, stress reduction, reducing the risk of injury and cardio-working. After successfully completing a session, you will feel energized and pumped up. In addition to this, your muscles will feel adequately stretched and your mind relaxed.

Some guys have improved breathing through Broga sessions. Just because you are still unable to bend all the way back or sideways does not mean that you won’t stand to reap the benefits of Broga. After all, Broga is not about perfection. With persistence and proper guidance, your poses will improve.

3. What to bring to a Broga class

Before packing/ shopping for your first broga class, it is best that you understand what the session is going to be like. Most studios are medium sized with plenty of space and open floors. At arrival, you will be asked to fill a sign in sheet and a waiver. This will enable the management to keep track of your classes and, you to receive newsletters in case you need them.
(a) You will need to bring a yoga mat for padding hence comfort and endurance. A yoga mat for hot yoga is highly absorbent so choose this if you tend to sweat a lot.

(b) It is advisable to wear comfortable workout gear for comfort. Gear that’s highly absorbent and light in weight will enable you to maintain focus on the class.

(c) Wear a headband to absorb the sweat. This rules out the need to keep pausing to wipe the sweat off your face.

4. The do’s of Broga

(a) Let the instructor know if you have any injuries so as to create alternative poses for you.
(b) In case you forget any of your Broga equipment, ask to rent from the studio. Most Broga studios stock up on mats, bottled water and gear.
(c) After the session, you definitely feel perched so bring along bottled water to sip on.
(d) Avoid distractions and focus on the teacher. Smooth transitions from one pose to another will help you relax, reduce tension hence achieve better results.
(e) Do sit at the back of the class if this is your first lesson. It will allow you to copy moves from the people in front of you in case the terms used are strange to you. However, this should not deter you from listening to the instructor.

5. The don’ts of Broga

(a) Do not overeat before a Broga class. This is a one-way ticket to discomfort and even vomiting during poses. Your last light meal should be 30 minutes before the class begins.
(b) Avoid drinking too much water during the session. This, just like food will fill your tummy hence discomfort. It will also lead to increased bathroom breaks hence unnecessary distractions.
(c) Don’t push your body more than it’s willing to bend. If you do, an injury may occur. A professional will not push you to perfect your poses, especially during the first sessions.
(d) Avoid talking to the other yogists next to you. Everyone needs their concentration entirely on the teacher’s instructions.

Different people use different techniques to center their focus and relaxation before a class. While some prefer to interact with their friends, others prefer to sit in silence and meditate. It is advisable to find what works for you and stick with it. Joining a Broga class with fellow newbies is better than joining a pro class on your first day so ask at the reception before walking into any class.

 

Article written by:  Emily, who is founder of BodyShape101, a blog where she and her associates talk about exercise, fitness, and yoga. Their aim is to help people like you to achieve perfect body. BodyShape101 is concentrated on exercise & fitness tips, and making the most out of it. She is also a mother of one and she tries to find balance between her passion and her biggest joy in life.

Broga: for downward facing dudes

Guest post by Stacey Jones, contributor to lululemon.co.uk

Originally posted on lululemon.co.uk

“Men need a form of yoga that they don’t feel intimidated by from the start,” said Matthew Miller co-founder of Broga. “But at the same time they need to feel challenged by it.”

The former American football star and super heavyweight body building champion, aka Matt “Miller the Pillar”, is now a yoga-loving lululemon ambassador.

Once he was asked to become an ambassador, Matt decided he needed to start doing yoga on a weekly basis. His muscles were desperate for the kind of opening and stretching that yoga would provide. He met London-based yoga instructor, Rachel Okimo, after they were chosen as the first London brand ambassadors for lululemon. They hit if off immediately: He trained her and she helped him with his yoga practice and together the pair co-founded the business. That’s how Broga was born.

They created a strong, intense and challenging workout that’s as manly as the name sounds. Broga classes are most definitely intended for bros, and with that the pair are quickly smashing the ‘yoga is for girls’ myth.

Yoga mens flexibility

Guys can be flexible too!

The hour-long class of accessible, yoga-inspired poses not only compliments any athletic training regime, but also challenges the body in new ways. Participants use and develop strength, stamina, and flexibility from the very first class.

The class structure is very familiar to an athlete: it begins with a dynamic warm-up, moves to a serious strength building section on a specific part of the body and then deconstructs that same area by opening it up and challenging it to stretch. The movements are also familiar to an athlete because each pose is done repetitively and builds on the previous pose.

Broga breaks down into a unique syllabus of four workouts each addressing a specific problem area, which are devised by Rachel. Each workout is repeated four times which allows ‘brogis’ to improve each time they come to class, prepping them for the next workout in the series. “Participants progress further each time and learn to establish connections that open up typically tight areas like the chest, hips, and hamstrings,” said Matt.

It’s definitely grounded in traditional asanas but the difference between Matt’s classes and traditional styles of yoga is that Broga doesn’t immediately assume men are already flexible and open in these areas, it opens them gradually to that possibility. “I prefer to have participants building up to postures, doing prep work repetitively and correctly, than to have them attempt something the wrong way,” he said. “It is so much better when they didn’t even realize it was preparation and suddenly behold, a properly aligned warrior three.”

Yoga and strength training

Through simple moves Matt integrates the basics of yoga with strength training

Broga can also help athletic performance by reducing incidence of injury caused by over tension in the muscles and connective tissues. Matt says they use a mind-body connection to teach athletes to be more aware and in control of their physical body. “In effect, we’re teaching how to enter into that elusive zone reached in sport.” he said “There are such strong similarities to being in an athletic zone and a meditative yogic state.”

Broga was designed for the male athlete, but it’s also a killer workout for women. “I love women in a Broga class, they are usually a specific type of women: accomplished and comfortable yoginis looking for a strength-building and toning workout,” said Matt. “Women have the flexibility that guys lack, but the physical power aspect of Broga challenges them – I am often cursed at later for inflicting two to three days of delayed onset muscle soreness.”

So come armed with a towel, some water and an open mind to explore your body in a different way than your other strength training. “You will feel like you lived, and you made it through, and it was worth it.”

Broga Lululemon and Matt Miller team

The dream team – Broga meets lululemon

Classes are taught Blue Cow Yoga in Moorgate, City Athletic in The City, The Third Space in Soho, Yoga Haven in Clapham, Evolve Wellness Center in South Kensington and various Gymbox locations around London.

Find out when and where to get your Broga on with Matt here

About Stacey Jones of Lululemon Manchester

Stacey Jones is a raw-food and yoga lover from Vancouver who completed her yoga teacher training in 2013 and blogs for lululemon. Founded in one of the healthiest places in the world in 1998 Vancouver, the first lululemon store was a design studio surrounded by a retail store where feedback would directly influence the brand. The lululemon mission statement is about creating components for people to live long, healthy and fun lives and elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness.

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Gert more PT trainer bookings

3 ways YOGA can increase and improve your PT client bookings NOW!

3 ways to boost your PT client bookings with Yoga!

How Yoga can help boost and improve your PT sessions and bookings!

Post by Matt Miller, Broga Founder

When I first started working as a personal trainer over 10 years ago the industry was very different. First of all it was not that common and there were only two big nationally recognised courses in the US that took two years to complete.

There was no online training. No fitness buddy aps. And certainly no group exercise classes (that men did that is!) My how times have changed…

Every 24 year old with a Hollister fresh face and an 8 pack has a PT certificate from an eight week course – and the competition is fierce! The average busy gym will have between 10 and 30 licenced trainers on site. Most well-known fitness models and celebrity trainers do online training, personalised plans and ebooks. Let’s not even get started about some of the fitness aps out there like Nike, Fitstar and MyFitnessPal. And they are really good.

Broga and Yoga can boost your PT bookings

Stand out from the crown by bringing Yoga into your sessions

So how do you set yourself apart? What do you offer that none of those other formats or options do?

The answer is to be able to look at a client not as a block of sessions or even as a weight gain or weight loss project. Instead look at them as a whole and educate and inspire them in ALL aspects of their lives with you as the cornerstone piece that holds it all together. Food. Lifestyle. Training. Mobility. Recovery.

One of the best ways to set you apart from the crowd is to preach the importance of mobility and recovery and the best way to both of these at the same time is yoga. Regular yoga practice is highly documented to not only increase muscle flexibility and joint mobility (leading to greater strength gains and less injury), but has a dramatic positive effect on the parasympathetic nervous system as well. No other training can do this.

Yoga might not get all the glory like a killer legs day, but most consumers are clueing into the value of being able to not only look good, but feel good and move freely with their bodies as well. Here are 3 effectual ways to reach out to your clients and offer extra sessions with a Yoga base.

Matt Miller shows how Yoga can boost PT bookings

Adding yoga to a PT session can help clients recover from injury

  1. Address injury with yoga

Don’t wait to train a client post injury until they have been cleared by their physio to get back to resistance and impact – be part of the process. With proper yoga based training plus your PT anatomy knowledge you will have a unique skill set of gentle and isometric based exercises you can structure to benefit renewed stability, balance and strength without over working or prematurely straining the injured area.

A physiotherapist is a great first step towards recovery, but yoga movement actually teaches people how to feel move and correct themselves which is not just going to get them active again, but much closer to 100%.

 

  1. Include or add one day of active recovery

Most clients are not just using your services to fulfil their fitness needs. They are going for runs, doing spin classes, going to bootcamps. In addition to your strength and conditioning sessions, you could be using a yoga background to upsell weekly active recovery days planned specifically around their body rather than just going to a generic yoga class that chances are will not be directly targeted for their level or needs.

  1. Stretching bolt-ons

Most clients want to stretch and know they need it but will not make the time for it if left to their own devices. Why not use a yoga training background to add 15 minute or 30 minute bolt on sessions post your training session that focuses on the area you just worked with them? Using a bolt-on pricing scheme enables you to offer a valuable focused stretching session at a nominal 15-20% increase in the session charge.

 

About Matt “the Pillar” Miller

Matt Miller, “Soft as a pussycat”Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.

He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.

 


Celebrate Yoga at the Soul Circus Festival

Get your tickets for the Soul Circus Yoga & Wellness Festival this August.

A celebration of music, food and drink, camping and most importantly YOGA! Join the Broga team for a range of yoga and fitness workshops running from the 19th to the 21st of August in the stunning Cotswolds countryside.

Follow the Soul Circus Facebook page for up to date information.

 

Can caffeine benefit your fitness?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1466123772409{margin-top: -10px !important;margin-bottom: 20px !important;padding-top: 7px !important;padding-right: 7px !important;padding-bottom: 7px !important;padding-left: 7px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;}”]Credit: Yogaground, NL[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1466123790080{margin-top: 10px !important;margin-bottom: 10px !important;}”]Guest post by TrueStart[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]We are all aware that caffeine is a great pick me up, but there is a fine line between too little and too much caffeine.

We grabbed some time with the team at TrueStart Performance Coffee (the caffeine experts) to find out exactly what makes caffeine so useful, and how you should be using it in your workout.

So, what are the core benefits of caffeine for sport?

There are 3 really well-researched core benefits of caffeine for exercise:

  1. Improving focus & mental performance
  2. Increasing physical endurance
  3. Reducing rate of perceived exertion

These all mean you can train harder for longer! A lesser known fact is how caffeine also helps with muscle recovery; by increasing the rate at which your body replenishes muscle glycogen.

By incorporating caffeine in to your post workout means your muscles can recover faster, so ideal if you’re training day after day.

 

Credit: TrueStart

Credit: TrueStart

When should you boost your caffeine levels?

Caffeine takes about 45 minutes to fully absorb and remains in your blood stream for 5.7 hours.

That’s why we recommend drinking TrueStart about 30 minutes before training to achieve optimal performance and endurance from the start, keeping yourself topped up as and when required during your session.

A cup afterwards will also help accelerate recovery of aching muscles, not to mention sort you out for the rest of the day.

What’s the difference between the caffeine in coffee and the caffeine in my regular energy drink or pre workout?

There are two types of caffeine, synthetic and natural. Both have a very different effect on your body so it’s good to know the differences.

Credit: Yogaground, NL

Credit: Yogaground, NL

Synthetic Caffeine

 Synthetic caffeine has both its benefits and negatives. Synthetic caffeine is created in a laboratory and then added to your energy drink or pre workout under controlled conditions in a factory.

The good thing about this process is that it guarantees a fixed level of caffeine in each serving. So you know exactly what you are getting.

The not so good thing about synthetic caffeine is the way in which it works within your body. Synthetic caffeine is absorbed really quickly in to your blood stream. Meaning you get a quicker spike of caffeine, and of course, a quicker crash. Which is not great half way through a workout.

 

Natural Caffeine

Natural caffeine is found in coffee, tea, cocoa and approximately 60 other plant species. It’s a completely natural occurring element.

Natural caffeine is great because it is slow releasing in to your blood stream. Which means you can train harder for longer, with no dangers of suddenly crashing mid training session. Natural caffeine provides a sustained source of energy.

However, the natural caffeine in regular tea and coffee is completely unregulated. A single cup of coffee can vary from less than 20mg to over 300mg of caffeine! Up until now this has made natural caffeine an unreliable performance enhancer for athletes.

And it is because of this unpredictable nature of coffee that Helena and Simon Hills came up with the idea for coffee designed specifically for sports performance, with a controlled level of natural caffeine. Taking the best of synthetic and natural caffeine and finding a solution; Coffee you can rely on!

Credit: TrueStart

Credit: TrueStart

Ok, but what is this right amount of caffeine for me?

 It’s crucial to regulate your caffeine intake, as too much caffeine results in those effects that we’re all familiar with, such as jitteriness or heart palpitations. On the other hand, if you don’t have enough caffeine prior to exercise, you won’t be able to enjoy the beneficial effects it has on your performance.

The right amount of caffeine varies from person to person. Widely accepted research suggests that 2-3mg per kilogram of body weight is optimal for sports performance and The European Food Standards Agency have recommended no more than 400mg per day for general use.

The beauty of TrueStart Coffee is that you know you’re getting 95mg caffeine per scoop, so you can control and monitor your caffeine levels ensuring you never consume too much or even too little.

We recommend starting with one scoop and seeing how that goes, you can then up or lower your dose depending on your body’s needs.

Fancy trying some TrueStart Coffee? For £1 you can have your best week ever with 7 samples of TrueStart. Buy here now [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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About TrueStart Coffee

 

TrueStart Coffee began in March 2014 during co-founder Simon Hills training for a IronMan 70.3 triathlon. Working to develop and find the right amount of caffeine for sports performance the team are committed to completely clean, free from synthetics, ethically sourced, convenient and great tasting coffee. TrueStart are on a mission to build the most motivational, trusted and high impact coffee brand in the world to fit the most ambitious lifestyles and motivate customers every step of the way.

Follow them on twitter @truestartcoffee or on Facebook

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Good Yoga Life Event

Join us on the 24th June at the Good Yoga Life Event on Old Street for Yoga & Beers.

Spend your Friday sweating it out with the founder of Broga, Matt Miller, as part of a week long yoga pop up hosted by Good Yoga Life.

The event will include a 1 hour class focusing on Upper Body Pump & Stretch following by a half hour of beers & chats.

For tickets follow this link

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Hot Yoga Society with Matt Miller from Broga UK

Why Broga and Bikram Yoga is a perfect match

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1465113637315{padding-bottom: 15px !important;}”]Interview with Broga founder Matt Miller for Hot Yoga Society as seen on hotyogasociety.com[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1465113648908{padding-bottom: 15px !important;}”]Matt de-mystifies Broga and tells us why it is a perfect balance alongside a Bikram practice, and women love it too![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]There could not be better brothers than Broga® and Bikram.  I am a huge fan of the Bikram sequence and it was my very first introduction to yoga 15 years ago when a studio opened in my hometown of Laguna Beach, California.  Much of the inspiration and teaching style of Broga® was heavily inspired by my early Bikram Yoga classes.

I kept coming back to Bikram for two reasons: the continuity and comprehensive approach to working the full body in one class, and also for the heat!  I felt that only by repeating a sequence could I mark my progress and judge my own performance. This was really important in motivating me to come back and try again, even with some of my massive shortcomings and epic fails during class.

With a degree in anatomy and physical performance I knew that my flexibility problems were much deeper rooted than just muscular flexibility. From repetitive sport and muscular hypertrophy my ligaments had actually shortened and thus my joint mobility was actually blocked from accessing full ranges of movement. The Bikram heat would suddenly become my best friend in aiding normally inflexible ligament tissue to gradually open and release my joints.

I still practice and love Bikram to this day.

But I do not believe Bikram, or any practice for that matter, is the end all be all!

Broga® really acts as the perfect partner to Bikram. The sensibility and immediate accessibility to practitioners are on par and the no-nonsense teaching style is immediately familiar. When we put Broga® on a Bikram studio schedule we normally focus on adding an upper body and lower body session to the timetable to give it that perfect balance.

The Broga® upper body class specifically works the upper body, and challenges practitioners with totally different postures from Bikram forcing them to open up in new ways but also, (and equally as important), strengthen those muscles.

The Broga® lower body class works to tone muscles that few classes in sport, or yoga for that matter, ever access: glutes, adductors and abductors. These are some of the most neglected muscles in the body, and on women, are a prime place to store fat when not directly simulated.  It also offers a fantastic system to build up flexibility in the hamstrings and hips so some of the more advanced standing postures can become more fathomable faster.

So if you are a Bikram regular you need to “brother up with Broga®. Combining the two will compliment your practice, build your flexibility and also help change your body shape to the best version of you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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About the Hot Yoga Society

Hot Yoga Society is one of the largest and best-known hot yoga studios in London. Nestled in the heart of London Bridge, the studio offers a range of yoga classes from Bikram Yoga to Hot Power Pilates.

For your weekly Broga fix, Broga founder Matt teaches an upper and lower body blast every Monday from 12.45pm – 1.45pm, perfect for squeezing a lunchtime yoga session into your weekly schedule.

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Broga hits Manchester for yoga, burgers and beers!

Fancy doing something a little bit different on a Saturday night? Then put 18th June in your diary. Matt Miller will be hosting a Broga session in collaboration with Lululemon Manchester complete with burgers and beers.

Get your FREE ticket now.

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Bestfit Magazine interview

Do you even stretch, bro?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Nick Judd for BESTFIT Magazine (Image Credit: BESTFIT Magazine)

BESTFIT Magazine’s Nick Judd shares his experience of a Broga class.

It’s early afternoon in South London on a grey and moody Tuesday, and BESTFIT is being put through our paces in a small gym space under a series of archways, home to Soho Gym.

Tube trains rumble overhead. A glass wall separates our small group from those nonchalantly going quietly about their business outside and, at this precise second, I’m a little jealous.

I see puddles grow as rain pounds the streets. There are puddles closer to home, too, puddles of sweat. I’m dripping [the room is 30-degrees], and I’m not the only one. The only reason I know this, is because some dude I’ve never met before is sweating all over me.

Meanwhile, my whole upper body is shaking. My core is at the point of failure, and not for the first time in the last 60 minutes. I’m laying on my front but with my torso extended towards the ceiling.

My arms are locked behind my head and my elbows are being held back in a vice-like grip by said sweaty gent. His arms shake as he attempts to prevent my upper body from crashing into the pathetic pool of sweat in front of me.

Our master in command demands we hold our current positions for a few more seconds yet. We obey.

This is Broga. It’s yoga, but not as you know it, and it’s brilliant.

Still only three years old, Broga is gaining a large and loyal following across in London and, increasingly, around the rest of the country, Europe and even across the rest of the world. After one intense yet satisfying session, we can see why.

Just as it’s a misconception to assume yoga is mainly for women, the same could be said of the assumption that Broga, though designed with men in mind, is just for guys.

bestfit mag - stretching

BESTFIT loved the Broga class they attended Credit: BESTFIT Magazine

My group, to prove the point, has a 50/50 mix of men and women. Many of the instructors are female, too. However, there is something infinitely more masculine about telling mates you’re doing Broga, and not yoga.

I’m a regular visitor of vinyasa sessions and I’ll be the first to admit I feared not only being the only male at my first class, but also the prospect of being surrounded by candles while listening to some form of pan pipe music.

Not all yoga is the same, of course, some forms are more spiritual than others, but Broga is successfully breaking down established myths and stereotypes by bridging the sexes and taking the – many – benefits of yoga to the masses.

“The class you’ve just done is the perfect equalizer of genders,” explains Matt Miller after our session.

Matt is Broga’s founder and, it’s fair to say, he does not conform to conventional yogi expectations. You might recognize him from The Fat Fighters on Channel 4. He was the affable super trainer with the arms bigger than your thighs.

“There were moments in your session where there were requirements of strength that some of the women found difficult. However, as you noticed, they weren’t the only ones! Yet there were also flexibility aspects that the women found easier than the men, so the great thing is that you can’t laugh out loud at any failure at any stage of a Broga session because the tables can turn pretty quickly. I think that’s a nice feeling for everyone involved to have, to know that whatever your level of strength or flexibility, you won’t be at the bottom of the barrel.”

Our class begins by aligning the spine while focusing on the regulation of our breathing. “Breathing is hugely important and it doesn’t come right away,” explains Matt. “As you get into it, you realize how important it is.”

Bestfitmag class stretch

Find BESTFIT’S yoga special in issue 18 Credit: BESTFIT Magazine

We then do a warm-up of vinyasa, which consists of five basic movements tied together in a sequence, all with coordinated breathing. “That’s what we call ‘the flow’, and you repeat that flow so it becomes a rhythm,” he continues. Things then escalate quickly.

“That’s the point of our classes,” Matt explains, “they build.” A lot of movements flow together and they’re then repeated. “You might not get one movement straight away, but I’ll bring that train round again and again so that you can start to learn how to grab on and put these movements together.

“We then work the chest with a series of movements designed to give you the idea of what a yoga push up is, and how that might differ from your normal gym practice.

We then hold these positions, add isometric positions, leg splits, dives… we’re just adding load to the movements, much like you would move the pin to a heavier weight in your gym apparatus.

“We then explore the idea of locking shoulders in place in a side-plank circuit. The movements again get progressively harder, culminating in a rock-star plank position. We move into a series of dynamic and repetitive shoulder movements, punishing leg hops and another series of stretches.”

Then comes the partner-based work, a signature of Broga’s sessions.

“Part of each session is what we call ‘the brotherly’ bit, where you help the person next to you. This isn’t something you identify with yoga, but we feel by helping people it helps to build a sense of community. Yoga is traditionally a singular experience. That’s not for us. Yoga should be about making friends, having other people sweat on you and having a laugh about it.

“To finish, we perform chest openers, move into table-top positions and do a bit of abs work… then we deconstruct the session. The class as a whole is quite chaotic, so this is the bit where we bring it back down to a resting state, and where we try and encourage positive visualization both in terms of your body and in your life as a whole.”

Ours was the primary class, but you can progress to the chest session, shoulders, legs and a full-body workout in 40-degree heat. All classes follow a class syllabus, which Matt explains can be particularly useful for guys.

Bestfit Magazine interview

Credit: BESTFIT Magazine

“It means they know what’s coming, which then means they can plan their other workouts around the classes. I think women are a lot happier to go with the flow sometimes and that’s why yoga appeals, whereas men want progress, traction and trackable results. They want to plan their week, and incorporate a class like this around their other training.

“I’m always trying loads of yoga classes and sometimes I’ll think a certain class is a wasted hour. Yet the range is so vast. Some of it is spiritual, and that’s why so many men are sceptical about it, but I’ve found some more useful than an hour in the gym.”

The idea that men shouldn’t do yoga is slowly eroding. More and more sports stars are incorporating it into their training. For example, even in the early 2000s, Ryan Giggs, who played at the highest level until his late 30s admitted his longevity owed as much to his yoga as his healthy eating.

Now, more and more sportsmen and women and celebrities are utilizing the physical and mental benefits.

“I can’t tell you how many people come to my classes and ask, ‘you’re the teacher?’” explains Matt.

People expect to see a flexible female, but yoga is all about functional movements and that applies to all of us. Everything in the fitness world right now is aligned to mobility and functional movement, and while things like CrossFit can get you where you want to be, I believe yoga does it quicker, safer and ensures you’re even stronger.”

I can believe it. My hour session was more focused and intense than any previous experience with a personal trainer.

“We’re not really doing anything different to anyone else; we’re working with the same concepts – Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Jivamukti – and just presenting them in a different way. We’re putting these movements together and repeating them in sets of repetitions of five or ten, just as you would train in the gym.

“At the very least, I’m hoping that Broga is able to open up the yoga market to more people and perhaps just make it cool. I just want people who might not previously have considered doing it, to give it a go.” We’ll be back, that’s for sure.

Through repeated practice you can generally track progress of your mobility and openness. If you learn to do this for yourself then you can maintain positioning for longer and will learn about your own body awareness – must more effective than having someone do it for you.

So sit up!

And while you are at it book yourself onto a Broga® back class – which works specifically and methodically on improving flexion, extension and rotation of the spine.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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About Matt “the Pillar” Miller

Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.

He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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Book yourself onto a Broga® back class

A Broga class that works specifically and methodically on improving flexion, extension and rotation of the spine

For more information, click here

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Want to get into yoga? Here are three poses for beginners

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Broga founder Matt Miller shares three yoga poses to get you started on your yoga journey.

By Matt Miller

 

These three moves will get you mobilised and feeling better to tackle the day, a workout, or maybe even the confidence to go to a yoga class.

1. Downward Dog

Downward Dog is one of the most recognised yoga poses. Credit: Broga

Downward Dog is one of the most recognised yoga poses. Credit: Broga

Lets start with the mother of all yoga moves: the famous Downward Dog. If you have already been to a yoga class you probably heard the teacher say, “this is your rest posture, just enjoy a moment here.”

 

All you will be thinking is “F*CK THIS IS REALLY HORRIBLE GET ME OUTTA HERE!!“

 

The truth is downward dog does not lie. It exposes all your mobility shortcomings all at once. Tight hamstrings, calves and glutes? Check. Impinged shoulder and compressed sub-scapula? Yep, got those. Shortened biceps? Ok, fine, you got me!!!

 

The bottom line is that you have to master this basic move to open up your body from all the damage you have done to it through sport, inactivity, life, whatever… and it is never too late.

 

It is going to hurt for a week or two after practising this move. But the good news is that if you keep at this every day for a couple weeks straight your body will respond, open up, and sooner than you imagine it will feel more and more like an enjoyable stretch rather than sheer hell.

 

Here is how to do it:

    • Start in a high plank with feet shoulder width and hands directly under the shoulders
    • Stick your butt in the air and look at your feet
    • Press the hands into the floor like you are pushing it away and try to pull your elbows towards each other
    • Tilt your butt in the air and press your heels into the floor
    • Now run through all those points again and do them all at the same time
    • Hold for 10 long, even, breaths or half that time in two sets

2. Crescent Lunge

Move from Downward Dog into the Crescent Lunge . Credit: Broga

Move from Downward Dog into the Crescent Lunge . Credit: Broga

Next up is the Crescent Lunge, which is a natural progression from the downward dog.

It takes what you just did for the Forward Fold and brings the back into even greater extension, while also beginning the same process in the hips.

This looks so easy but so much of our day is spent lazily hunched over that slouched actually becomes the standard comfortable position for the back and consequently, undoing this damage feels wholly unnatural in the beginning.

Get over it and make the effort not be the hunchback of Notre Dame aged 45!

Here is how to do it:

  • From Downward Dog bring one leg high in the air and swing that high leg in-between your hands. If you don’t make it all the way don’t worry!
  • Drop your other knee down and make that back foot flat
  • Now adjust your front foot so it is directly under your knee
  • Lastly, extend your arms up as high as you can
  • Hold for 10 long deep breaths and try to bring your hands back and hips more forward each time
  • Go back into downward dog for a couple of breaths and repeat on the other leg

 

3. Forward Fold

Forward Fold deeply stretches your hamstrings. Credit: Broga

Forward Fold deeply stretches your hamstrings. Credit: Broga

Last up is the Forward Fold.

Again seriously, how hard can THAT be??

Hard is the answer if you have been neglecting your flexibility.

Being in a fold is the compliment to the crescent lunge extension and puts your back in deep flexion.

It attempts to take the initial stretch you felt in downward dog in the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves and go even further with it.

Here is how to do it:

  • Again, starting in Downward Dog, walk or hop your feet to in-between your hands
  • Inhale deeply and roll up the spine, lifting the hands to the ceiling
  • Then, take a big exhale and bring your fingers as close to the ground as possible. If you can touch the ground, great! If not, don’t fret, just grab the back of your calves firmly and pull your face closer to your knees
  • While you are drawing your face closer to your knees, try and lift your butt up and squeeze your quadriceps
  • Hold this for 10 long breaths trying to go deeper with each breath

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About Matt “the Pillar” Miller

Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.

He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Are you looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure?

Join Broga Founder and Celebrity Trainer Matt Miller on a James Bond style Safari and Fitness Adventure in South Africa from 13-22 May 2016.

Find out more!

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Don’t attend another Broga Yoga Class until you’ve read this!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]From etiquette to clothing to breathing, Broga Yoga Founder Matt Miller takes us through the unwritten and unexpected ‘DO’s and DON’T’S’ of Broga Yoga.

By Matt Miller, Broga Founder

Remember when your mom would pester you to “do your homework?” She wasn’t just making sure you passed your maths GCSE. She was bestowing a life lesson onto you.

There is a wide range of yoga studios and styles of practice so finding the right place and type of yoga is important.

If you are a beginner then start with your gym and ask which class is suited for newbies rather than getting your feet wet in a tantric chat by accident!

Read on to discover the 7 key things that every Brogi Yogi, from novice to pro, should know:

Invest in some Lululemon clothing. Credit: Lululemon

Invest in some Lululemon clothing. Credit: Lululemon

1. Clothing and equipment

 

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Wearing heavy sweat clothes to a yoga class is not recommended; when you’re holding plank position for more than five breaths it’ll feel like you have lead weights strapped to your body.

Instead, don lightweight clothing that has dry wicking properties; shorts and t-shirts made from this type of fabric will do and if you don’t own any Lululemon buy some. They will kit you out in something that fits snugly but not in a “did you wear your little sister’s top” kinda way.

Having your own towel, water bottle, and, most importantly, your own yoga mat is way more hygienic. We don’t 100% trust the cleansing capability of the organic tea tree mat spray to effectively rid the verruca germs from a public mat.

Nothing screams “I don’t know what I’m doing here” than a guy who wears a baseball cap or socks to yoga class. You’ll be upside down a lot of the time so a cap will fall off. Same with the socks. You’ll keep adjusting them and it will be annoying. Take them off before stepping on your mat and please, just trust us on this one.

Avoid wardrobe malfunctions by making sure your yoga clothes fit. Wear a shirt that’s long enough to tuck in so it doesn’t ride up during Downward Dog. Consider wearing bike shorts under baggy shorts as you will be in upside down and downside up poses that could…ahem…expose some skin. Let’s keep class PG-rated.

Invest in some Lululemon clothing. Credit: Lululemon

Yoga studios are nearly always shoe free zones.  Don’t forget to take your shoes off right when you walk into the studio – for sure there will be a shoe rack and bench right on entry or your money back!

 

Arriving on time is very important. Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Arriving on time is very important. Credit: CC0 Public Domain

2. Class etiquette

 

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You would never be late for an important business meeting and the same rule applies when you’re going to yoga class.

Latecomers are frowned upon and some studios will turn you away should you be tardy. Arrive at least 15 minutes before class. This allows you enough time to pick out a spot in the studio and settle in.

What about talking during class? You wouldn’t gab during your buddy’s back swing on the links, so think of yoga class in the same way. It requires maximum concentration and minimum distraction, therefore please keep quiet.

This includes the few minutes when you might be waiting outside the studio for class to begin while a prior class is concluding. We think and talk all the waking day.

Yoga is all about being open and non-judgemental. Bullshit! Do you want everyone to see you mess up on your first try at yoga? No, of course not!

Grab a spot in the middle or back row of the studio and that way you’ll avoid embarrassing yourself should you mess up a pose. Most importantly, it will allow you to observe what the teacher and what the rest of the class are doing.

People of all shapes and sizes take yoga, so don’t be surprised when you see women decked out in tight fitting pants and skimpy sports bras. Some of them will be eye candy and some would have been better covered up with more.

It doesn’t matter either way. It is wholly inappropriate to ogle the opposite sex in yoga class. Unless you want to be on a list somewhere, keep your eyes to yourself. You need to focus on what you’re doing since you’re going to have enough problems just keeping up!

 

Remember to breathe while doing the boat pose. Credit: Broga UK

Remember to breathe while doing the boat pose. Credit: Yogaround

3. Remember to breathe

 

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When the instructor has you holding boat pose for what seems like an eternity and the muscles in your stomach feel like they’re going to spontaneously combust, remember to breathe. 

The most important part of yoga practice is your breath, ESPECIALLY DURING THE PAINFULLY HARD BITS!

Breathing evenly and deeply during class from start to finish is vital for remaining focused and present in the moment.

It also increases endurance and helps you hold poses longer and flow in and connect with your body in a way it cannot in any other physical activity.

 

Using props has many benefits. Credit: Becky Hirsch

Using props has many benefits. Credit: Becky Hirsch

4. Props are not a sign of weakness

 

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Don’t be afraid to grab props such as a block and a strap when you’re setting up to get your yoga on. Using these tools during your practice isn’t a sign of weakness. Far from it.

These items can help boost your practice to achieve proper alignment, reduce the risk of injury when experimenting with a new pose and even increase the difficulty level of a pose you’re already familiar with.

 

 

 

Child’s pose is a restful pose. Credit: Broga UK

Child’s pose is a restful pose. Credit: Yogaround

5. Yoga is not a competition

 

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Check your ego at the door; all who attend class come with different skill levels and muscle strength. This is not a competition and no awards are given out to the person who holds their downward dog the longest.

Even the most experienced yogis will take breaks during class to sip water or go into child’s pose – you’ll quickly learn this pose once you start practicing. And if they can do it, hell you can too!

Competition is a major source of male bonding and it’s the way the animal kingdom works. However, yoga is neither a sport nor an animal kingdom. Nobody is keeping score, and nobody wins or loses.

The mental focus you’ll develop will help you compete in other areas of life by teaching you to be more present but there’s no place for competition on the mat.

Your goal is to connect to yourself – pure and simple, and the only opponent is your own ego.

 

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Founder Matt leading a class. Credit: Broga UK

Founder Matt leading a class. Credit: Broga UK

6. Social interaction is key

 

You do it in bars, so you can do it in yoga. Introduce yourself to the teacher before class. Just keep it classy and don’t ask he/she out for a drink. The teacher will likely stay in tune with your progress and offer variations (AKA alternative poses) for you.

Before class ask questions and introduce yourself to the teacher. How long is the class? Is it heated? If you’re nursing an old football injury tell the teacher in advance.

This way they can give you proactive personal adjustments and not yell at you if they see you totally off-piste because of an ailment.

Bringing a buddy who knows the ropes (or even one who doesn’t) is a great way to feel more at ease in class – plus it is a great bonding experience that does not involve getting plastered drunk!

 

Stretching before class is key. Credit: Broga UK

Stretching before class is key. Credit: Yogaround

7. Before and after class is important too

 

Consider stretching on your mat for 10 to 15 minutes before class, especially in the morning. Limber, supple muscles will make you happier than tight muscles.

Try to curb your manly appetite before class, as having a full belly will hinder your range of motion in twisting poses and increase the likelihood of gas. Oh, and you’re going to be upside down. A lot. The last thing you want is to be the guy who stinks up a yoga class.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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About Matt “the Pillar” Miller

Yoga and fitness fanatic Matt is the founder of Broga. Living in London, Matt is a perennially sunny Californian spreading fitness inspiration and wellbeing to a wide audience.

He has been an American Football athlete, a UFBB super heavyweight Bodybuilder, a member of the US National Association of Sports Medicine, has Multiple yoga teaching certifications, was one of the first (and the youngest) to have a total titanium femur and pelvic joint, and is an internationally known Celebrity Personal trainer as seen on TV.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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It’s the last week to enter our BackStreet Yoga competition

 

Our #BackStreetBroga Yoga competition is still running! Post a picture to Instagram, or Twitter of yourself doing Broga in an ‘interesting’ location to enter. Include: #BackStreetBroga, #BrogaUK and don’t forget to tag us in @BrogaUK. Good luck!

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