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.

10 asanas to lose body fat

10 asanas to lose belly fat

By Paul Vandyken, RigorFitness.com

Erroneous lifestyle and lack of proper exercises lead to flabby tummy, and there is no shortcut to getting rid of such abdominal fat apart from healthy diet and good fitness routine. Yoga is one of such great fitness exercise that does not only help to reduce your abdominal fat but also help you to control your body and mind like never before. Here are 10 asanas to lose belly fat you need to know:

  1. Tadasana

Tadasana also known as mountain pose is an ideal warm-up pose that helps to improve your blood circulation and make your body ready for the other exercises. Complete the following steps:

  • Stand with your feet flat while your feet are in contact and heels slightly spread out.
  • Bring your palms close to each other as you stretch your hands to the front.
  • Stretch your spine while you raise your folded hands upward and inhaling deeply.
  • While standing on the toes, try to lift your ankles and lift your eyes to face the ceiling.
  • Hold the pose for about 30 seconds while you breathe normally.
  • Try this asana to times while relaxing for about 10 seconds between each round.

You can vary the workout by stretching your arms upward, parallel to each other and perpendicular to the floor. The exercise helps to improve your posture, firm your buttocks and abdomen, and help to strengthen your knees and ankles.

  1. Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar or Sun salutation involves 12 yoga positions that help to improve your entire position. To perform this exercise, you have to complete the following exercise:

  • Expand your chest while you stand with your feet together and shoulders relaxed
  • Inhale while you spread your hands aside. Then exhale as you bring your arms to the front of your chest and keep them in the prayer position.
  • Inhale as you stretch your hands backward. Then exhale as you bend forward and try touching the knees with your forehead.
  • Bend your left knee and stretch the right leg backward while your palms remain on the floor.
  • Hold your breath as you stretch your left leg and lower your body downward as you hold your spine out.
  • Inhale and stretch forward as you bend backward.
  • While your hands are still intact on the floor, exhale and lean forward.
  • Move your leg forward in between your elbows and stretch upwards.
  • Move the left leg forward and inhale deeply.

Regularly practicing Surya will keep your energized and healthy.

  1. Padahastasana

This is a Standing Forward Bend which involves compressing the abdomen while bending forwards. It is a great workout that helps to burn fat. Here is how to perform the exercise:

  • Keep the spin erect and lift your hands upward as you inhale deeply
  • Exhale and you bend forward in such a way that your body is parallel to the floor.
  • Inhale and exhale, then bend forward completely downward from the hips.
  • Try touching the floor with your palm without bending the knees
  • Hold your breath and tuck the tummy in and hold in that position for about 60 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times while posing for ten minutes between each round.

The exercise helps to improve the abdominal muscles, strengthen the wrist joints, and relieves mental and physical exhaustion.

  1. Paschimottanasana

This is a great Hatha Yoga that stimulates the center of your solar plexus. It helps to tone your tummy and strengthen hamstrings and thighs as well as hips. It is a great exercise for those who have digestive disorders. Complete the following steps:

  • Keep your spine erect while you are sited on the floor and stretch your legs out to your front
  • As you inhale deeply, stretch your hands upward without bending your elbow.
  • Exhale as you bend forward from the thighs and try to touch your toes.
  • Inhale, hold your tummy and remain in that position for about 60 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise 25 times.
  1. Pavanamuktasana

This is a great workout that helps to alleviate various gastric problems such as ingestion and constipation. It also helps in weight loss.

  • Lie down facing upward with your hands stretched out beside your body and heels touching each other.
  • Take a deep breath as you bent the knees toward the chest.
  • List your head and move it to touch your knees.
  • Hold in the same position for about 60 to 90 seconds as you breathe deeply.
  • Repeat the procedure for about 7 times while relaxing about 15-seconds between the rounds.
  1. Naukasana

Naukasaba also known as Boat Pose is one of the great yoga postures that helps to flatten the belly. It also helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles as well as tone the abs. complete the following exercise.

  • Lie down facing the ceiling while you stretched out your legs out.
  • Inhale and exhale, then lift your legs and from the ground so that they are parallel.
  • Remain in that position for about 60 seconds.
  • Breathe normally and slowly bring the hands and legs to the original position.
  • Repeat the exercise 5 times.
  1. Ushtrasana

The ustrasana also known as camel pose is done to counter the Naukasana pose. It helps to release the tension that you experience on your belly during Naukasana as well as help to stretch the body. Complete the following exercises:

  • Lift your body up the knees such that the body is supported by the knees.
  • Exhale deeply then arch your back. Take back your hands behind the body and try to hold ankles one by one.
  • Stretch backward by tilting your head forward until you feel your belly stretch.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times while relaxing for 15 seconds between each exercise.
  1. Uttanpadasana

This is a good exercise that helps to get rid of fat in the lower abdominal as well in the hips and thighs. It is a great exercise of eliminated flab that accumulates around your waist and hips during pregnancy. Achieve these benefits by completing the following procedures:

  • Lie down with your legs stretched out, heels touching each other and hands side of the body.
  • Inhale deeply and exhale slowly as you tilt your back and bring your head backward to touch the floor.
  • Stretch to the maximum
  • Inhale deeply and raise your legs up the floor to about 45-degree.
  • Pose for about 15 seconds before returning the legs to the original position.
  • Pose for about 30 seconds before lifting the legs to a 90-degree angle and remain in that position for about 60 seconds.
  • Repeat the procedure 10 times.
  1. Marjariasan

It is a forceful contraction exercise that helps to build abdominal muscles as well as burn fat around the belly. It also helps to enhance the flexibility of the spine. The exercise involves the following steps:

  • While breathing normally, raise your body in such a way that your body is supported by the knees and palms.
  • Lift your head and push your back down so that the body is in a concave structure.
  • Expand the abdominal to allow the maximum amount of air and maintain the posture for about 30 seconds.
  • Breathe deeply and work up for up to 90 seconds gradually.
  • Repeat the exercise 10 times.
  1. Bhujangasana

Bhujangasana also known as Cobra Pose is a great way to stretch your abdomen. It is a regular practice that helps to strengthen your back. It is one of the most popular yoga that helps to alleviate Post-Partum back pain. Complete the following exercises:

  • Lie down while your legs are slightly spaced, and toes are touching the floor.
  • Move the palm beneath your shoulders.
  • Inhale deeply and slowly lift your chest and head off the floor. Push your pubis toward the navel while you keep the buttocks firm.
  • Hold in the position for about 30 seconds.
  • Lift your body from the waist upward, bending backward as much as possible.
  • Hold in the posture for about 30 seconds.
  • Relax and return to the original posture.
  • Repeat the exercise for 10 times while working 30 times gradually in every round.
  • Relax 15 minutes in between the exercise.

 

About Paul Vandeyken

Paul Vandyken is a personal trainer, nutrition coach. His personal website is RigorFitness.com. His blog has articles, videos, and pictures with tips, tricks about fitness, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle. If you are on the journey to your healthy and happy lifestyle, visiting his blog may worth a look or even help you enhance your process.

 

Yoga of Sleep - Broga UK

Yoga: The New Sleep Aid

Sleep deprivation is fast becoming a major public health concern and millions of Americans suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders. Chronic lack of sleep has been linked to serious health issues such as depression, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. According to research even getting an hour less than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep can shorten life span. To save themselves from such harmful effects of insomnia, a lot of people turn to sleep aids such as sleeping pills and even alcohol but what’s worse is that even they have their own side effects can further trigger health issues.

Yoga is a gentle and restorative way to help you settle for sleep by unwinding yourself after a long hectic day. According to a survey 85% people who did yoga said it helped reduce stress and 55% found that it helped them sleep better.

By calming the sympathetic nervous system and quieting the mind, yoga works both ways to help you sleep better. According to Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and author of Harvard Medical School ebook Your Brain on Yoga, Dr Sat Bir Khalsa, “Yoga is an effective treatment because it addresses Indonesia’s physical and psychological aspects”.
Dr. Khalsa conducted a study along with other researchers at the Harvard Medical School to investigate the impact of a bedtime yoga regime on the sleep quality of people suffering from chronic insomnia.

Yoga of Sleep - Broga UKThe study included 20 participants suffering from different types of insomnia, including primary and secondary insomnia. People suffering from primary insomnia having difficulty falling asleep and wake up frequently during the night. This sleeplessness problem is not attributed to any medical condition or sleep disorder. Secondary insomnia on the other hand is sleeplessness as a result of some medical condition such as cancer, depression, hormonal imbalance etc. Medications taken to cure certain health conditions can also trigger secondary insomnia.

The 20 participants were asked to maintain a sleep wake diary for two weeks after which they were given a basic yoga training session and were taught breathing, meditation and mantra. They were then asked to practice yoga every night before bed and maintain a sleep diary for another eight weeks. At the end, the researchers evaluated the participants’ sleep efficiency, total sleep time, total wake time, sleep onset latency, wake time after sleep onset, number of awakenings, and sleep quality measures by analyzing the information in their sleep wake diaries and found a significant improvement in all of these areas. The study showed that yoga can really help relieve chronic insomnia.

Yoga and mindful meditation can also help to relieve sleep problems among the elderly. Sleep disturbances are most prevalent among the elderly and are seldom treated. Treatment options are limited and basic meditation practices can prove to be an easy solution. According to a recent study conducted in 2015 by researchers at the University of Southern California, mindful meditation can significantly improve sleep quality and daytime impairment among older adults with sleep disturbances. The study included 2 groups of elderly participants with a mean age of 66 years and moderate sleep disturbances. One group was asked to develop mindful awareness practices (MAP) such as meditation and breathing exercises and the other group was asked to practice sleep hygiene exercises (SHE) such as avoiding caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime, avoiding daytime naps and so on. Both groups received 2 hours per week of assigned homework. After 6 weeks the researchers evaluated the sleep quality of both groups and found that the MAP group had significantly lower insomnia, fatigue and depression symptoms as compared to the SHE group.

Another research study conducted by the Federal University of Sao Paulo shows that a specific sequence of yoga helps to increase quality of life and relieve insomnia in postmenopausal women. The study included 44 participants between the age of 50 and 65 years, who were not undergoing any hormone therapy. The participants were randomly assigned to 3 different groups, yoga, passive stretching and no treatment for 4 months. The participants were given questionnaires before and 4 months after the grouping to evaluate daytime sleepiness and insomnia severity as well as quality of life, anxiety, depression and climacteric symptoms. The results showed that the yoga group had significantly lower insomnia severity and higher scores for quality of life and resistance phase of stress compared to both the control and passive stretching groups.

More and more scientific studies are now proving yoga to have a positive impact on reducing insomnia and improving quality of sleep. So if you’re looking for a drug free solution to help you sleep better, yoga is the answer.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15707256

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25686304

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22048261

About Eugene Gabriel

Eugene Gabriel is a passionate blogger. He has always been fascinated by sleep and how it relates to health and wellness. Read his post on Getting Better Sleep. You can follow him on twitter @eugenegabrielj.

 

Cam Yoga with lit Prihatinawati

A first time Broga experience: simple and effective yoga, but be prepared to sweat!

Guest post by Iir Prihatinawati for CAMYOGA

Originally published on camyoga.co.uk

When I signed myself up for a free taster of Broga® at CAMYOGA, I didn’t even read which type of yoga I was about to take. I am new in Cambridge as I moved here from Indonesia in August.

I have practiced yoga since I was a child – I am a registered Vinyasa teacher, and mostly practice yoga at home – so I was excited to get to the studio and have a guided practice. When I arrived, and a lady told me in the changing room what class I was about to take, I wasn’t sure what to expect…

You know, surprises always come to greet you in the most unexpected corners… I loved it!

Yes, it was mostly men in the class, yes we did heck of a load of high/low planks, either into or from chaturanga or downward facing dog, and yes I was sweating. A lot!

Cam Yoga London

Feeling the Broga burn!

I know what you think, this yoga might be only suitable for the very athletic or experienced practitioners, but to be honest it is not! Let me explain why…

Firstly, the poses were dead simple. Having practiced yoga for over half of my life, I’ve had my time of working to get into the ‘fancy poses’ – undervaluing these simple poses. But more recently, I’ve started to take notice of the simple things, to find the grace in anything and everything. This was the beauty of the practice.

So, if the poses were dead simple, how did I get my kick from the practice?

These simple poses were repeated over and over again with controlled ujjayi breath throughout – once you’ve done 7 or 8 repetitions of a low and slow chaturanga you start feeling muscles you never knew you had.

lir of Cam Yoga

Iir is an experienced yoga teacher having tried just about every type of practice

The practice really prompted me to be mindful of my own body and muscles. For example: try to come to downward dog, then plank, slide slowly into your low chaturanga and press up to plank and downward dog again, repeat 8 times slowly. Now try it again with one legged dog, one legged plank and so on… Now you know what I mean!

I think I may have read your mind – it sounds scary right?! Don’t worry the teacher, Liz, is very nice and knowledgable and will offer options and modifications for you to work with at your stage, wherever you are in your yoga journey.

Broga and Cam Yoga poses

Broga uses muscles you never thought you had in simple but effective poses

I know you will feel that there are eyes watching what you are doing, pressuring you to do the full pose although deep down you feel that you are not ready yet. Hang on a minute. No one is watching you as each of us is sweating like crazy and trying to keep doing what we are doing with our own perfection, we don’t have time to watch other people! Moreover yoga is not about comparing yourself with other people! Yoga is your journey within. No judgement. Everybody is different! Do what is best for you, enjoy the learning, focus within.

Happy practicing and Namaste!

About Cam Yoga and lir Prihatinawati

Iir Prihatinawati is an Indonesian registered yoga teacher who now lives in Cambridge in the UK. She has practiced a variety of yoga styles from Bikram to Ashtanga and now teaches her own classes in Cambridge. Started in 2003, CAMYOGA is a Cambridge based non-profit social enterprise designed to enhance the health and wellbeing of local residents. They aim to support and improve those who wish to train and attend yoga classes and have recently expanded to three locations across Cambridge.

 

Broga on the go!

Broga is now available as a digital download so you can enjoy Matt’s expertise and guidance on the go! The eight week Broga plan is just £24.99, and will grant you access to specially designed Broga workouts on your tablet, phone and laption as well as providing you with a FREE meal and fitness plan. No more excuses, sign up to Broga online here today!

 

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.

 

yoga-for-all-broga

Yoga for all: Why we must fight against stereotypes in the fitness community

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]by Matt Miller, Broga Founder[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Living in London (which I think is the epicentre of the world and cutting edge in every way) I had totally forgotten how NOT cool yoga is for the average male – much less the sporty ones!

Just back from presenting at the “I love me” fitness and wellness expo in Helsinki, I am reminded of the reality that, in most of the western world, yoga is considered to be a women’s sport.

Sorry, let’s demote that to “yoga is a middle class ladies’ activity.” And the men who practice yoga are probably just going to be hippy, hipster, gay or old/pervy.

Seven years in London and surrounded by people who are up for anything new and game for experiences that will challenge and benefit them, I totally forgot that men generally still worry about what people will think of their masculinity.

Matt Miller Yoga postures

The fear of yoga for men is real for many!

This is a big problem for yoga. And the core mission Broga® is trying to break.

Unfortunately this is tough and we are in the minority going against the grain to make yoga cool and say, “look guys you can do this and it will make you a better athlete and maybe even a better man.”

Fortunately the press have been amazing and every single media journalist who has done a Broga® class, whether male or female, has come out as a big supporter of the class content and benefits of yoga.

However a real problem for us in that we are fighting this battle from both sides, that is not only from the public but in the yoga and fitness communities themselves.

yoga-for-all-broga

Credit: Eli Christman
The fitness community still thinks yoga is for hot chicks in spandex

The traditional yoga community don’t take what we do seriously. The name sounds corny and cheapens the pristine, deified yoga image. ‘Why do boys need a brand of yoga’ they ask, and I reply, ‘come do a Broga® class and feel what it’s like to be the only GIRL in class then!’

It is uncomfortable to be the complete minority in a room full of perfectly preened women doing yoga!  We are doing everything we can not to be sexist or create a separate sphere of ‘male yoga’, but rather we’re trying to even the playing field so all can feel comfortable on the pitch.

The fitness community still thinks yoga is for hot chicks in spandex and weird guys with samurai knots and bead bracelets. They are starting to understand the importance of mobility and flexibility, that is moving the whole body synergistically – a movement which Crossfit has played a massive part in.

However this new thinking usually manifests itself in mobility through balls and bands á la the Supple Leopard, or bringing someone’s hot girlfriend in to teach Vinyasa yoga once a week, aka the ‘eye candy class.’

It needs to be taken more seriously than this, and we are now training professional sports teams as required by their coaches as well as working with the British Army and Royal Air Force as part of their physical fitness programming.

This integration provides some hope that the movement for male yoga will trickle down into mainstream culture.

yoga-for-all-broga Matt Miller

Male athletes can truly benefit by adding yoga to their routine.
Credit: Credit AberroCreative

But we are not there yet.

If you are reading this with a raised eyebrow just try a Broga® class, or a Bikram or level one Ashtanga class and tell me you did not have a great workout and feel better physically and mentally afterwards.

And if you are already on board then make the effort to drag a boyfriend/husband or male friend along to one of these classes (as if you were taking your boy to nursery school for the first time with a little hand holding) and set them off on the right start.

Changing this perception and making yoga cool and acceptable for men after all really starts with YOU![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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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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Begin your Broga journey today!

Check out our class schedule to experience the incredible benefits of Broga. Can’t make it to a Broga class? Get a copy of the Broga DVD for an intense yoga workout in your own home.

Available to buy now here

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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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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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Why more men should be doing yoga

This post was originally published on The Cheat Sheet

By Chloe Della Costa

 

With the many types of yoga to try, and even yoga routines designed specifically to help you sculpt and tone muscles, you’d think more men would jump on the yoga bandwagon.

But according to a study by Yoga Journal, of the 20.4 million people who practice yoga in the U.S., only 18% of them are men .

“It’s almost a joke when guys say, ‘I don’t think I should do yoga because I’m not flexible,’” Adrian Hummel, a Bikram yoga teacher, told The Washington Post. “It’s like saying, ‘I’m too weak, so I can’t lift weights.’”

why-men-yoga1

The list of yoga’s health benefits seems to go on and on, as the relatively few men who enjoy this ancient practice quickly realise.

Many pro athletes practice yoga because it keeps them loose and focused before a game and helps ease post-game soreness. LeBron James is a yogi, and he was recently named America’s favourite athlete.

Why are so many men reluctant to try yoga in the first place?

why-men-yoga2Danny Poole, a yoga teacher who worked with the Broncos, was hesitant to try it at first, according to The Washington Post. “All I knew is that there were hippies doing it, and I was intimidated because I didn’t know what it was,” Poole said. “Then I got hooked on it because I never felt so good.”

Poole said a lot of men feel intimidated initially. Though many claim it is too boring for them, Poole suspects there is something else going on. “Our egos are deflated because we can’t do some of the poses,” he explained.

The toughest athletes were exhausted by yoga their first time around, but those who stuck with it stayed injury-free throughout the season, according to Poole.

Keep in mind, however, that research also suggests men are more prone to yoga-related injuries. William Broad’s The Science of Yoga found higher numbers of serious yoga-related injuries in men, but many teachers attribute this to men being more likely to rush or force themselves into poses they aren’t ready for.

In general, yoga is very safe when practiced correctly and with the guidance of an instructor. But men should be extra mindful of an important principle of yoga: Listen to your body.

If you honour your present limitations and make the appropriate modifications, yoga’s benefits will by far outweigh the risks.

Here are a few great reasons men should do yoga:

1. Yoga promotes weight loss and an overall healthy lifestyle

why-men-yoga3Anyone who says yoga can’t be a full body workout hasn’t done enough yoga, and even gentle yoga routines can contribute to weight loss.

According to the Journal of Alternative Medicine, overweight men who practiced yoga and breathing exercises daily lost an average of 4 pounds in only 10 days. Deep abdominal breathing is a major part of yoga, and according to Men’s Fitness, it activates the parasympathetic nervous system and lowers levels of cortisol, a hormone that forces your body to hold on to belly fat.

Add to that a stronger immune system and positive effects on blood pressure, and it’s hard to imagine what’s keeping men from hopping on the mat. Yoga also contributes to heart health, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in American men.

2. Yoga can help improve your other workouts and prevent injury

why-men-yoga4With the increased strength, flexibility, and stamina gained from yoga workouts, you’ll be positioned for success in your other physical endeavours.

For example, yoga builds a base for effective weight lifting. Kate Abate, a certified trainer and yoga teacher, told Men’s Fitness, “Yoga widens range of motion and increases access to more muscle fibres, allowing for more substantial hypertrophy in any given muscle group.” Hypertrophy is the enlargement of muscles, which begins at the cellular level.

Yoga also prevents injuries because well-stretched muscles will recover more quickly, not to mention what mindfulness yoga will teach you in terms of knowing your body’s limits.

3. Yoga can increase libido and improve sexual performance

why-men-yoga5Both increased libido and improved sexual performance have been linked to regular yoga practice. In a 2010 study, yoga was shown to improve all domains of sexual function in men.

The breathing techniques and concentration taught in yoga can help men better channel their sexual energy. “This can lead to increased sexual endurance,” Yogi Cameron Alborizan told Men’s Fitness, “and will make you far more sensitive and responsive to your partner.”

This coupled with yoga’s mental health benefits could do wonders for improving not just your health, but also the health of your relationships.

4. Yoga helps relieve chronic lower back pain

why-men-yoga6-feYoga can bring tremendous relief to people suffering from a variety of forms of back pain, especially chronic lower back pain.

For men who sit all day at an office job, yoga is one of the best ways to combat the pain and misalignment associated with prolonged sitting.

Yoga will also help give your back, neck, and shoulders the best gift of all: better posture. You’ve probably heard people say yoga makes them feel taller. Encouraging proper posture goes a long way to preventing future aches and pains.

5. Yoga reduces stress and helps you sleep better

why-men-yoga7Many people are drawn to yoga not necessarily for strictly physical benefits, but for the associated impact on mental health.

In addition to improving overall physical fitness, yoga is an effective treatment for anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Yoga poses, particularly inversions, help people get a better night’s rest and provide stress relief.

Yoga helps you slow down and be mindful, in addition to teaching you relaxation and breathing techniques that promote calmness all day and into the night.

And in today’s fast-paced culture, the forced break from your devices, deadlines, and daily worries is a much-needed restorative practice for everyone.

 


The Cheat Sheet is a lifestyle site for modern men.

Covering everything from health and fitness to cars and technology, readers use Cheat Sheet guides to get ahead, lead better lives, and save time. Check out our website and find us on Twitter @cheatsheet.

 

Did you know that Broga runs classes all over the United Kingdom and in Europe?

Broga classes are not just held in London. You can find classes in Cambridge, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Rotterdam and many more! There’s really no excuse not to come along and have your first taste of Broga. For more details, check out the class timetable on our website.

 

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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