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.


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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