We Tried It: Broga at Burn Fitness Studios

Broga is a challenging vinyasa yoga class—for men and women.

A photo posted by Debora Brand (@debsbrand) on

It’s 7:30 p.m. on a Wednesday, I am dripping sweat, and I’ve just been told to do something called a “Bro A.” This is Broga—yoga for bros—in all its glory.

I’ll back up by stating for the record that I am a woman. But when I saw that Broga classes at Burn Fitness Studios are open to all genders, I decided to give it a shot. With visions of muscle tees and man buns dancing in my head, I set off to the South End, ready to be one of the bros.

I expected at least some degree of surprise when I, very much not a bro, showed up for class. I didn’t get it. In fact, instructor and Burn owner Jonathan Cruz said women make up 20 to 40 percent of the students in any given Broga class, and he’s “open to all.” (In my class, the breakdown was actually 50/50.)

So if women are welcome, what makes Broga different from the yoga classes I’ve been taking for years? Aside from its goal of giving men a less intimidating environment than Lululemon-and-splits dominated classes, Cruz says the movements are designed for the male body. “The sequences are designed for men, in that we put a little bit more power moves in there. We don’t do crazy flexible moves. There’s a little more high-intensity interval training in there,” Cruz says. “But it really is just a regular vinyasa yoga class.”

After taking the class, I agree—kind of.

Broga is a regular vinyasa class, in the sense that you’ll recognize all of the poses if you’ve ever taken any other yoga class, ever. But unlike your classic yoga flow, Broga incorporates enough squats, burpees, ab work, and push ups to have you thinking maybe you signed up for bootcamp by accident. By the midpoint of the class, I was sweating heavily enough to wonder if I was in a hot yoga class. (Spoiler: I wasn’t. I was just sweating profusely.) And, as an embarrassingly inflexible person, it was a refreshing change of pace to actually be able to do all the poses demonstrated throughout class.

The bottom line is that, while the name might scare women away, Broga isn’t an all-guys bro-fest. You’re unlikely to see a single fist bump or man hug. What you will find is a challenging, athletic, and—most of all—welcoming yoga class tailored for those among us not genetically gifted enough to lift our legs over our heads effortlessly. You don’t have to be a bro to appreciate that.

Broga is offered Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings for $15 drop-in at Burn Fitness Studios, 547 Columbus Ave., burnfitboston.com. Other studios around town, including Commonwealth Sports Club, also offer Broga.