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Health Column: Get buff with Broga

09/05/2015 12:00 PM |

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“Guys don’t want to sit there and ‘om.’ They want to do stuff. They want to be active.”

That’s what Aerial Fitness owner April Yakaboski said last week when I asked why she’d decided to collaborate with CrossFit Impervious owners Sam Cila and Terri Sweeney to offer an inaugural Broga (yes, that’s a portmanteau word combining “bro” and “yoga”) class at the Riverhead CrossFit gym next week.

Broga, said Ms. Yakaboski, who has offered the classes at her own Riverhead studio since 2013, combines traditional yoga poses with exercises like squats and tricep pushups. And while women are welcome to attend classes, Broga is specially designed to complement male anatomy.

“When guys go to yoga and they see these girls with their feet around their head it’s discouraging because they think there’s something wrong with them,” said Ms. Yakaboski, who will teach the Impervious class with Ryan Farrell. “In reality, that’s a pose they just weren’t meant to do.”

Certain yoga poses, like “eagle toes,” which requires participants to cross their legs, are omitted from Broga because they don’t benefit male yogis, Ms. Yakaboski said. Others, like the lunging pose “warrior two,” are modified slightly to better accommodate men’s narrower hips.

“We want to work on guys’ strengths, not their weaknesses,” Ms. Yakaboski explained. “Women are welcome to come, but we’re not going to be doing splits.”

Broga is also more athletic than traditional yoga. Ms. Yakaboski said participants are asked to do a series of 50 “chaturangas,” or tricep pushups, throughout the 60-minute class. “Hindu squats,” which tone the legs, are also incorporated.

Beyond making yoga appealing to men, Ms. Sweeney said Broga is especially beneficial to CrossFit enthusiasts, who regularly do intense interval training and weight lifting.

“CrossFit is very straining,” she said. “For the most part, an important key to a good strong, workout is mobility — and yoga translates very well. We want to keep our members nice and limber.”

If the first CrossFit Impervious Broga class gets a positive reception, the Main Road gym plans to offer them regularly.

“It’s going to be a really great thing,” Ms. Sweeney said. “It’s just going to educate people.

“You live a healthy lifestyle when you’re mobile and able to move the way you should,” she added.

Broga will take place Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. at CrossFit Impervious, 121 Main Road, Riverhead, just west of the Route 105 intersection. Non-members can attend for $20; Impervious members should call the gym for rates. For more information, call 631-404-6528.

Have a health column idea for Rachel Young? Email her at [email protected].

Photo: Aerial Fitness has offered Broga classes at its Riverhead studio. A similar class will now be offered at CrossFit Impervious, also in Riverhead. (Credit: Aerial Fitness, courtesy)

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