Broga Instructor Profile: Christina Sokolowski

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Christina Sokolowski

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A Broga® INSTRUCTOR?

I decided to become a Broga instructor after seeing a short video of a class. I teach primarily to a military dominant community and have a strong fitness background so the blend of HIIT and yoga appealed to me.

WHAT MUSIC GETS YOUR CLASS PUMPED FOR THE H.I.I.T. PORTION OF THE CLASS?

Lately we have been using Rock Meets Rachmaninoff by The Piano Guys for our HIIT section. I like to use instrumental music so the words don’t distract my students.

WHERE DO YOU TEACH YOUR Broga® CLASS & WHO SHOWS UP?

I teach at LA Fitness Alexandria- Beulah in Virginia on Saturdays at 11am. While my class is still primarily women, the male participation has been steadily climbing every week. I would put us at 70/30 ish.

CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT YOURSELF CHRISTINA?

I am a military mother of 4, 2 with special needs and 1 cancer survivor, so spare time is scarce. I enjoy reading and cooking when i’m not teaching or coaching. I am a health & fitness coach as well as teaching yoga, pilates, bootcamp, P90X and PIYO to name a few.

Broga Instructor Profile: Brad Clark

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Brad Clark Broga Instructor Alaska

I moved to Alaska over 30 years ago to attend the University of Alaska. I love backcountry adventures in the mountains, long distance running and cross-country skiing. I recruit physicians and medical providers to Alaska. I’ve had my 200 hour YTT certification since 2012.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A Broga® INSTRUCTOR?

I  recently came back very disappointed from a yoga teacher training and told a friend I wanted to create a power flow yoga workout with some core work and HIIT mixed in and a day or two later I received Adam’s email on the December Broga® training. I thought the term sounded a little corny but all of the foundational principles REALLY resonated with me: good workout, plain cuing language, think and teach from the perspective of the man or woman stepping into a class for the first time. It all made sense and I jumped in without thinking twice.

WHAT SONG GETS YOUR CLASS PUMPED UP DURING THE H.I.I.T. PORTION OF THE CLASS?

For the HIIT my current step it up tune is Good To Be Alive by Andy Grammer.

HAVE YOU RUN INTO ANY MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT Broga® AND HOW HAVE YOU RESPONDED?

I am careful to always let women know they are welcome too. For the most part I’ve had a very enthusiastic response from students who tried out the class.

WHERE DO YOU TEACH AND WHAT IS YOUR CLASS SCHEDULE? DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL EVENTS OR PROMOTIONS?

I am currently teaching Monday nights at Trax Yoga in Fairbanks. I teach on a rotating schedule once a week after work for our employees at the Tanana Chiefs Conference and I have taught several Broga® inspired classes at Heartstream Yoga while subbing for other instructors.

IN ADDITION Broga®/YOGA WHAT OTHER FITNESS AND HOBBIES DO YOU ENJOY?

Besides Broga® I love a good vinyassa flow with inversions and arm balances and continue to be inspired and learn online from my friend Dylan Werner who is an inversion and balance expert. I enjoy hiking in the backcountry and mountains of Alaska with my wife Amy Johnson. I’ve taken some time off from distance running but will likely make my way back to it. I love landscaping and working with large rock and stone.

WHAT IS THE RATIO OF MEN TO WOMEN IN YOUR CLASS?

At our kick-off Broga® class at Trax on Monday it was a perfect 50-50 split of men and women–12 total. http://www.traxyoga.com/

Broga Instructor Profile: Lannie Pullon

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Lannie Pullon

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A Broga® INSTRUCTOR?

Broga was brought to my hey tension by Suzy Yeagley. Suzy is the owner of Bloomington Body Bar which is a fitness studio that I teach TRX class for her at. Suzy posted a thing to her instructor site about Broga and want to know our thoughts and opinions on it. After looking through the website and finding things online about Broga I was looking forward to trying a class at Suzy was teaching because it really sparked my interest. After taking Suzy class I was hooked. I really enjoyed the mix between yoga and HIIT programming that Broga put together.

WHAT MUSIC GETS YOUR CLASS PUMPED UP DURING THE HIIT PORTION OF THE CLASS?

My class really likes music by Kongos and Fall out Boy, it adds extra energy to class.

WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON MISCONCEPTION YOU FACE ABOUT Broga® AND HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO IT??

Most people think it’s just for guys just like the name suggest. But I let them know that it may have been designed with men in mind but the woman that take my class really enjoy the change up in yoga format.

WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOUR Broga® CLASSES?

I teach Broga at my Studio Impact Fitness Training. Tuesday’s 7pm, Wednesday’s 7am, and Friday’s at 8am.

BESIDES YOGA/Broga® WHAT OTHER FORMS OF FITNESS/EXERCISE DO YOU LIKE?

I’m a personal trainer and fitness coach. I personally train for strongman events that I compete at all over the Midwest competing in the 220lb weight class.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE MALE TO FEMALE RATIO IN YOUR Broga® CLASS?

3 Men to 1 Women usually.

Broga Instructor Profile: Jessica Donohue

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Jessica Donohue

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A Broga® INSTRUCTOR?

I decided to become a Broga® instructor while I was in the middle of my 200 hr  Yoga Teacher training. My instructor had been a life long athlete and would often mention the importance of combining yoga with strength training. Yoga, alone, doesn’t give the body all it needs for optimal health, he would say. He mentioned Broga® as an example of a style of yoga that weaves fitness into every class, building strength along side flexibility. I checked out the Broga® website, watched some videos and signed up that very day for the online training course.

WHAT SONG GETS YOUR CLASS PUMPED DURING THE H.I.I.T. SECTION?

My two favorite songs lately for the HIIT section of class are Henrietta, by The Fratellis and Here It Goes Again, by OK Go. Both super upbeat and fun songs.

HAVE YOU RUN INTO ANY MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT Broga® AND HOW HAVE YOU RESPONDED?

I think people hear the word Broga® and think it’s a joke, that it’s not a serious class. I like that the first impression makes people smile. Then I tell them what it is, beyond a silly name and most people seem to get it. Get them to a class and the joke’s up. I love teaching a class where people really get to push themselves to new places and see how much stronger they are than they had thought before, both physically and mentally.

WHERE DO YOU TEACH AND WHAT IS YOUR CLASS SCHEDULE?

My classes are Tuesdays from 6:30pm-7:30pm and Saturdays from Noon to 1:00 at a small group and personal training gym called Strength Lab Eugene. It’s only been open for a few months but it’s growing quickly.

IN ADDITION TO BROGA®/YOGA WHAT OTHER FITNESS AND HOBBIES DO YOU ENJOY?

In addition to Broga®, I teach Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga. I became certified to teach in San Diego 2 years ago and I’m the first one to bring it to the waters of Eugene, Oregon! I have my sights set on teaching retreats in tropical locations in the future, combining Broga® and SUP yoga. Keep your eyes out for Yo, SUP Bro!

My personal workout, beyond yoga, is powerlifting. I love surprising people with how strong a small woman can be..

WHAT IS THE RATIO OF MEN TO WOMEN IN YOUR CLASS?

My classes are 1/3 men at this point.

Broga Instructor Profile: Michael Dever

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Michael Dever

Fitness and health have always been an important aspect of my life. From an early age I realised that the way in which you treated your body was the way in which your body treats you. Starting my career in the teaching and training industry and flowing through to managing a successful fitness centre as well as leading classes, this health focus has been re-ignighted in the form of my passion for spreading the yoga message through teaching.

Trained by the Byron Yoga Centre under John Ogilvy as well as being a Broga accredited instructor, I bring a sense of humour (a Canadian one however) and exploration to my teaching. Always with an appetite for new experiences and challenging myself and my students and bringing this “newness” to all of my Workshops. This being said ensuring my students are supported and safe is paramount to a long term yoga journey. I look forward to joining you on the mat.

“Where your focus goes, your energy flows”

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A Broga® INSTRUCTOR?

I became a Broga instructor to share the benefits that I have personally received from Yoga with other guys. By making it man-specific, more Men will feel comfortable to try a Men’s yoga class instead of being intimidated being a beginner walking into a studio for the first time.

WHAT SONG GETS YOUR CLASS PUMPED DURING THE H.I.I.T. SECTION?

A little local flavor or usually some AC/DC like “You Shook me all Night Long”.

IN ADDITION TO BROGA®/YOGA WHAT OTHER FITNESS AND HOBBIES DO YOU ENJOY?

Baseball, Hiking, Concerts, Movies and time with Friends and Family.

WHAT IS THE RATIO OF MEN TO WOMEN IN YOUR CLASS?

My Broga® class is offered for men only, so it’s 100% male.

Broga Instructor Profile: Karen DeTemple

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Karen DeTemple

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A Broga® INSTRUCTOR?

To inspire men to find their mat.

WHAT SONG GETS YOUR CLASS PUMPED DURING THE H.I.I.T. SECTION?

It’s always a song from The Black Keys! I ask for suggested and my students always yell out Black Keys and they get cranky if I plan another song.

HAVE YOU RUN INTO ANY MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT BROGA® AND HOW HAVE YOU RESPONDED?

People think it is only for men so I always need to be sensitive about gender identity.

WHERE DO YOU TEACH BROGA® AND WHAT IS YOUR CLASS SCHEDULE?

I teach at 10am on Saturday at Borealis Community yoga. And privates too.

IN ADDITION TO BROGA®/YOGA WHAT OTHER FITNESS AND HOBBIES DO YOU ENJOY?

I love working with kettle bells and primal moves. They pair very well with the yoga practice.

WHAT IS THE RATIO OF MEN TO WOMEN IN YOUR CLASS?

My Class is 95% Men and 5% Women.

What to Do When Life Asks You to Keep Moving

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keep moving, never give up, Broga Yoga, strength, one way, yoga, expansion

“I don’t think I can go any further” was what went through my mind when I went running yesterday. I checked in with my breath, my body, and the energizing Citizen Cope song in my ear and decided to at least finish the song. Before I knew it, I had traveled two more miles than I thought I could go! Possibly, you’ve had a similar experience of pushing beyond your perceived limits, your edge, only to emerge stronger. Maybe you don’t push yourself, and backing down or giving up has been your pattern. There’s a perceived comfort in the discomfort found on either path.

Clarity comes for me when I run, hit the mat, or work out. Basically anytime I apply a singular focus, and really check in, tuning out the distractions of life. During this particular run, I gained needed clarity on some ways life was asking me to expand, be more flexible, and to show up ready for action. I’ve essentially been waiting to make the turn onto a one-way road for quite some time and it is time to leave the intersection.

Life is constantly begging me to expand, become more flexible. When I resist and become rigid, something always forces an opening. I’ve jokingly said this year is the year I “let go or get dragged.” Recently I had an experience of letting go, offering forgiveness, and the freedom which resulted was powerful. Seemingly since that very moment, I’ve felt a pull towards moving forward, towards more action, and an expansion overall. I’ve felt the familiar pull before, I just always allowed something to hold me back. Now I have the space and the freedom.

While running, when I realized I was still going beyond my intended limit, the biggest smile took over my face, followed by my body. The feeling of strength, belief, and the clarity was exhilarating. I was okay, I was actually stronger than I thought. The sound of feet on pavement, the fullness of the exhale as you move to the final relaxation on your mat, the clank of the weights crashing down after the last rep, the victory groan you let escape as you reach your goal all encompass the universal experience found when we agree to show up and stay the course. Those tastes of victory, even if intermingled with “failures,” can be the greatest motivators for focused forward motion.

I can’t even count the times I have said, “I don’t think I can handle one more thing.” Each time I face a challenge head on, push a little harder, fold a little deeper, even open my heart to someone, I always learn something: I CAN. Muscles can be retrained and strengthened, new neuronal pathways can be carved in the mind and body, belief patterns can change, and our hearts can expand to hold and offer even more compassion than we thought possible.

It’s like I tell the students in Broga® Yoga classes: to fill their lungs and then sip in just a little more. I tell my training clients to check in with their body and go a little farther than the mind says they can, until they find their second wind. Same idea. When we show up and open up, we can expand to meet any demand placed upon us, or find room in our hearts when we thought it impossible.

How can you expand to meet life’s demands? Where do you need to push just a bit harder? How can you connect to your inherent, untapped strength? Leave the intersection…the horizon awaits.

Broga Instructor Profile: Daniel Gonzalez

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Broga Instructor Daniel Gonzalez
Daniel Gonzalez is a trained Broga® Instructor, in Corona, CA, who is currently earning his 200 hour RYT certificate. He is dedicated to helping others find their own practice and to meet their fitness goals through yoga. 
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A BROGA® INSTRUCTOR?
After taking a trip to Seattle, I came across a men’s only class  It’s actually why I went to Seattle, to take part in this men’s only class. It got me thinking about how yoga is delivered to men in general. I often looked around at the studio I practice at and saw maybe myself, and two other guys. That led me on a Google quest, and I came across Broga®. I watched the videos and it resonated with my physical needs. Before yoga I took part in Insanity and P90X. This was a great way to marry the two things I love. With that I knew that this was a great way to get other men into a practice. To show them yoga isn’t about flexibility, it’s about the body foremost and the mind. Who doesn’t want a full body workout?
WHAT SONG GETS YOUR CLASS PUMPED DURING THE H.I.I.T. SECTION?
That’s a tough question because I love music, and have an extensive playlist. My favorite song that gets people moving during the HIIT section is anything by Wolfmother, especially the song Woman
HAVE YOU RUN INTO ANY MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT BROGA® AND HOW HAVE YOU RESPONDED?
I didn’t run into any misconceptions, instead I ran into a lot of curiosity. This was so great, as people at the studio wanted to know more. Once they heard they were hooked. 
WHERE DO YOU TEACH BROGA® AND WHAT IS YOUR CLASS SCHEDULE?  ANY SPECIAL EVENTS PLANNED FOR BROGA® AT YOUR STUDIO?
I teach at Yoga Den Health Spa in Corona, California. I teach Broga® Tuesday’s 6:30AM, Thursday’s 9:30AM, and Friday’s at 6:00PM. No specials or promotions for Broga® at the moment. We are working on offering a Broga® class for the local police department. Getting Broga® out to the community one step at a time.
IN ADDITION TO BROGA®/YOGA WHAT OTHER FITNESS AND HOBBIES DO YOU ENJOY?
I enjoy working out, and helping other people meet their fitness or health goals. The things that keep me motivated are the simple things in life. I play the guitar, and am learning how to play the violin again. If I am not involved in musical adventures then I am out in the mountains, desert, enjoying my friends and family. I try and keep a balance in life.

Broga Instructor Profile: Jonathan Green

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Chuck Raffoni, caught up with Broga® Yoga Instructor, Jonathan Green, to get a sense of how Broga is going for him. Here’s their exchange.
Why did you decide to become a Broga® Instructor? 
I decided to become a Broga instructor because it takes everything I love about both fitness and Yoga and combines them. It maintains that breath is important in movement, but takes out a lot of the fluff associated with most Yoga classes and leaves you with a badass functional workout.
What Song gets your class pumped up during the H.I.I.T. Section?
I enjoy switching up the music from class to class but for my H.I.I.T. I like to throw anything with a higher beats per minute count from where we are just to subtly let the mind know that its time to move a little faster. 
Have you run into any misconceptions about Broga® and how have you responded?
When people see my Broga flyers, I am regularly asked if this is a “real workout.” Many people have the notion that yoga and a hard workout are two separate things. I practice Broga and Yoga in my free time and am able to show people by inviting them to my classes or to practice with me that this is indeed hard. I enjoy the big, strong people who think they are in great shape who are then absolutely humbled by a Broga class.
The other misconception is that its only for men. I tell anyone who is willing to come in and do their best that Broga is right for them.

Where do you teach and what is your class schedule?   Do you have any special events or promotions COMING UP?

I teach at the JCC in Albany, NY. There are always other promotional discounts depending on the time. Please email me at jgfitness518@gmail.com to ask for specific promotional details.
In addition to Broga/Yoga what other fitness and hobbies do you enjoy?
I greatly enjoy weight lifting and regularly compete in endurance athletic events such as Spartan Races. I also am an avid volleyball player, but I enjoy playing all sports.
What is the ratio of men to women in your class?
My classes have been about 50-50 men to women. I have an enthusiastic regular group full of individuals who like to come and work hard. I tell both men and women there is no reason to be intimidated and that the classes push anyone to work towards their best.
I invite anyone to check out my pose of the day section at www.instagram.com/jgfitness518 for some starter work. Also for private personal training or yoga work check me out at http://www.albanyjcc.org/fitness/jon-green/
Broga Instructor Jonathan Green - reverse warrior

“The Legend” is the Best Yoga Mat on the Market: A Review

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Broga® Yoga President and Co-Founder, Adam O’Neill, reviews what he believes to be the best yoga mat on the market and shares an exclusive, limited time discount for the “Yoga for Men” online store.

“The Legend” is.

 

I sweat like a horse in yoga classes. (Hot yoga is out of the question. Read: “hydroplaning on puddles of perspiration”.)

It’s sort of a running joke among members of the Broga team, but as far as I know my sweat issue isn’t something to worry about. This Greatist article does a good job of making us “sweaters” feel better with some good info. But don’t read that yet. Stay with me…

Over the years, we’ve received yoga mats from tons of existing and up-and-coming mat companies. Some focus on men, some are designed for “everyone”, some focus on cushion, some on grip, some on socially responsible materials (for example, we have a ton of respect for the products and people over at Kharma Khare).

“And as it turns out, when you design a mat with the pure intention of making something that is simply great for practicing yoga on, you end up with something that is simply great for practicing yoga on. And isn’t that the point of a yoga mat?”

Some mats are designed to be easily transported, or easily sold (inexpensive), or folded or rolled in a unique way, or show you where your hands and feet should go with little images and maps. Some come with customizable prints or themed carrying shoulder bags. Some are status symbols because of their cost and the brand that makes them.

But in my experience, no (other) mat that I’ve ever used has been designed with an uncompromising focus on its fundamental raison de etre: practicing yoga. And as it turns out, when you design a mat with the pure intention of making something that is simply great for practicing yoga on, you end up with something that is simply great for practicing yoga on. And isn’t that the point of a yoga mat?

We’ve known and interacted with the guys at Yoga for Men numerous times, and we have a ton of respect for them. So when I saw that they’d created a yoga mat, it piqued my interest immediately and I ordered one.

It arrived a few days later in a simple brown box – no frills.

Before I opened the box, I noticed that it was heavy. Very heavy. I haven’t weighed it, but it feels like it weighs almost twice as much as other mats. But the weight was not a turn off for me. In fact, my first thought was more like, “holy sh*t, this is going to be awesome.” You know that feeling of holding an electronic device that seems lighter than it should? How it feels cheap, almost fragile? And by contrast the premium version of the thing, whatever it is, is often heavier – feels stronger, better? Well, this felt like the “premium thing.”

thelegend

But was it?

Yes. Completely.

I rolled it out that day and did a short practice at home. I noticed that unlike many other mats, it didn’t have a strong smell nor a “you have to use it for a while to break it in” chemical film on it. It was nearly odorless.

And it was big. Really big. Longer and wider than any mat I’ve ever used, a welcome experience for a 6’2″, 225lb dude who, like I said, sweats a lot.

My impression of “The Legend” by that point was positive, but there’s no substitute for a rigorous field test, so a few days later I put it through the ultimate challenge: a Broga® Yoga class.

Wanting to give this mat an honest assessment, I decided to see how far into the practice I could get without putting my trusty, absorbent, grippy mat towel over the top. But, to my surprise, I never needed the towel. Turns out, the Yoga for Men guys have an exclusive deal with creators of an impressively effective patent-pending wicking material that forms the top layer of “The Legend.”

Through the duration of the practice, the mat felt stable, cushy, and, I daresay, inspired.

So, in summary, here are my thoughts:

  • “The Legend” is expensive, but it’s worth it. For less than the cost of your cable bill, or cell phone bill, you can make an investment in yourself and your practice, with a very high quality product that is well designed to do the job it’s meant to do.
  • You won’t need to buy a mat towel to go over it (saving you $40-60).
  • Grip, cushion, and moisture-wicking all in one place.

IMPORTANT: Please know this, we’ve never done a review like this before and we wouldn’t have become a ‘rep’ for this mat unless it was the best mat, in our opinion, for men, on the market – which we believe it is. With such a steep price tag, the “burden of proof” is very high, but I am thoroughly impressed and recommend this mat with 100% confidence.

I shared this review with the Yoga for Men team and asked if they wanted to offer any sort of promotional discount to the Broga community. They did, so here it is…

Exclusive Discount!

For the next six days – now, through Monday, November 30th at 11:59pm, you can use code – Broga25to get $25 off of “The Legend” mat… and $25 off of any Bhujang style item in your cart (besides art-wear and logo-wear) at the Yoga for Men online store.

Thoughts?
What’s your favorite yoga mat? Have you tried “The Legend”? Please let us know in the comments below.

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