“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.”


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.

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

Personal Broga® Yoga Coaching now Online

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Father and Son Broga

Whether you’re a brand new beginner, or an experienced yoga practitioner looking for some new inspiration and a fresh approach, private yoga training can be one of the best ways to develop or refine your own practice.

Historically, a student’s choice of private yoga instructor has been limited to the teachers that lived in their town, but easy-to-use technologies now make it possible for students to work with any teacher, anywhere. 

Broga® Yoga instructors are some of the most competent, dedicated, effective yoga teachers in the world (in our humble opinion), so we’re very pleased to announce that starting now, you can work directly, personally, with them through our new Online Coaching System.

Broga’s top instructor, Creator and Co-Founder, Robert Sidoti, will be the first to offer his time to a very limited group of private clients each month.

According to Robert, “the opportunity to help more folks find a practice that is truly customized for their bodies through personal, direct online communication with an instructor is immense and very exciting. I’m looking forward to getting started!”

In the coming months, we’ll be introducing a hand-selected group of top Broga® Instructors to the line-up of online personal coaches.

For pricing and more information on the online coaching process, please have a look at the online coaching page.

Personal Online Broga® Yoga Coaching: More information and registration

Please direct any questions to team@brogayoga.com or feel free to leave a comment below.


You are awesome.

Don’t stop… belieeevin!

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You’ve probably heard that most people bail on their New Year’s Resolutions by the end of January (which is getting close).


So we wanted to remind you of a few things:


You can do it.


It won’t always be easy.


Sometimes you’ll want to quit… but you can choose to keep going!


Celebrate every step forward. Celebrate progress. 


Don’t be too hard on yourself… but don’t be too easy on yourself either!


Whatever you’ve wanted to improve about your life, believe that it’s possible, then keep on keepin’ on.


We’ll see you on the trail. 




-Team Broga 

Let’s Start With What You Need

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I recently came across a forum topic entitled “Let’s start with the definition of yoga!” Some of the conversation was insightful and interesting. As it turned out, the objective was not to establish a concrete definition as the title would have you believe. But when I first read it in my inbox, I had an immediate reaction. I thought, “No! Let’s not START with the definition of yoga. Let’s start with what YOU NEED.”



As you well know, there are hundreds (thousands?) of books about yoga – what it is, how it works, what it does for you, the history, lineages, etc. There are also many different schools of thought about “proper alignment” and whether or not “Western yoga” has bastardized and co-opted yoga’s true “essence”. While interesting academically/historically, many of these conversations miss the point in my view.


I look at this way. Yoga is an art and science for improving the quality of human lives. Put another way, it’s value lies in how much it helps you improve your life. Much of yoga is very old. Most of it is very wise. But it doesn’t matter. It’s more simple than that. Yoga is ultimately about your now. 


If the practice of yoga makes you feel better, then yoga is good. Period. End of conversation.


You could spend a lifetime studying the sutras and going on pilgrimages (and that’s totally great if that’s what you want to do) or you can go to a couple of yoga classes here and there every few weeks. You can do a full-on deep dive into the vast spiritual depths of yoga, or you can take three focused deep breaths while sitting at your computer at work.


The point is, the definition of yoga is irrelevant. What you need to make your life better is of ultimate relevance.


You need to:
  • breathe


You may need to:
  • to feel better in your body
  • gain strength
  • improve your circulation
  • lower high blood pressure
  • reduce stress
  • avoid injury
  • feel fulfilled
  • feel connected to a sense of purpose
  • and so on…


The practice of yoga, even for a few minutes each day, can help you identify, address, and develop what you need.


Then, when you’ve practiced yoga for a little while, you can define it for yourself.


Yoga is what it is to you.

Is Exercise Making You Fat?

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We all hear it. Losing weight is as simple as eating less and moving more. However, obesity rates continue to skyrocket and people are exercising themselves insane, thinking they are doing everything right with no results. More heath obsessed than ever, we are a nation paradoxically burdened with the highest levels of chronic disease. What gives?

We’ve created an abusive relationship with exercise, like a punishment used to torture the extra calories out of people who lacked the self-control or willpower to say no to that second cupcake. Not only is this a terrible way to connect to movement, but is far from the truth; forcing yourself on a 5 mile run to “burn off” those extra cookies is insane, and not at all intuitive. It doesn’t make sense to say that a piece of bread is the same as walking for 30 minutes, just because of the number of calories (defined as the amount of heat needed to raise 1 gram of water 1˚C ) are equivalent. Besides, we are meant to move, and move with pleasure. Just ask the children galloping around the playground, laughing and chasing each other, climbing trees and running up slides: our bodies were made to move.

 Although your 40 minute treadmill run inevitably burns some extra calories, it is such a small factor in overall weight loss. You could technically eat back those calories, and more, with one muffin. The stress that exercise creates within your system has been shown to tell your body to hold on to any excess weight. Intense, excessive exercise can negatively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, and lead to hypothyroidism, which is known to cause depression, weight gain, and digestive dysfunction.  If it thinks that you are running from a saber tooth tiger every morning, why would it wait to let go of your protective fat? Besides, calories are hardly the most important factor in weight balance. The “calories in, calories out” mantra is oversimplified and outdated. It is now clear that hormones are far more important in the storage and distribution of fat. All growth is primarily hormonal, even horizontal growth.

 However, this is not to say that you should not take up a sport, join a gym, or neglect your body, thinking that your hormones are completely out of your control. Exercise is important in many aspects, and can greatly improve all aspects of your health. However, instead of feeling like you need to guilt yourself into doing those 30 squats, find an activity that you love and find joy in. Lose the mindset that crossfit is better than weight lifting, that sprinting is better than jogging, that soccer is better than Frisbee, that one is better than the other. All types of movement will benefit your sanity, as long as you stay away from the highly toxic mindset that you MUST run every morning to keep off the excess fat. Take your recovery days, switch it up, and remember that it is not necessary to push your body to its absolute limits every single day. Less is more, and attitude is everything. Exercise smarter, not longer.



The World Doesn’t Revolve Around You (and that’s okay!)

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Headphones in, world out, I stood on the subway platform and stared mindlessly at the tracks. Something moved in the shadows, scurrying through the darkness.

I did a double take. What was that?


A mouse.


Of course, I was in an underground tunnel in the middle of the city. A second look over showed me that it was not alone; there were seven others in my direct view, weaving their way through the tracks. I stared in awe, looking around to see if anyone else was noticing these creatures. Blank stares and iPhone glued eyes told me that I was the only one. In the countless times I had taken the subway, I had never once realized that mice so visibly inhabited the station.

5607259711_e8fc14955b (1)

But that’s life, isn’t it? As lovely as it seems to think that there will always be someone to catch you when you fall, it is the face-slapping truth that ultimately, you are the person most responsible for yourself. Of course you can be there and support your friends and family, but no one will care for you as much as you. The strangers on the street do not care if you’re wearing your navy or grey suit, your kids hardly notice the new way that you styled your hair. You are not the only one that stood in front of the mirror mentally debating which t-shirt will help you make the best impression at your first Broga class, but rest assured you are the only one that cared. Everyone else was just focused on their own t-shirt choice, along with their own personal awareness. I can guarantee that there is nobody who lives their life simply to make you miserable.


Just like those mice, we are usually overlooked. But this is not meant to bring you down; in fact, quite the opposite. Realizing that you are not the center of the universe can free your soul. You realize that you can be that crazy person singing and dancing to the music in their head, because no one is putting you on a pedestal. You can let go of that anger you had towards that bus driver who didn’t wait the extra 15 seconds to let you on the bus. He was just doing his job, and would likely be a great person to grab coffee with.

Everyone else is too busy getting their boots to make sure that you brought your umbrella, so get out in the rain and dance. When you realize that self-interest is just that, you’ll learn to find delight in the mice on the subway.



The Hunt For Your Yoga

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Mention the word “Yoga” and your mind (unless you’re a Broga student) may conjure that classic Western misconception: rows of women stretching in colorful spandex while an instructor floats around the room, gently instructing the students to breathe, and open their hearts, and radiate positive energy. While this is accurate for some Yoga, there are many different types, varying from the cold (snowga), to the hot (Bikram), to the esoteric, to the spiritual, to the novel (laughter yoga), to the accessible (Broga), to the athletic. Seek information about “Yoga”, online or off, and you’ll be catapulted into this vast world of options with no map and no compass.

So, with new yoga teachers opening new yoga studios and offering new yoga styles all around the world, everyday, how do we, the students, find the yoga that will be best for us?  I mean, how do we efficiently sift through the websites and Yelp reviews and Facebook pages to find the right style, with the right teacher, at the right location, at the right time?


Kidding Around Yoga


Alex Klein, Alex Jaton, and Sven Ernst decided to answer these questions for all of us, by making the world of yoga more transparent and easier to navigate. They founded a site called YogaTrail, a site where yogis are able to “share their experiences and opinions, whether they’re looking for places to practice, people to practice with, teachers, resources to learn from, or just information.”


I took some time to check out the website for myself, and was not disappointed. The YogaTrail team has done a beautiful job of displaying information: looking up a yoga studio nearby in Toronto, I was given a small excerpt about the studio, along with a clear display of the prices of classes, amenities, class styles available, and the level of classes that are taught. I was able to glance at the checklist and see if I needed to bring my own mat, if they offered a Mysore class, and find out how much it would be for a drop-in class.

Teachers are rated on their articulation, friendliness, attentiveness, experience, personalization, and spirituality, so I was also able to make an informed decision about which teacher’s class to attend based on my preferences.

Body to Bliss Yoga

Body to Bliss Yoga



YogaTrail’s one minor shortcoming, if it has one, is simply its relative nascency. While they’ve done an impressive job aggregating tons and tons of information on Yoga Studios and classes around the world, the site’s major value for users will lie in the reviews and ratings provided by others. We all know that power of reviews as we make online shopping/purchasing/planning decisions, so in honor of the phenomenal work being done by the YogaTrail team and as an investment into the future usefulness of the site, review, review, review! If you have an experience, good or bad, share it (with honesty and equanimity of course), on YogaTrail.


Overall, YogaTrail is a brilliant idea (that I wish I’d thought of!), a tremendous tool that I’ll be sure to use in the years to come, and a great collection of information and ideas.


Oh, there is also a great subsection on yoga retreats, teacher trainings, and events, all of which are neatly presented and well organized you should be sure to check out.


Ajalila Gardens


Make Your Own Medicine

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Staying healthy seems to get more expensive each day. We are constantly bombarded with a new Amazonian superfood, green tea metabolism booster, or immune system gold star power drink that promises to improve our lives twofold. And if marketing wasn’t enough, these dietary supplements, because not regulated by the FDA are able to make various weakly (or not at all!) supported claims, just to get them off the shelves.



Probiotics fall into this category. Amongst the cloud of consumerism and capitalism, the benefits of taking probiotics are through the roof, as the healthy bowel is home to 100 trillion microorganisms, all of which work together to keep your gut in check: controlling pathogens, aiding in nutrient absorption, and stabilizing immune function. So how can we fuel our bodies with these wonderful microflora, without having to sift through the shelves of expensive health food stores?


Photo Courtesy of HealthGaugeEven cats can get weighed down by the supplement market.

Photo Courtesy of HealthGauge
Even cats can get weighed down by the supplement market.


Grow your own!


Lactobacillus is easier grown than said. With a head of cabbage, a spoonful of salt, and some patience, you can easily make your own probiotics. Fresh cabbage is already full of the bacteria needed for lactofermentation to occur. Fermentation allows the cabbage to be preserved for months (the staple scurvy preventer for sailors and explorers!), making it easier to eat seasonally. In addition, the cabbage becomes more digestible than it was previously, eliminating the naturally occurring goitrogens, which tend to block the production of thyroid hormone and ultimately slow metabolism. Fermented cabbage is also higher in B12, making it ideal for those of us who stay away from animal products. Save money, increase nutrition, and give your taste buds a treat, in four easy steps.

1. Wash your cabbage and grab a knife. Slice the cabbage into small pieces, trimming out the core. Smaller pieces are ideal, as an increase in surface area will help make the process more efficient. Throw this all in a big mixing bowl.

2. For every liter of cabbage, add a teaspoon of salt. My cabbage worked out to be about two liters, but vegetables come in many different sizes! Mix in any variety of onions, carrots, greens, spices (fennel, dill, coriander, dill). Just try to keep it under 20 percent of the total.

3. Start massaging the vegetables. Really get into it, and knead it like dough. It should start getting soft, as the salt draws out the water through osmosis.

4. Wait about 30 minutes, and massage again. The juices should really be flowing now. Pack it into a mason jar, about ¾ of the way full. Make sure the shreds are completely submerged in the liquid, but don’t pack it to the brim, or the expanding gases will crack the jar.

5. Cover the jar tightly and let it sit, room temperature, for 3 days. You may have to push the cabbage back under the liquid to aid in preservation and prevent the growth of mold. After that, move it to the refrigerator or a cellar. In four more days, it should be ready to eat.


Keep in mind that due to variables in temperature, altitude, humidity, and ingredients, none of these instructions are set in stone. The best way to figure out times is to simply taste your fermenting cabbage. No worries, not much can go wrong. Bubbling, foam, and white scum are all part of the process, and it is still safe to eat, as the sauerkraut is preserved by lactic acid. Any mold can simply be scooped off. However, use your best judgment.


Don’t skimp on quality! Fresh, organic cabbage is worth the extra few dollars. Head out to the farmer’s market, and get your cabbage seasonally, all the while supporting your local farmer and making connection with your food. Enjoy the process, and feel free to ask questions, and let me know how your sauerkraut turns out!

photo credit: sashafatcat

Your Four-Minute Mile

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In April 1954, it was said that it was impossible to run a mile in under four minutes. Scientists and doctors said that the human body could not physically achieve such a feat; it would be too much stress on the body, and one would die trying. And so formed a public consensus that it could not be done.


To this day, there have been 20,000 athletes who have done just that, running 5280 feet in less than four minutes. What changed?


May 6th, 1954. Meet Roger Bannister, Englishman. He sharpens his racing spikes and rubs them with graphite, waiting for the wind to calm, waiting to run his race. At 6pm, the race begins. 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds later, it is over. Rodger Bannister has crossed the finish line, becoming the first athlete to break the four minute barrier.

It was hardly a matter of physical training that set him apart. His biggest difference was in his mindset, not scared of the professionals that said he couldn’t. He knew that possibilities are limitless, and that thoughts become beliefs. He believed in himself, put his mind to it, and achieved.


Photo Credit: addedentry


Just to prove how powerful the mind is, let’s look at Bannister’s second record: the record for holding a record for the shortest amount of time. In just 42 days, John Landly completed a 3:57.9 mile. Roger got the ball rolling, and pushed the world to believe that the sub-4 minute mile is completely possible.


Looking at this athletic feat in a broader sense, we find that the common denominator of success is mindset.


My coach always put it like this. Calling us into a huddle, he would instruct one of us to try to pick up the volleyball. When the ball was easily lifted into the air, he would pick it up and set it back on the floor, instructing again that we must try to pick up the ball; that there is a huge difference between attempt and success. You cannot aim for mediocrity, your eye must always be on the prize.


That prize is worth it, and its journey is unique to everyone. Your four minute mile is far from impossible, if you just start with your mind.

Photo Credit: The World According to Marty

Photo Credit: The World According to Marty


“The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win” – Roger Bannister



Falling For Real Change – How to Get Things Done

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I know I’m not alone here, but my favorite part of living in New England has always been the change of seasons.  I love that just when we get used to (or sick of) one way of life, that’s exactly when Mother Nature switches things up on us.

Changes that are beyond our control cause us to be reactive, to adapt, and we usually manage quite well.  So why is it that changes that we have the luxury of initiating ourselves are so hard for us to embrace?  If we know, or have heard, that a certain exercise might benefit us tremendously, why is it so hard to make time to try it?  If we want something, like more energy, or weight loss, why is it so hard to do what it takes to get it?  If we need to save money, why is it so difficult to resist buying things we don’t really need?  When we understand logically that a behavior is harmful and we want to quit, why is it so difficult to stop?

There are many answers to these questions, and theories as to why we have a hard time breaking old habits and forming new ones, but I think much of accomplishing real change boils down to how we think, and talk, about what we really want, and how we plan to get it.   Real, sustainable change comes from setting clear goals that are actionable, measurable and realistic.self-deceit

Day in and day out I hear people tell me that they “want to be in better shape.”  When I ask what that means, 99% of the time I get a blank stare.  When asked to define “better shape” most people have given it little or no actual thought.  I ask them to redefine their goals by talking only about real tangible things like “well, I’d like to walk up the stairs from the T and not be out of breath,” or “I’d like to be able to run a mile” or “I think I should be able to touch my toes.”

If you would like to “get in shape” that’s great, but it’s not an action, and it’s not an actionable goal.  You do not walk outside and “do shape.”  That’s unfortunately not how life works.  You walk, run, bike, stretch or otherwise move to “get in shape” but you have to know what that means for you, you have to think about it.

Consider this: If “being in shape” means being able to touch your toes, then how will you make that happen?  Will you wake up one day and it just do it? Not likely, will you seek out exercises that are known to increase flexibility and try them, now that’s a good idea, but how often will you go, and how will you know if you’ve made progress? Do you wish to touch your toes by tomorrow, or by winter?

Think about something you have been trying to accomplish and apply the steps below:

  1. Figure out what you really want to do in simple actionable words.
  2. Set a time frame, when do you wish to be able to do this by?
  3. Break your goal down into individual actions that you can measure.
  4. Work hard and track your progress, consider sharing your goal and progress with others.  Studies have shown that people with strong support networks have more success meeting goals and sustaining change.
  5. Celebrate – reward yourself for progress at each step along the way, but with something unrelated to your goal.  If you are trying to give up soda now is not the time to have one because you have gone a week without.  Reward yourself with something healthy and unrelated, like new music, a Broga class, a new item of clothing, or a beer with a friend (unless of course beer is what you are trying to change!)
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://brogayoga.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/JenJasmin.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Jennifer Jasmin, R.D. is a nutritionist and freelance writer living in Watertown, Massachusetts. She holds a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College, and a Graduate Certificate in Dietetics from Simmons College. In her work, Jen strives to help people find balance between real nutrition facts, and realistic health and fitness goals. Her background also includes over 15 years working in the food service industry, which adds to her unique perspective on eating well. She shares her insights, personal cooking lessons, and recipe ideas on her blog at: www.skeletonsinmykitchen.com. In addition to writing, Jen shares her passion about healthy eating in casual, approachable nutrition seminars and workshops in both corporate and community settings. To Jen, the journey to wellness is incredibly personal, and should be approached in a way that is individual, actionable and unpretentious. [/author_info] [/author]