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Broga: Yoga for guys means more Radiohead, less Enya

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Dude, where's my yoga?

It's in Somerville, Mass., where a yoga class for men – called "broga"– is helping guys feel macho doing the downward dog.

It seems inevitable, doesn't it? Nowadays there are more kinds of yoga than there are butts in a yoga class. And we as a culture can't get enough of dude-tastic portmanteau wordplay – mancation, bromance, a whole new brocabulary, in fact.

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"We chose the name broga because it's funny, catchy and familiar. It lets men know this is for them," Adam O'Neill, the president and co-founder of broga, told MSN.

The thinking behind it: A lot of guys might want to try yoga but would be uncomfortable in classes taught and attended by women. Broga sessions are open to all, but they are "geared for guys," Mr. O'Neill said.

How so? For one, talk of chakras is kept to a minimum, with classes favouring "familiar language" over Sanskrit. And the music played in classes is what you might expect to hear in a garage, including the Black Keys, Radiohead and Bob Dylan.

"The class focuses on balance, building strength and an awareness of breath," said Robert Sidoti, broga's co-founder, who teaches the classes. "A side benefit becomes increased flexibility."

And since many men who do not have the flexibility required to perform the poses one might find in a traditional yoga class, broga offers exercises that are specific to students' lives.

"A lot of guys come here after years and years of sports, but their bodies are out of whack. Some have cement shoulders or really tight hips," Mr. Sidoti said, adding that broga's poses and movements are geared toward men's lifestyles, whether they're sitting in a office chair all day or working as a carpenter.

However ridiculous its name might be, broga's ultimate goal is a laudable one. "Broga is about men feeling better in their bodies. And taking an active, preventive role in their own lives," Mr. O'Neill said.

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Do men really need their own yoga classes?

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More

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