Pret-a-Reporter

Hollywood's Burgeoning Fitness Trend: Bro Yoga ("Broga")

Illustration by Jon Westwood

Nearly a third of U.S. adults practicing yoga are men.

Call it the revenge of the desk jockeys. When Charlie Gogolak, exec producer on the upcoming Tina Fey starrer Whiskey Tango Foxtrot and the Amazon series Patriot, had back problems, he turned to yoga — specifically, his future wife’s Silver Lake studio Rise Hot Yoga. "I thought I was in pretty good shape, but after sitting at a desk for years, any structural issues show up more," he says. "Yoga stretches things back out."

The number of men doing yoga, or "broga," has exploded during the past five years — to nearly a third of the 15 million practicing U.S. adults, says the L.A.-based Statistic Brain Research Institute — partly as a necessary digitalage corrective. "We stare down at our cellphones, iPads or a script all the time, and that has an effect," says Gogolak. Adds Aimee Garvey, a Hancock Parkbased yoga instructor, "Often wives bring men in."

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For dudes, who tend to be less flexible in their hips and shoulders, classes like Stiff Guy Yoga at Equinox are gaining popularity, according to WeHo yogini Brent Laffoon. "Yoga’s not really about being flexible," he says. "It’s about finding your edge and learning to work there." Garvey adds that type As are drawn to the physical side but eventually find the mental aspect more challenging. "They have to learn to sit still, which can be hard, and to disengage from media," she says. "You can’t look at your smartphone in downward dog."

This story first appeared in the Jan. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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