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We interviewed the bro who came up with yoga mats for bros

Brogamats‘ is a company that makes yoga accessories that caters to the modern day yoga bro – that includes lady bros! Their collection includes yoga mat bags that look like a log, a lumberjack check flannel, a quiver of arrows, and the best of all, a giant burrito. Today he talks about where he got the idea for Brogamats and what new designs we can expect soon. [read our original post about Brogamats here.]

Can you fill us in on how Brogamats got started?
Brogamats started when I was walking to yoga class with my girlfriend one day in San Francisco. I admitted that it felt a little weird as a dude to carry a pink yoga mat to a chick-dominated sport, like yoga, and joked ‘what if we could make a yoga mat that looked like chopped wood?’

‘What if we could make a yoga mat that looked like blueprints!’ she shot back. ‘Or a recently hunted deer!’

‘Or a huge fish!’

And then we just kept cracking each other up with funny objects I could have on my back that would help re-masculate the male yoga practitioner. Thus Brogamats was born.

Were you surprised by the product’s instant popularity, especially on Reddit? Speaking of Reddit, how helpful was the site in making Brogamats a huge success?
I was surprised when people loved Brogamats. I had been obsessing over these designs for almost 9 months, and was pretty reluctant to show the world.

But when I confided in an old high school friend to get his opinion on the new site, he went ahead and posted it on reddit without asking me – to the ‘shut up and take my money’ subreddit. He was about to post it to the yoga subreddit, when I intervened and posted as the founder. He basically pushed me to release it. And I’m very grateful that he did.

Reddit was an amazing place to launch a new product. I was met with a title wave of positive support from the core audience of people I was trying to appeal to – in this case, yoga fans. They loved Brogamats, both men and women alike. And they had tons of constructive feedback for me, such as an interior pocket for keys or the need to design extra room for a water bottle. Those first 400 redditors were critical in helping me understand my cooky idea. From that original Reddit post I learned how to evolve my idea but most importantly that people actually wanted a giant burrito yoga bag.

What was the most difficult part of developing a Yoga accessory line for bros?
The hardest part was walking the line between standing for men, without being too ‘bro’.  I didn’t want to appear like Brogamats was for men only, but rather an advocate for dudes to nut up and try yoga. Hence the epithet ‘Yoga mats for dudes. And women too’.

Right now yoga culture is catered to women, which makes sense, because there are more women doing yoga than men. Lululemon will make ads geared towards women. Yoga studios will send email blasts with flamboyantly-colored lotus petals to get women to sign up for classes. But yoga should be more inclusive. Anyone can do it, you don’t have to be a chick, or a staunch environmentalist to stretch out your body. I’m even trying to get my 70 year old Dad to try yoga, because he has backpain and limited flexibility.

That’s why the Brogamats mantra says that ‘yoga practitioners defy simple categorization, and include people of all walks of life, all genders, all Lululemon budgets, and all levels of earthy pretentiousness’. I want to create yoga products that include dudes too.

What were the designs you considered/are considering for the yoga mats? Any hilarious ideas you came up with, other than the giant burrito?
Coming soon are the Ninja bag, The Shark Bag, and the Monkey Astronaut Space Capsule.

We heard you’re making a Yoga action figure. Can you tell us a bit more about it and the upcoming Kickstarter campaign for it?
I don’t want to give away too much before the Kickstarter campaign begins. But the yoga action figure will be the first of its kind, and will hopefully change hearts and minds and get more folks to try yoga that wouldn’t otherwise. Yoga is an incredible sport – it’s the antidote to many of our modern ailments like back pain from sitting at a computer all day. Hopefully this toy will convince some hesitant dudes to try it.