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All The Rage: Dirty Yoga

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Two words: Dirty Yoga. Wait, what? It’s definitely a new fitness trend – but it’s not what it sounds like – you wont find any mud or dirt involved. Dirty Yoga is an online yoga class that you can take at home, on your own time. There’s something pretty relaxing about that.  The online program delivers ten fresh workouts each week and allows you to focus on the yoga must haves: strength, flexibility, cardio and stamina. The Manual spoke to Susi Rajah and Jess Gronholm, founders of Dirty Yoga.

So why Dirty Yoga?

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We’re just upfront about being “dirty.” It avoids hypocrisy. We believe in doing yoga any way you can, no matter where you may be on the path to enlightenment.We make the best online yoga we can, but we don’t pretend we can enlighten you, or turn you into a better person—that kind of stuff is up to you.

 What makes Dirty Yoga different? 

 Our workouts are time efficient, delivering as much bang-for-your-buck as possible, and they can be done anytime, anywhere. The program is also different because it’s yoga-designed for the online medium. Our yoga is streamlined and free of distractions. A lot of other online yoga providers just film studio yoga classes and upload them, along with all the distractions and delays of a live studio class—one of which is that the teacher is teaching the class, not you.

Are guys wary about yoga in general?

Yes, and for good reason. In the mainstream media, yoga is the domain of the joyful and serene women who live in feminine product ads. And the yoga industry itself doesn’t help us out much either. Every second yoga studio website features a picture of a woman in a full backbend, and if they do feature a guy anywhere, it’s a shirtless guy in tight lycra shorts, and an even tighter ponytail, doing an extreme yoga pose that most men (or women for that matter) will never be able to do. On the one hand it doesn’t even look like exercise, on the other it looks too hard for a human being to do.

What are the benefits for guys?

Men probably need yoga more than women do, as flexibility doesn’t come as easily to them. For most men, if they keep going without yoga or some kind of flexibility focus as they age, at some point something is probably going to break.

How did you get started? 

To create Dirty Yoga we first had to rid ourselves of a lot of conventional thinking—the conventions of traditional yoga that make it hard for people to practice yoga, or, in some cases, stop them from doing it altogether.

To that end, we started with the name “Dirty Yoga”, and then we were stuck for a while as we tried to figure out how Dirty Yoga could do everything we wanted it to do within the constraints of a bricks and mortar studio. Of course, it couldn’t. The economic and physical limitations of a studio will always mean that classes can’t be held when they’re convenient for you.

When did the idea come along? 

The concept kept building and developing over several months but the idea for Dirty Yoga to be a virtual studio actually occurred in a dream.

How long did it take to build the business and website? 

We were about eight months in planning, and because we wanted to keep complete control, six months in building the website. We launched in April 2012, but we were still in beta until Jan 2013. It was then that we launched the full Dirty Yoga program and website.

How often should guys participate to see results?

Like all forms of exercise, some is better than none, more is better than some, and the most important thing is that you keep doing it regularly. If you’re doing a lot of other exercise than yoga, even once a week will benefit you (and your other forms of exercise). Dirty Yoga is a perfect strength-and-flexibility counterpart to running or other forms of cardio, and used that way, should be done two to three times a week. If using Dirty Yoga as your only form of exercise, then four times a week is a decent minimum.

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