Spotlight | Greg Cawley, BrikMan Yoga
inspiring men to look after themselves better
greg cawley teaches men how to look after themselves better.
After years of playing competitive football and running a business that was both physically and mentally demanding, Greg found yoga as a physical and mental release. He started BrikMan Yoga to show his male clients, many of whom are tradies, retirees and business owners, that yoga is for anyone who wants more strength, mental clarity and focus.
Many women feel intimidated walking into a yoga class full of svelte, flexible women in Lululemon. Imagine how a man must feel! Greg’s classes are designed to be relaxed yet challenging, so men feel comfortable to stretch, breathe and just stop for an hour.
Name: greg cawley
Occupation: yoga instructor
Known For: sharing the power of yoga with men
Born: Wanganui, New Zealand
Local Since: 2015
First things first: why toowoomba?
I have been in Toowoomba full time since 2015 but have been visiting regularly since 2013. Prior to that I lived predominantly in Tauranga, New Zealand where I owned my own manufacturing businesses for 20 odd years. I moved to Toowoomba to be with my partner Michelle Harbrow, a Bowen and massage therapist.
What is BrikMan Yoga?
Brikman Yoga provides yoga classes for men only. The classes are designed and specifically catered for men’s bodies and men's physical limitations.
Walking into a yoga studio can be a little intimidating for a man, so I provide an environment where men can get together, enjoy each other’s company and enjoy all the benefits that yoga has to offer. Most men are less flexible than women so I design a class that is better suited to men – more strength and endurance based. I do this in part because I am not particularly flexible myself, but also because I want men to feel at home in a class where the instructor is not that different to themselves.
The aim is to get more men into yoga and encourage men to be a little more mindful of their body. Increasing men's physical and mental wellbeing is my goal.
What have you learned about running a business in Toowoomba?
Everyone says that Toowoomba takes time, and I've certainly found this to be true.
Kicking off a men’s-only yoga business is a bit of a hard gig anywhere! I have been really lucky in my business to have my partner Michelle referring her massage clients to me. On top of that word-of-mouth here is really good. I also offer something unique and anything improving mental and physical health for men seems to be much needed within the community.
I get the sense that once you gain acceptance and trust here in Toowoomba the community reciprocates with their loyalty and will invest in themselves and their wellbeing.
What does an average day look like for you?
My days vary depending on what classes I'm taking but a snapshot would be getting up at 6.30 to go for a mountain bike ride or a walk up Table Top. Stop in for a coffee at any of our excellent cafes and delis in town. Attend to business and marketing matters at home in the office. Maybe do a little bit of cooking (I'm no chef but I can cook a decent curry). Take 1-2 yoga classes, and I’m normally tucked up in bed by 8.30 or 9.00pm.
What does your ideal Toowoomba weekend look like?
On the Saturday, I’m up early and take a yoga class, followed by a coffee and then home to do some bits and pieces. In the evening, I’ll head out for dinner at any of our amazing restaurants. On Sunday, it’s either a sleep in or up early to beat the heat and mountain biking for a few hours. The rest of the day is recovering followed by maybe a BBQ at home.
Only a Toowoomba local would know…
How good our mountain bike tracks are here! I really believe Toowoomba is one of Austraila’s best kept secrets – Toowoomba has a great lifestyle and climate.
FAVOURITE SPOT TO:
PERK UP: in the yoga studio!
EAT: Biriyani Hut for Indian, Dee’s for Thai food and either Little Viet Bep or Original Saigon for Vietnamese.
CATCH UP: Deli Delicious or Travellers Coffee House or Milk and Honey for a coffee. I’ve also just discovered a cool little bar in town, Bar Wunder. It’s really relaxed and a little quirky, has great beer and is dog friendly! Although I don’t have a dog, watching them is fun.
BE INSPIRED: I’m inspired each time I take a class for these cool guys who turn up each week. They/we all have our struggles and the progress and effort is truly inspiring. These are ordinary guys doing the extraordinary, grunting and laughing, sweating and complaining, but loving the challenge.
See Greg’s BrikMan Yoga session times here – choose from a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday class time.