Until setting out on this blogging adventure I had never done hot yoga. I had avoided it simply because the idea of anything in a hot room did not sound like fun to me. But part of me felt that I should try it in order to give a more educated response to anyone who asks me about my thoughts on hot yoga. I'm glad I did. I started with Moksha Yoga Victoria.
I’ll admit, I was a little apprehensive; a bit nervous and a very self-conscious. But when I took a look at the classes offered I was a bit shocked. There was quite the variety; Moksha in 60, 75 and 90 minute classes, Moksha Flow, Moksha Music, Yin, Yin Yang, Hot Flow, Hot Moksha Flow and my favourite - Boarders (I love surfing and snowboarding). So where do you start?
Well, I am a big fan of yin yoga, so that’s where I started - something familiar. I also figured that since Yin is predominantly seated postures this could be a good way of testing the waters of yoga in a warmer room. While Yin is taught in a warm not hot class the temperature is still higher than traditional yoga studios. The temperature reminded me of doing yoga on the beach on a warm summer day.
Still a bit nervous I mustered up my courage and tried a 60 minute Moksha class. I gave myself permission to take Child’s pose or Savasana at any point necessary. Part of my nervousness was due to not knowing what the 40 postures practiced in Moksha. It didn’t really seem to matter. The instructor, Heather, gave easy to follow instructions on how to get in and out of postures and walked around helping people get the most of the posture. Most of the postures are similar to postures taught in Hatha yoga, the oldest form of yoga.
Apart for the need to wipe sweat off my face and being grateful I had a towel, the heat did not increase the difficulty of the class. I struggled with the same aspects of postures I usually do (I have weak arms that tire easily and a not so strong core).I also began to understand the addiction people have to hot yoga. I had the same exhilaration and endorphin high that I got from running. My lungs felt clearer; my spirit uplifted and an overall sense of accomplishment of doing good for my body swept over me. Not to mention the benefit of sweating assists the body in ridding itself from toxins.
For those new to Moksha yoga I highly recommend starting with the 60 minute Moksha class and work up to the 90 minute. Once comfortable with the 90 minute Moksha classes test the waters of the hot Moksha Flow or other classes offered.
What to WearI will admit that part of my aversion to hot yoga was the clothing; or lack of clothing to be more accurate. I normally practice yoga in a tank top and yoga tights or pants. Wearing nothing but short shorts and a sports bra was not appealing to me but I did it anyway. However other people did not. I was shocked that some women wore capris and tank tops. In my first three classes I tried a variety of clothing options Teeki leggings, Karma bras, and shorts. What I discovered was the less clothing that could stick to my sweaty body the better.
Some of my favourite options are:
Karma Charlotte Bra Karma Kelly Bandeau Tonic Moon Ray Tank
Teeki Mickey June Sun Short
K. Deere Bum Bum Short Tonic Pursuit Capri
For more suggestions on what to wear check out the Hot Yoga section of the online catalog
Our first feature studio is Moksha Yoga Victoria. Part of the Moksha Yoga International family, the Victoria studio offers a unique twist to the hot yoga scene. Their mission is simple, "We are a group of independent hot yoga studios committed to ethical, compassionate and environmentally conscious living, and believe that the benefits of yoga are limitless and accessible to all."
Moksha Yoga was founded by Ted Grand and Jessica Robertson and is built on the "7 pillars":
- Be healthy.
- Be accessible.
- Live Green.
- Sangha Support
- Reach Out.
- Live to Learn.
- Be Peace.
While most of the 7 pillars are fairly self-explanatory "Sangha Support", for me, needs a little more explanation. Sangha Support is about building community. Helping people step out of the busyness of their lives and connect with others in a meaningful way.
Similar to Bikram and Asthanga yoga, Moksha follows a set series of poses. That said, no two classes are exactly the same, each instructor brings their own flare and can chose to include or skip a pose or two. The basic format remains the same in each class:
- intention setting,
- standing series,
- seated series, and
- final savanasana.
The intention setting is where the instructors' personalities can really shine through as they impart words of inspiration to use on and off the mat. For example, one class I went to the intention was strength. Pilar, the instructor, spoke of finding our inner strength to not only face the challenges of the postures in class but taking that inner strength with us to face the challenges of our daily lives. A good reminder that yoga can be lived on and off the mat.
As with any style of yoga the instructors undergo specific training. The Moksha teacher training includes a one month intensive followed by an 11 month correspondence component giving instructors a total of 500 hours of training. At Moksha Yoga Victoria there are Moksha instructors and non-Moksha instructors. Only Moksha instructors can teach the classes designated as Moksha however there are other classes offered, such as Hot Flow, Yin, Boarders, that may or may not be taught by non-Moksha instructors.
So what should you wear?
Depends on your comfort level but keep in mind this is hot yoga so less is best. A few good options are:
For more options check out the Hot Yoga section of our website.
We are really happy to start selling Shakti activewear! Here's some info on them.....From Ana Bugarim Santos, owner Shakti Activewear:Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is my home. Since I was 13 years old I’ve been fascinated by eastern philosophy. Yoga and arts are my two passions and my background is in arts, publicity, and contemporary dance. I started teaching Hatha yoga in Brazil in 1995 and in 2003 I earned my Bikram Yoga Teacher Certification.Brazil is famous for colorful exotic bikinis, and in 1999 I started Gold Rio Swimwear, a bikini company, in the USA. For about 4 years I sold bikinis to surf shops on the east and west coast. But that wasn’t my passion. I always follow my heart so in the spring of 2003 I registered for the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles.The next nine weeks were going to be spent in a hot, sweaty room and I needed to wear something in between a bathing suit and an aerobic fitness outfit. So I came up with several colorful little side string shorts and tops. Since the first day of training my colleagues complimented my outfits. Some asked, knowing about Gold Rio Swimwear, if they could buy some outfits from me. That inspired me to consider a yoga wear line as most people at that time were still wearing long dark pants in a 100 degree yoga room. I looked around everyday and thought; “this room would look much better if people were wearing more colorful and comfortable outfits”.That September was the first Yoga Expo and Bishnu Gosh Yoga Competition and there were exhibitor booths available. I decided to set up a booth at the expo for my Gold Rio swimwear and with my new yoga wear line.I had to come up with a name for the yoga clothes as Gold Rio was better for the swim suits. I recalled back in 1992 when the first Earth Summit took place in Brazil. Leaders from different religions and philosophies from all over the world were there. A group of young people from Rio de Janeiro including myself volunteered to work with some charitable groups. I took part in a program that taught meditation and yoga in the slums of Rio.One of the program leaders was a female monk from India and by the end of the three month event she asked if I would like to receive a personal mantra for meditation and a spiritual name. I accepted so she gave me the mantra, which I should keep secret, and a spiritual name that I could use if I liked. The name was Shakti. I loved it and looking into the meaning of it, I liked it even more because of its meaning — female energy, female power.I know that other companies have been inspired to make similar outfits (some are making exactly the same designs and even present themselves as a line similar to Shakti). What a compliment! I’m proud to say that if you buy Shakti Activewear you are buying the original. And I promise that I will always try come up with new ideas, designs, styles and fun colors so you can bend, stretch, sweat, live and most of all to grow in your yoga path.Shakti Activewear is designed using the highest quality Lycra and Airfit Microfiber fabrics that cling to the body and absorb excess moisture. Our sweat through panels are made to allow heat to dissipate quickly keeping the body temperature cooler. Designed for active men and women, these tops and bottoms are perfect for yoga (hot yoga and core power yoga), pilates, biking, surfing, running, and other athletic activities. Simply put, Shakti Activewear is clothing for the modern day yogini. You will see yourself in a whole new light when you experience Shakti Activewear! Value yourself, enjoy life, and live healthy.