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.
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the different styles of yoga are? What about which studios practice which style? Or are you new to yoga and want to know what suits you best? Maybe you're just looking for a different yoga experience. Whatever the case, we hope our new blogging adventure will assist you in learning more about the Victoria, BC yoga community. In Victoria, BC we are privileged to have yoga practices of Ashtanga, Hatha, Iyengar, Moksha, Bhakti, Kirtan, Hot Yoga, Bikram's, Kundalini, Svaroopa and more.
Our goal is simple. We want to build a resource that celebrates the diversity of our yoga community and make recommendations on how to look good while you explore your own journey. Occasionally we may even venture into other forms of fitness such as Groove, Zumba and Bellyfit of course.
Along the way we will also keep you updated on the new product lines as they are released and any other important news such as sales, special events and classes offered at the store.
Keep coming back to see what we're up to and drop by the store and check out the beautiful clothes.
In March 2004 the Canadian designed and manufactured yoga/active wear company Tonic opened. Inspired by west coast life, Tonic provides today’s women with a lifestyle line that supports a healthy and active life.
Tonic clothing is fashionable and functional for all workouts; not just yoga. Simple and clean, Tonic’s style is for both urban living and athletics. It’s fit, function and fashion celebrates the union of inward and outward beauty.
There’s a reason to stop and take notice when a top pro, current or former, loves a yoga brand so much that she wants to bring it to tennis. Such is the story with Martina Hingis and Tonic.
Hingis was shopping and came across Tonic apparel. She liked what she saw and chose to wear it for an exhibition match at the 2010 Wimbledon. It was love from first swing. Hingis then sought out the brand to make tennis specific pieces. So just what does she find so appealing about this apparel?
Fit and function - The pieces look absolutely phenomenal on. Part of that is fabric, see below, and the other part is where the seams are (or aren’t), how the straps are constructed, how the fabric drapes and so much more. If you want an expert opinion on how a tennis garment must perform, Hingis, the youngest WTA No. 1 ever, certainly would be a good place to start. She described some of the musts in an interview with the Vancouver Courier. “Around the shoulders and the back, this is where you have to feel comfortable with your stroke. It can’t be restricting. If you’re stretched everywhere, you still have to perform.” (Vancouver Courier, July 29, 2011)
Fabric - Tonic makes its own fabric, dubbed Libra. The Libra fabric is soft, and the weight is not too light, not too heavy. It’s heavy enough to conceal what it needs to and light enough to wear comfortably on the court (enhancing fit and function).
Design aesthetic – There are not wild patterns, but the cuts and strap details are so intricate and so feminine that nothing else is needed.
The result of the collaboration is Tonic Tennis by Martina Hingis. The pieces are sporty and sophisticated. Tonic Tennis sets itself apart in another way. It not only manufactures in North America, but also sources its fabric from a North American mill. Keeping the entire manufacturing process in Canada certainly adds to the price, but the Tonic apparel is worth the extra dollars because the apparel makes you feel good, and we all deserve to feel good about our tennis game and ourselves. And, of course, confidence is priceless.