Up until the summer of 2013 the only yoga I have ever done was Tony Horton and various offerings from his BeachBody video series or standalone workouts. And while I did enjoy them, I also thought of myself as being one of the least flexible people I know(at least physically) but then last summer I started doing DDP Yoga home video's and as of August 12th 2014 I have done yoga 400 days straight. But there was something pulling me to hot yoga. Which is really strange because I love winter, and do not enjoy summer at least not the humidity of summer in Ontario. To be honest I was worried I would try it, not make it through class and never go back. Yet for some reason I loved it from my first time on the mat and go as often as I can. About a week into my introductory month I got an email asking for my feedback. My initial response was:
"Greetings and thank you for the opportunity to offer some feedback. I have taken a few days than really through about my response to this email. In some ways I feel like I have been a pest, I have called a number of times for clarification, and to get answers, and understanding. But every time I walk out of the studio I feel energized, called and centered. I come from a long line of Irish Catholics and Scotch Presbyterians, I think every adult I knew growing up had a temper and could fly off at the cuff. I was becoming the same way. In the week I have been attending nearly daily I have found changes already. A greater balance and focus. Friday night when I came out from the Moksha with live music I was blissed out. The last time I felt that centered was on a 4 day silent retreat at a Cistercian monastery a number of years ago. I had heard horror story after horror story about people's first experience with hot yoga. But something in me really wanted to try it. I was given the introductory month as a Christmas gift but with work projects and travel did not activate it for almost 2 months. I have loved it from the first seconds on the mat in the heat. I love the heat and the practice. The only one I have really struggled with is the Yang/Yin and maybe it was the difference between 60 minutes and 90 minutes or coming in with a sore hip and neck from a 3 year old crawling into bed at 1am. I am trying to attend at least one of each of the 16 different classes and one class by each of the 18 instructors who are active this month. To be honest I love it the first 6 classes were amazing. In some ways so similar to the DDP Yoga I have been doing since last summer and in some ways it is a different world. I will defiantly keep coming back. And would love to continue with daily practice but know that is unlikely. But from what I have seen my first week of practice and over the last 4 months popping in and getting supplies Moksha Waterloo is an amazing community and place to hang out."
And looking back months later my appreciation for Moksha Hot Yoga is even stronger. The community at Moksha Yoga Waterloo is amazing. I have some new friends. I can drop in for a class any time and am recognized and greeted. I have picked up the 4 Moksha Yoga to Go offerings and add them into my practice when I cannot make it to the studio but feel like the Moksha flow. But I think the greatest strength of the Moksha Community is the principles or pillars it is founded upon:
Moksha 7 Pillars:
Live to Learn
We work to support lifelong health for the body and mind
We start our pillars with Be Healthy, because without our health, well...we've got a whole lotta nothing, right? By bringing a healthy awareness to what we eat, a ripple effect happens where we feel better and stronger in every aspect of our life. Ailments disappear, our yoga practice deepens and kale chips actually start tasting pretty good! If we commit to making small, significant changes to our diet like cutting out processed foods, increasing our organic veggie intake, and telling the pizza delivery dude it's time to start seeing other people, we will be amazed with the changes we see on our yoga mat, and in everything else we do on a daily basis.
We endeavor to be accessible in our language, yoga postures, and in the way we run our studios!
What the heck does that mean? Basically, we believe that everyone can have access to yoga and everyone can walk into a Moksha studio and know right away that they belong - all religions, body types, injured bodies, all political views, crazy yoga outfits - you name it, you're welcome! We create this accessible experience by using clear language to explain yoga, and clear modifications for both absolute beginners and seasoned practitioners. Whether you're a tree-hugging vegan or a corporate Type-A, we want you to feel like you've walked into your yoga-home. Simple as that.
We live to protect and serve the natural world.
The earth provides us with the air we breathe. Water sustains the functioning of our entire body. We feel a natural continuum between nature and human beings! Since Moksha Yoga began in 2004, we have carried this green theme through our yoga practice, our personal lives, and our businesses to work to create and promote a healthier planet. Learn more on our Green Yoga pages! And if you have any ideas on how we can improve even more please get in touch.
We work to create and support community!
In our busy lives it's easy to feel like we live in our very own world and lose our connection to one another. Sangha means 'community' but more specifically sangha refers to a community of people supporting each other as individuals on a unique mission to find our true nature. The cool thing is that when we start to work on ourselves, even just by getting more fit, we start to be happier, we start to have more fun, and naturally we start to have a more healthy sense of the world as one big old community.
Many students say that stepping into a Moksha studio gives them the feeling of being part of something special; a place where you always see a familiar face and know that you share a passion for yoga with the people around you.
It's all about karma yoga....using our creativity and our sense of community to support others!
We feel lucky to have the resources to practice yoga and to offer green-designed, beautiful, clean yoga studios. We also acknowledge that yoga can help so many that may not have these resources. To help address that, every Moksha studio offers a by-donation class at least once a week. In addition every studio offers an energy exchange program where work at the studio is exchanged for unlimited free yoga. Proceeds from Karma classes go toward supporting community and environmental efforts. Each year Moksha studios worldwide raise $400,000 and growing!!
To take it a step further Moksha Yoga helped form the New Leaf Yoga foundation in 2007. New Leaf brings free yoga to at risk and incarcerated youth that have often committed crimes, like many prisoners, as a reaction gang or family violence, abuse, forced prostitution, or extreme poverty and the understandable rage and anger that can result from these situations. New Leaf has seen incredible success in giving youth a lifeline to know that even in the worst circumstances peace is available from within. (visit newleafyoga.org to find out more).
Live to Learn
How boring life would be if we decided we all knew what we needed to know?
As Moksha teachers we know that we have a lot to learn from our students...YOU! (And each other, too!) We're inspired daily by students who step on their mats and find the courage to try new things and believe in possibilities. We commit to being students for life so that we continue to evolve as a big sweaty family. Life is so much more fun when approached from a place of openness and willingness to learn and try new things.
Thank you for being our teachers!
We offer the benefit of our practice to the benefit of all beings everywhere.
Sounds like kind of a tall order but it's actually pretty simple! When we improve ourselves from within, we have more to offer our family, our community and the world. For us, this is what yoga is all about. Working hard on all the pillars, sweating buckets on our mats, all for the benefit of all beings everywhere - all for peace.
As I stated earlier I had three goals when I did my introductory month. Six months out I still have not made them all, but I am working towards them. I have managed to attend at least 1 of each class offering:
Moksha 1 Hour
Moksha 1.5 Hour
Moksha Flow with Music
Moksha Live Music
Hot Meditation & Movement
My favorites are Moksha Silent and Moksha Live Music which are at opposite ends of the spectrum but both amazing classes. There were 24 instructors on their website and in the app when I was doing my introductory month, to date I have only been able to make classes with 15 of them and 4 have not had classes at this studio during my time attending. Yes there are some instructors I appreciate more than others, and even some styles of class more than others but I have yet to encounter an instructor I would not be willing to take another class with. And as for attending everyday maybe in a few years when my children are a little order that will happen but for now I appreciate when I can make it, and I do hit the mat every day.
If you are in Kitchener Waterloo Region I highly recommend that you give Moskha Yoga Waterloo a try. If you are not there are over 75 Moksha\Modo Yoga studios across North America and more on the way.
Note: Moksha Yoga Canada = Modo Yoga International
Some Like It Hot
The Little Moksha Yoga Book
Moksha Yoga Waterloo
… more to come soon
My Plug for DDP Yoga
My DDP Yoga Tracking
DDP Yoga A Short History
Getting Back At It A Fitness Confession
Yoga for Regular Guys
My DDP Yoga Success Story
Manduka Black Mat Pro Review
Clean Comfort - A Roadmap in Food and Memories - Stacey Morris
My Day 326 Straight of Yoga Update
DDP Yoga at the 1 Year Mark
…more to come soon
Other DDP Yoga Links:
DDP Yoga Promo Video
Other Yoga Articles and Reviews:
Fountain of Youth Yoga - Tony Horton One on One Volume 1 Disk 6
Patience Hummingbird - Tony Horton One on One Volume 2 Disk 3
Yoga MC2 - Tony Horton One on One Volume 3 Disk 5
P90X at 120 Days Out (Mini Review Yoga X)
Ho' Ala ke Kino - Awaken the Body (Yoga) - Tony Horton
Iron Yoga - Anthony Carillo