Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Moksha Yoga Waterloo - A Review

Moksha Yoga Waterloo A Review

It has taken me months to think about how to write this review. First off, I know I cannot be impartial in the review. I happen to love my hot yoga experience at Moksha Yoga Waterloo, every time I have the opportunity to be on my mat in the hot room I come out refreshed and renewed. I was planning on writing this review after doing my introductory month. If you have not attended a specific Moksha\Modo Yoga Studio you can do an unlimited Introductory month for $40 - a price you will never be able to beat! I got my into month as a Christmas present from my mother in law. I waited to activate it during a slower period at work. My goals were to try one of each style of class and each instructor during the month and I also wanted to try and make it there every day. I did not make any of those three goals but it was an amazing month. But first let me give some back story.

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:

Be Healthy
Be Accessible
Live Green
Sangha Support
Reach out
Live to Learn
Be Peace

Be Healthy
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.

Be Accessible
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.

Live Green
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.

Sangha Support
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.

Reach Out
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!

Be Peace
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:

Class Types:
Moksha 1 Hour
Moksha 1.5 Hour
Moksha Flow
Moksha Flow with Music
Moksha Live Music
Moksha Silent
Lunar Flow
Hot Meditation & Movement
Moksha Music
Ashtanha Foundations
Community Class

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

Moksha Yoga:
Some Like It Hot
The Little Moksha Yoga Book
Moksha Yoga Waterloo
… more to come soon

DDP Yoga: 
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
Arthur's Story 

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

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Who Am I - 2014

Who Am I - 2014

Lately I have been thinking a lot about who I am? In the past I would journal a few times a year based on the following 5 questions:

Who are you?
What do you want?
Who do you trust?
Who do you serve?
Where are you going?

They come from the Science Fiction show called Crusade which was a spinoff of Babylon 5. Each episode of Crusade began with these questions being asked by the narrator to the Captain. These have also been on my mind lately because of a 30 Day Home Yoga Course I have been doing offered by Kate Connell from You and the Yoga Mat Home Kick Started Course. The course has been really helpful in helping me go deeper into why I practice and how I practice Yoga. Part way through the course I hit a year straight of doing DDP Yoga Everyday. The course involved a workbook and audio lessons every other day for the month. It has been a great experience. Also a recent convergence or serendipitous article I came across was  from the site Do You Yoga - 4 Questions To Ask Yourself Everyday

Who am I?
What do I want?
What is my purpose?
What am I grateful for?

So for the summer of 2014 let's tackle some of those questions.

Who am I?
I am a husband, father, son, brother and friend. I am a Roman Catholic, a student, an avid reader, a writer.

What do I want?
I want to be good at being. I want to be better tomorrow than I was today. I want to live life at 90%. Making the right choices both in what I do and what I choose not to do, in what I say and what I do not say.

Who do I trust?
This is a hard question to answer. The number of people I trust completely is very small. But I do trust the Catholic Church, the bible. I I trust my wife and my family.

Who do I serve?
I serve God, and my family.

Where am I going?
I am on the journey of life. If you had told me a year ago I would be a yoga instructor I would have laughed at you. So I do not know ehere I am going but am enjoying the travels.

What is my purpose?
My purpose is to be a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good son.

What am I grateful for?
I am grateful for a father who always taught me integrity and honour, who exhibited a strong work ethic no matter what he did, he did it to the best of his ability. I am grateful for a wife who encourages and supports me. Who calls me out when needed, who has an amazing laugh and wonderful smile. I am grateful for my children, I learn more and more about the importance of being good at being, from being a father then just about anything else. I am grateful for friends and family, I have people I can count on no matter what happens in life they will be in my courner - and that matter more than anything else.

For years my personal email signature file has said: "Peace and Strength!
Yours, learning to be" I am a work in process. Just this week I was asked to write a profile for the DDP Yoga Classes I teach at the triFit Gym at work, it was a fun exercise so here are those answers:

Name: Steven R. McEvoy

Class: DDP Yoga, RedHot Core

How long have you been teaching? I have been teaching at ChristieFit since January 2014 and currently have 5 classes a week on the schedule. Back in the late 80's and early 90's I worked as a personal trainer while at Queen's University.

What is your work out routine? Currently I do a minimum 25 minutes DDP Yoga a day. I do weights once a week. Every few weeks I do a sprinting session, either running or biking. And I try and do Moksha Hot Yoga every other week. And about once a month I do a full body TRX Force workout.

Favourite exercise? DDP Yoga or Hot Yoga

What is your favourite vegetable? I love almost all vegetables raw but my current favourites are Kohlrabi or black radish. But I love trying new veggies especially heirloom varieties.

If you could work out with any celebrity, who would you choose? I think it would be cool to work out with either Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger or maybe Tony Horton.

If you could choose, what would your superpower be? My super power would be to not need sleep. It would give me more time for what I love, reading, writing and working out!

What motivates you? Being a husband and father. I want to be in the best shape I can so that I am a better father, husband, son, brother, friend and person.

How do you find time to exercise? I had to choose to make it a priority. I am currently at over a year of DDP Yoga and other exercise every day. Prior to that I had gone almost a year with doing nothing, the results were not good. We all have 168 hours in a week. I made the decision to dedicate a minimum 30 minutes a day to having a healthy body.

Favorite song on your iPod right now? I tend to listen to whole albums and currently the favorites would be George Thorogood's 2120 South Michigan Ave. or Bif Naked's Essentially Naked.

Favorite Dessert? My kryptonite is Ice Cream, and the strongest flavors are mint chocolate chip, tiger tail or heavenly hash.

If you had to describe yourself using a cartoon character, which one would it be? I would be Wile E. Coyote. I may never get the prize but I never give up trying.

And that is my understanding of who I am at the moment. And the question's for you are: who are you? What do you want? Who do you trust? Who do you serve? Where are you going?

Peace and Strength!
Yours, learning to be
Steven R. McEvoy

My Homepage
My Blog
Twitter - SRMcEvoy

Twitter - YogiByAccident

CompTIA IT PRO, A+ ITT, A+ DT, A+ RST, Network+, Security+

"Now we can travel with more books stored in our telephones than the ancient Egyptians kept in their vast library at Alexandria."
           Mike Aquilina

"No tea cup is big enough nor book long enough for me to be satisfied."
           C.S. Lewis

"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left over I buy food and clothes!"

Other Articles Examining Who I Am:
Mad Celtic Warrior, Poet and Priest! - An Essay - 2003
The Journey of a Quester! - An Essay / Spiritual Biography 2004
New Year's 2006
Who Am I? Who Am I? -2008
Confessions of a Bibliophile #5 - How I Became a Bibliophile, From Dyslexic to Addict - 2009
New Year's Goals 2010
Steven R. McEvoy Interview - 2012
2014 My Goals

Who I Am - 2014

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Yoga every day for a year!

Yoga - Heart Rate Monitor - Progress and More

Today marks the one year mark for my practicing yoga daily! And recording everything I eat using My Fitness Pal.  It all started with DDP Yoga, then DDP Yoga Teacher Certification and now also Moksha\Modo  Hot Yoga. It has been an amazing year. Filled with successes, challenges and a few injuries. But what has amazed me most is how many calories you can burn doing Yoga. For comparison here is screen shots of workouts doing DDP Yoga and a Traditional Ashtanga class I did at work.

Dynamic resistance is what set's DDP Yoga aprt from any other Yoga on the planet! And for comparison the Moksha is very similar to the DDP Yoga for results, but those results are for the most part induced by the heat and humidity. An extra bonus with the heat I can get deeper into some poses or get to poses I cannot without the heat. I love hanging out at Moksha Yoga Waterloo.

As can be see the heat and humidity of Hot Yoga really changes the calorie burn and level of the workout. It has been a great year and here are my Yoga Stats:

365 Days of Yoga:
17731 minutes of DDP Yoga not counting Teaching
295.52 Hours of Practice

Since Mid-November DDP Yoga Certification Path:
57.5 Hours of Self Study
88.65 Hours of Level 1 Practice
43.5 hours of teaching
189.65 hours Total Certification Training 

Day by Day Workout Breakdowns for 2014:

Looking forward to what this next year brings. As DDP would say BANG!

Here are links to some of my writing about DDP Yoga and Moksha Yoga:

Moksha Yoga:
Some Like It Hot
The Little Moksha Yoga Book
Moksha Yoga Waterloo
… more to come soon

DDP Yoga: 
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
Arthur's Story 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014

Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014

First I must state the last few years have seen serious changes in my reading habits and volume, but it did pick up this quarter. Some of the changes if that now I have three children ages 8, 6 and 3. Some if it is ever new and expanding responsibilities at work and the volume of training involved with that. This quarter I only read 40 books and of those just over half were fiction books. You can see the list of all books read here, and favourite books here. There is even a favourite list of authors each year here

1. Tiassa - Steven Brust - Vlad Taltos Book 13
2. The Incrementalists - Steven Brust and Skyler White
3. Fathom Five - Unwritten Books 2 - James Bow
4. Fireworks in the Rain - Steven Brust 
5. Peacemaker - Marianne de Pierres
6. The Desecrator - Steven Brust

1. Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga - Benjamin Lorr
2. Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? - Madeleine L'Engle
3. Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Hooks, Helps and Hurts Us - Murray Carpenter
4. Clean Comfort: A Roadmap in Food and Memories: How I Went From 345 lbs. to a Size 8 by Learning the Real Meaning of Feeding Myself Well - Stacey Morris

Honorable Mentions:
(Have made the top ten before but reread this quarter and still great!)

1. Saints Alive - Andrew M. Seddon
Volume I Saints of Empire - Volume II Celtic Paths
2. Jacob the Baker - Noah benShea
3. Jhereg - Steven Brust - Vlad Taltos Book 1

Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014

Statistics Books Read By Year:

64 - 2014 - January-June
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Happy Canada Day 2014

Hope Everyone has a great Canada Day
with Friends and Family
and maybe a good book!