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Recommended: Hot Yoga

Posted by Ali | Friday March 14, 2008 Leave a comment

You finally catch on to the yoga craze, taking classes swathed in pricey lululemon duds and a cute pink yoga mat only to discover that the latest thing is to do it in the sauna with practically no clothes on.

I tried Hot Yoga this week for the first time and despite my reservations about excessive sweating, they made a believer out of me. I took a one hour flow class at Moksha Yoga Downtown with a friend. The studio is small with beautiful wood floors and the faint smell of essential oils. It was a full class, about 30% of which, were men with no shirts on. Fit men with no shirts on. When we first walked into the room, we were hit with a wall of heat that had me taking mental note of the nearest exits so that if I was going to pass out or have a heart attack I could do so in private.

We settled onto our mats draped with a beach towel to absorb the sweat. The instructor, Christi-an, started with a self-affirming 'we all have a light within' pep talk, and then took us through a series of traditional yoga poses. At this point I felt reasonably confident as I knew all of the positions from other classes I have taken. The heat really wasn't too bad and had somewhat of a calming effect. About 15 minutes in, the sweat started to drip. Literally. Down the forehead into the eyes... and the mouth. I noticed others, including my friend had the foresight to wear a headband for this very reason. I wiped my head on the beach towel covering my mat.

The instructor's soothing voice was occasionally punctuated by the sounds of heavy breathing and groaning sounds as we twisted ourselves into sweaty pretzels. With only a few corrections, I managed to do almost every pose, stopping only a couple of times when my once fit upper body, now frail from years of sitting at the computer, couldn't bear the weight.

The relaxation at the end was heavenly and we both left feeling amazing. Two days later, my skin is still glowing and I feel refreshed. I would be lying if I didn't mention that my abs are absolutely killing me right now, but it is a good kind of pain and I feel like I did something healthy for myself.

I highly recommend you try it!

Moksha Yoga Downtown
860 Richmond Street West, 3rd floor
Toronto, Ontario
phone: 416.361.3033

First class: $17 OR sign up for 1 week of unlimited classes for $20
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