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Health & Beauty
Posted by Cayla Capri
Moksha Yoga Feeling The Heat
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Trendsetters winked at yoga a while back, but the discipline has yet to go the way of the jazzercise. Blame it on the lack of hip-high leotards, or the perk of inner peace – yoga’s only gotten hotter. And every run-down bride should consider taking an “ohm” on the sweaty side before popping any sleeping, caffeine or diet pill; it’s the healthy route to total happiness.
Though it’s normal to associate hot yoga with the boot camp that is Bikram, don’t let the perils of a light head stop you from joining a toasty little studio. Moksha is your accessible alternative, a branch catering to the novice and yogi alike, while yielding its namesake – enlightenment – to all those committed. It sounds like an impossible balancing act, but remember, that is their speciality.
the madness behind the method
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A yogi’s goal is to achieve ‘moksha,’ or enlightenment - a state at once liberated from worldly pain and united with inner truths. Talk pertaining to the ‘realization of the self’ is sort of intimidating, so in layman’s terms, yoga, hot yoga especially, feels awesome. The concentrated breathing melts petty worries and nagging voices into nothingness, the cardio provides that coveted endorphin high, and the heat turns working out into a sauna detox. The overall experience leaves you with an energized, can-do spirit, a taste for healthy lifestyle choices and a craving for superfoods, if not just a bit sticky. Wear your sweat righteously though – you’re on your way to wellness.
mind your steps
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Moksha yoga is a form of hot yoga consisting of about 40 postures divided between a standing and floor (cardio and strength) series. Expect a room set to 37ºC (99ºF), allowing for stretches of dangerous depth as dog day heat hugs and squeezes your uptight muscles and aching joints. You’ll sweat out your toxins and shush whatever peevish thoughts stand between you and your serenity.
Every class begins with savasana or ‘corpse pose,’ where you lay back and begin to breathe deep. Once you’ve got a good rhythm going, exercise is met with greater focus and therefore ease. Savasana is followed by some think-positive intention setting, the two series and a final resting pose. As a newly invigorated being, you’re encouraged to stick around on you back and let all that goodness really soak in.
good things to come
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Along with those more self-explanatory rewards of exercise, students of Moksha reap some surprising benefits. An increase in blood flow means extra love is sent to the neck, thus deterring headaches and migraines. The pineal gland, gatekeeper of orphic melatonin and serotonin, also receives an extra dose of nourishment. This encourages the gland to release those self-churned cures for insomnia and depression. Knee, back and all arthritic pain profit from the sweltering temperature – it’s like working out inside a heating pad. Good posture is so vehemently reinforced that those suffering scoliosis have been known to straighten out their issues, while those in digestive crisis capitalize on a newly relaxed central nervous system.
prepare for the best
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Prepare for your Moksha session by hitting the water bottle. A belly full of food is more or less discouraged, but if you’re concerned about feeling faint, go ahead and grab a light snack. A yoga mat and absorbent beach towel are cut-and-dried musts (seriously: slippery slopes ahead), while designer duds are sort of superfluous. Just wear whatever makes you comfortable, in its skimpiest form. Finally, try to arrive fifteen minutes before class begins, so you can really steep yourself in brain sedating savasana.