Having opened Nature’s Vibe next to Moksha Yoga – a hot yoga studio – I thought it would be appropriate to learn the health benefits of such a practice. Every day I watch busy people enter 20 Ainslie Street North and come out looking obviously hot, but also happy and at peace. Moksha’s friendliness and passion for the practice made me curious and so I decided to give it a go myself.
I have never gotten along with extreme temperatures, both physically and mentally and to be honest, at first the heat was quite shocking. I wondered, “Am I cut out for this?” It occurred to me shortly after, that it wasn’t too hot and that perhaps, like all exercise, my body just needed to become accustomed to it. However, I did need to take breaks and the frequency of my breaks became internally frustrating. I am overcoming this frustration by listening to the instructor’s gentle words of encouragement: “yoga is for you, it is about pushing yourself but only to reach just a little bit higher each time. It is about enlightenment not exercise. The physical benefits are achieved simultaneously through the mental achievements of overcoming fear and doubt and allowing yourself to soar, grow and expand”.
Enjoying my new-found interest, I decided to do some research into the health benefits of hot yoga. What I have heard the most from our customers that practice hot yoga is the physical benefit of pain relief. They often recall the chronic pain (knee pain, neck stiffness, hip soreness, etc.) and how by doing yoga for less than one month, the changes were incredible. The second most obvious benefit is that of deep breathing and breath synchronicity. How often do we take the time to really breathe? Each movement is harmonized with a breath; inhale and exhale, throughout the entire body. Most classes that I’ve observed start and end with relaxing deep breathing. Clear the mind, open the chest, relax the body and just breathe. How lovely is that?
These advantages are synonymous with most yoga practices; however, I believe the heat brings that extra element of nurture in itself. Heat is warming. Warmth is caring. The heat takes care of the additional restrictions and melts them away (both physically and mentally). The sweating is detoxifying and I find it both relaxing and enlivening.
Marsha Jaworski, our Registered Massage Therapist at Nature’s Vibe, is an amazing yoga instructor. When I asked her what she loves most about hot yoga and what some of the other benefits are, she responded: “Moksha yoga is a safe, accessible and challenging way to stretch and strengthen the body and calm the mind.”
If you haven’t tried a class, come by Nature’s Vibe and we’ll be happy to gift you a FREE class pass. Also, Moksha is having their Open House on Saturday, April 6. They will have free classes, giveaways and prizes to be won. Check out their website for more information: http://www.mokshayogacambridge.com. Moksha can also be found on twitter @mokshacambridge and on facebook www.facebook.com/MokshaYogaCambridge.
I am so happy that I was able to push myself beyond the heat and honestly did not realize how inflexible I have become. I have been spending so much time taking care of our customers and patients that I perhaps put myself aside for a little while, which is something I constantly discourage others from doing! Well, the first step is realization and acceptance, and next is to take action. Self-care here I come! And, to my body I am sorry. I look forward to working together again.