Calm mind. Fit Body. Inspired Life. Seriously, no joke! The benefits of yoga are so varied and vast that Moksha studio owners are always learning new ways that yoga is helping students enjoy a more fun, healthy, and stress free life. Below are some specific examples.
In addition to melatonin, the pineal gland also controls the release of serotonin, the "mood" hormone. As certain postures flush the pineal gland with oxygenated blood its function improves and emotional highs and lows begin to even out.
The good news - the heated environment of a Moksha class is naturally calming, and our longer holds in certain postures inform and improve our ability to face stress with mindfulness and breath. This transfers directly off the mat and into the challenges of our crackberry-busy-body every day lives.
Sometimes the best thing for a sore muscle is one of those awesomely old school hot water bottles! The reason it feels so good for sore muscles and joints to be immersed in heat is because fresh oxygen rushes to the heated area - ahh. In a heated class the lower back and knees can often feel better even without doing any of the postures (not that we're encouraging that!)
In addition, the Moksha Yoga sequence was designed with the knowledge that epidemiologists say lower back pain and joint pain are at epidemic proportions. We address opening the hips to prevent and treat lower back pain and knee pain, and reduce stress to address the mind-body correlation that is often a contributing factor.
Does anything feel better than a good night sleep - ok maybe a few things... BUT insomnia is no joke for those that experience it, and neither is the frustrating feeling of being unable to fall asleep. Moksha Yoga helps with insomnia in a similar way that it targets depression - by improving the function of the pineal gland. When melatonin is released by the pineal gland, regularly and in healthy proportions, it is not only natural and easy to fall asleep but sleep is deeper and you awake more refreshed.
Creaky joints? It doesn't mean you're getting old...for some reason everyone gets this idea that arthritis sets in when we're 65+, but that's not the case. Osteoarthritis can begin setting into the joints at any age due to chronic over-use (common in athletes who are doing a lot of repetitive motion for example), or injury such as a dislocation or break. Inflammatory arthritis is another story, even little babies can have inflammatory joint conditions. Staying active through safe movement like yoga and maintaining or improving mobility and strength is key to help prevent osteoarthritis or manage existing joint pain or tightness.
For those that experience arthritis you know that heat is incredibly therapeutic for achy joints, and thousands of Moksha students agree. Increased levels of mobility and reduced joint pain (including arthritis in the spine) are among the top reasons students keep coming back to Moksha studios.
Moksha teachers are taught how to instruct students to modify postures to make postures as beneficial as possible to students working on decreasing symptoms associated with arthritis.
We'll steer clear of any bathroom jokes, because we're not kidding one bit about this one! Poor digestion can cause all sorts of issues like constipation, debilitating abdominal pain, bloating, a lack of energy, and annoying waiting lines for public loos! The Moksha Yoga series helps massage the body's digestive system, stimulating digestion and helping increase metabolism. Hoorah! It's like a little intestinal miracle happens, each time you step on your mat. Plus, when we do hot yoga regularly, we become obsessed with staying hydrated! The more hydrated we are the more things go smoothly. Literally.
Not only that...many people suffering from abdominal pain are also experiencing high levels of stress, tension, and anxiety due to the varied demands of a high pressure lifestyle. Students find that learning how to work with their breath can also decrease the symptoms of their digestive issues.
Do you have a headache THIS BIG? Odds are, it's not screaming for anything other than a release of muscular tension around the head, neck, and shoulders...and that's what you get when you come to hot yoga class! Many postures in the Moksha Yoga sequence relieve tension and tightness in the neck and shoulder area. As this area relaxes, blood flow increases and headaches often decrease or go away entirely.
- Improved circulation
- Better focus
- An ability to stay present in the face of challenge
- Improved immune system and overall health
- Endurance for birthing process
- Openness and strength
- Breath awareness
- Connection to baby
- Connection to birthing partner
- Connection to physical, mental and spiritual intuition
- Connection to community
- Stress reduction
- Less water retention
- Faster postpartum recovery
- Reduction of Lower back and sciatic pain
- Acceptance of a quickly changing body
- Confidence in physical and mental ability
- Accelerated metabolization of hormones
- Less likelihood of pre and postpartum depression
- Improved sleep (before the baby comes...can't promise anything after!)
Let's face it, we spend so much time rounded over our laptops, our steering wheels, our homework...it's no wonder most of us are drooping over with poor posture. What to do? Walking around with a book on your head is SO over. Luckily Moksha Yoga really helps strengthen the core muscles that support the spine, while opening the chest and strengthening the shoulders and upper back! Open the hips to allow the pelvis to hold the lower spine in place also helps. ...Over time students start to notice excellent posture is a bonus side effect of yoga! Sitting up tall not only helps the spinal nerves supply healthy information to the entire body - it also gives us space to bring in more oxygen and more space for digestive system. With more oxygen and better digestion it's easy to feel energized all day long - and the books stay on the shelf!
The work on stretching and strengthening the spine has a dramatic effect on those working with a spinal curvature. Pain is eased and the strength in the internal muscle structure of the back starts to allow for great ease in movement and better posture.
Athletes have been practicing yoga for decades. The benefits of hot yoga for athletes started to become popular when the Miami Dolphins began practicing hot yoga as part of their training regime. Today, hot yoga is a standard part of training for many professional athletes. Many experience tightness, chronic pain, and arthritis from repetitive injury and wear and tear. Hot yoga helps!
Since the olympic rowing team started practicing Moksha a few years ago, its team members as well as non-professional rowers have began to notice the important link between high level performance and hot yoga. Athletes report greater mobility, endurance and overall strength. A greater performance in competition can also come from the required concentration in a 60 to 90 Moksha Yoga class.
Increased heat tolerance has helped Toronto Maple Leaf players who love Moksha better deal with the sustained heightened body temperature that is required during a game. Better body awareness is also essential for precision in passes and shots. Goalies also report an increased focus and agility on the ice.
Both running and cycling take a toll on the hips, knees and low back, which can over time tighten the musculature and limit movement. Endurance athletes incorporate Moksha as part of their training
regime, and have reported increased running stride, better mental focus for endurance, and fewer aches and pains after runs.
A Canadian Gold Medalist in boxing is one of many boxers who regularly attends Moksha Yoga classes and recommends Moksha Yoga hot yoga to the teams and individuals she trains. With regular practice, the breath work required for boxing can be greatly improved - increasing both endurance and strength. Many Mixed Martial Artists are also enjoying the improved performance from practicing Moksha.
Many cyclists come to the studio with chronic knee pain. With time, however, hips, calves and hamstrings start to open up, knee pain diminishes and can eventually disappear entirely. Cyclists also report an improvement in low back and shoulder pain.
Who said sitting at a desk for half the day isn't an endurance sport? We have countless individuals who excel in their respective professional fields, but suffer on a physical level with headaches, lower back pain, poor digestion, depression and more. Opening up the spine and chest on a regular basis can help even the most dedicated desk jockey.