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Moksha Yoga in uptown Waterloo - File photo

Moksha Yoga in uptown Waterloo – File photo



Emilia Piskorski
CCE CONTRIBUTOR

Take a deep breath in, and now a deep breath out. We’re talking yoga. One of the only times you get to work up a sweat and relax at the same time.

Growing up east of K-W, my mom and I went to hot yoga classes as mother-daughter bonding time. I was getting a little home sick earlier this month and thought I’d find a studio in town, just to check it out. I fill up my water bottle and dragged my boyfriend to a studio recommended by a friend called Moksha Yoga at the corner of Erb and Peppler. We chose to walk, but if you take the 7 bus, you can get off at Erb St and it’s just a couple minutes from the bus stop.

I wouldn’t call myself a pro or anything, but I’ve visited all the best studios back home and had some high hopes. The place was packed and it was a little overwhelming! First time members are offered a $40 pass for unlimited yoga for 30 days, which we decided to take advantage of considering one class costs $18. Of course, we forgot our mats and towels, so we rented those for $2 each.

I was very surprised to see how similar the studio looked to the ones I go to back home. Bamboo flooring, mirrors everywhere, wooden benches, only one toilet in the change room and three showers – very simple and primitive. Moksha yoga is a hot yoga studio, meaning that you go through the poses in a room that has a temperature of about 35 degrees celsius. Turns out that our first day was many peoples first too. The class was packed. Each mat was side by side, practically touching. I think the instructor mentioned there were 50 people in the room, so you could imagine how much we were sweating before we even began.

I was a little nervous at first, thinking I forgot how to do all of the poses, but was pleasantly surprised to find out that the entire hour was almost identical to the same routine I knew. It was definitely comforting and uncomfortable at the same time, because I lost whatever flexibility I had over the years.

The instructor was very friendly, especially to people who have never done yoga before. She talked everyone through each pose, making both the newbies and veterans feel confident in the space. Many people underestimate the difficulty of yoga, call it a “cheating work out.” My boyfriend – who’s an athlete – could barely make the walk home. But he still couldn’t wait to go back for another hour that week.

So, if you’re one of those skeptics, I’d take a shot at it before you say anything.

Here are some tips if you’ve never done hot yoga:
– bring a towel… one for your mat and one for your face
– wear something light…shorts and tank top/tee are great!
– don’t forget your mat (renting one can get tedious)
– drink water all day before you go to a class to avoid a headache
– Bring a water bottle (many people use mason jars too!)
– Have an open mind. You will be challenged physically and mentally, so be open to trying something new so you get the full experience.

If you are a veteran and are looking for a new place to practice, I recommend Moksha Yoga. The instructors are experienced, helpful, and very friendly. The facilities are fairly new and well maintained, however, a little small. I would suggest going at a time where it’s not busy to avoid a collisions in the change room and so that you get space to do a full warrior reach without smacking the person beside you.
You can follow them on twitter here…
Or visit their website here for more info and schedules

I haven’t been to any other studios in waterloo but here’s a list of the ones I’ve found online…

Pura Vida Yoga 
Twitter: @yogawaterloo

Bikram Yoga KW

Waterloo Yoga Club

Queen Street Yoga

Svasukha Yoga

The Self Centre Yoga & Wellness

Is there a studio that you attend and want to share? Let us know.

But for now good luck and…

Namaste.