Trinidad and Tobago’s Roger Daniel, a Shooter, named First Citizens Sports Foundation Sportsman of the Year, was quoted as crediting “yoga and meditation with helping him to achieve a higher level of discipline and focus.” It was further noted that the 40 year old Shooter was introduced to the practice four years ago and he says that it has enabled him to develop the physical strength and mental concentration needed to sit for long periods of time aiming at a target. (Guardian Media, Friday March 4, 2011).
While it is known that the benefits of yoga are great, the benefits of hot yoga border on limitless.
Our students have reported that Moksha Yoga has helped them to:
- Lose weight
- Improve their immune systems
- Increase their cardiovascular abilities
- Feel more energized
But the benefits of Moksha go beyond the studio. Our students have told us that Moksha has:
- Healed them emotionally and physically from the challenge of chemotherapy
- Improved their relationships with family members
- Increased their ability to focus
- Helped them heal from brain injury
- Improved their golf game… just to name a few!
New students are constantly showing us the positive changes yoga has on their lives. We don’t even know the full potential of this sweaty stuff!
Do you ever notice how much you can de-stress just by taking one big breath in and letting a sigh come out. Just imagine 90 minutes of deep, conscious breathing.
The heat in a Moksha class relaxes the joints – much like a full body heating pad or hot water bottle. Also Moksha focuses on opening the hips where knee and back pain often originate.
Many postures in the Moksha 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. Jessica, one of the Moksha directors, hasn’t had a migraine in over four years and migraines used to be a monthly event!
Several postures focus on increasing blood flow through the pineal gland where melatonin, the hormone released to induce deep sleep, is released.
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 low begin to even out.
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.
With regular practice many students find that they don’t crave junk food as much. This inclination towards a healthier diet, coupled with calming the nervous system, helps with long-term digestive issues.
The ‘hot’ element of the hot yoga class is what has the most dramatic affect on arthritis sufferers. The effects are so dramatic that the Arthritis and Autoimmunity Research Centre chooses Moksha hot yoga to be their selected activity for their largest annual fundraising event. (In 2006, the 200 person Moksha class raised over $50,000.)
With regular Moksha classes the spine gets stronger and students notice that it is actually more comfortable to sit and stand straight.
Relaxing the central nervous system by focusing on breath increases a process called peristalsis. Peristalsis moves processed food through the digestive system and out of the body. Certain postures increase blood flow to the colon, further aiding the digestive process.
Benefits for Specific Sports:
Athletes have been practicing yoga for decades. The benefits of yoga hot started to become popular when the Miami Dolphins began practicing hot yoga as part of their training regime. Since then many athletes have been rounding out their training with hot yoga.
Here are some examples of how Moksha hot yoga has been helping athletes in their chosen sport:
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 the spine up on a regular basis can help even the most dedicated desk jockey.
Surfing takes a toll on the shoulders, hips and lower back. Because the majority of the time a surfer lies on the abdomen with their head in an upright position, this eventually causes strain in the neck and the shoulder girdle. And if a surfer is not aware of how to use their core properly to maintain their balance on the surfboard, they eventually start using their hip flexors which in turn tightens the hips and can lead to knee and ankle injuries. We have reports that since practising the Moksha Yoga series, core strength has greatly improved as well as less to no lower back, knee and ankle injuries.
Both running and cycling take a toll on the hips, which can over time tighten the musculature and limit movement. Endurance athletes have come to the month-long teacher training as part of their training regime, and have reported increased running stride, better mental focus for endurance, and fewer aches and pains after runs.
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.