Mind, body, and soul

30 day yoga challenge is worth it

Friday November 5, 2010- The Dalhousie Gazette

Samantha Durnford, Assistant News Editor

Girls at Moksha Yoga Halifax practise "Camel Pose". (Photo: Samantha Durnford)

The heat is set to 37C and the humidity in the room reaches about 78 per cent. No, this isn’t a sauna. Fifty people are about to start their hot yoga class.

Everyday about 100 people come to Moksha Yoga Halifax on Dresden Row to participate in the 30-day Yoga Challenge—30 yoga classes in 30 days. I’m one of these dedicated people who have decided to spend the next month doing hot yoga.

I got into hot yoga about a year ago and have since been hooked. According to the Moksha Yoga website, “the heat allows for deeper, safer stretching and promotes detoxification of the skin, blood and muscles through sweat.” After a class, your body feels much more open, relaxed, and at ease. Not only are there body benefits, but your mind as well is more calm and energized.

Hot yoga isn’t for everyone. As sweat drips from absolutely everywhere on your body and you leave with soaked clothes in dire need of a shower, some people may find this uncomfortable. During class, you’re encouraged not to wipe the sweat away since sweat is a natural way of cooling your body down.

This year, the 30-day Moksha challenge has brought out more people than in the past. Classes are often very full and a sticker system is put in place for everyone to keep track of their days. At press time, it’s Day 18 and everyone doing the challenge has gotten to know each other. We talk in the change rooms, help each other find a water bottle, and seem to have our own spots in the hot room. We’ve definitely become more of a community, connected not only through our commitment to the challenge but also through practicing together on a daily basis.

The mental benefit of the challenge is almost more appealing than the physical challenge. I’m not in this to lose weight, get sweet abs (well, kind-of), or become a pro-yogi. I’m in this to de-stress, calm my mind, and become a better person from the inside.

Hot yoga can be said to help with stress, depression, and insomnia. Practicing deep breathing calms the mind and the body. Since I’ve begun yoga, not only are my abs shaping up, but my mind seems to have settled into one spot. Suffering from general anxiety, I have a better time sleeping, focusing, and haven’t really felt stressed since I’ve begun this challenge.

Although the continuous days of yoga are starting to catch up with me, the teachers encourage you to take the classes at your own pace. Sometimes I just sit and focus on my breathing rather than doing poses I’m not in the mood to do.  You’re really encouraged to make each class your own.

I strongly recommend hot yoga to anyone and everyone: even guys. Embrace your man-hood and sweat it out! Everyone should try it at least once.

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