If you're interested in hot yoga, but aren't quite ready to jump to Bikram, you might consider practicing Moksha yoga. This style features around 40 poses per 90-minute class that's practiced in a room heated to 98 degrees with 35 percent humidity.
The goal of Moksha yoga is to increase the heart rate, as well as to strengthen and loosen the muscles. In the United States, the name Moksha yoga was changed to Moda yoga in 2013; however, it is still called Moksha yoga in Canada. Despite the name change, the practice remains the same.
Each Moksha yoga class begins and ends with Savasana, or Corpse pose. Savasana performed at the beginning of class allows you to prepare for class by slowing down. Performed at the end of class, Corpse pose allows the body time to recuperate.
HOW TO DO IT: Simply lie on your back and allow your legs and arms to fall naturally to the side. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
2. Standing Poses
After the first Savasana, you'll move into standing poses. Some of standing poses included are Forward Fold, Triangle pose, Warrior I and II poses, Eagle pose, Dancer's pose, Powerful pose, Prayer Twist, Runner's Lunge and Downward Facing Dog. All of the standing poses build strength and balance, and are held anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds. Try Tree pose.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand tall and bring the sole of your right foot to rest on either your inner thigh, calf or ankle (not on your knee). Bring your hands to heart center, spread them out to the side or raise them over your head.
3. Seated Poses
The seated poses in Moksha yoga include back bends, twists and leg and hip stretches. This floor series aims to strengthening your upper body, spine and abdominal muscles, as well as relieve tension and improve posture.
One seated pose in particular, Pigeon pose, is an intense hip-opener, done toward the end of class.
HOW TO DO IT: From a seated position, bend your left leg and bring your left foot close to your pelvis. Stretch your right leg straight behind you. Press the top of your right foot into the floor and square the hips. The pose is held for a minute on each side.
4. Reclining Poses
In addition to Savasana, there are a few other poses performed while lying down in Moksha yoga. These include Thread the Needle pose, Cobra pose and Bridge pose. Wind-Relieving pose massages the colon and hips.
HOW TO DO IT: While lying on your back, hug your right knee in toward your chest. Hold for one minute and repeat on the left side. To finish, hug both knees in, holding for another minute.