I found my path to yoga in 2002, walking along the Danforth in Toronto one cold winter day.
Curious to know what this ‘Hot Yoga, Unlimited Intro Week’ sign meant, I found myself opening the door and walking up some narrow stairs into an unfamiliar and friendly, minty scented, humid reception area. I signed up. First class was a 90 minute Bikram class led by Ted Grand. I felt beaten up and totally alive after that class. I spent the following couple of years exploring my newfound fascination with this sweaty, intimate and liberating ritual, and totally enamoured by the connection I was deepening with my body and breath.
I was also around at the time the studio switched to Moksha a year to two later. I was scared at first, but by then my fledgling practice had become necessary, so I went along for the ride. The first really profound lesson I learned from that seminal period was to walk into the hot room with no expectations. It’s actually a very safe room with lots of space to explore in so many ways. Subtle ways, quiet ways, sassy ways, freeing ways, all self-motivated and community supported.
The second profound lesson I learned was that my practice is my own, nobody else’s. I love that I can practice right beside someone else having a completely different yet identical experience. It’s private and public all at once. I’ve worked through so many emotional issues, life transitions, and have learned really accessible ways to stay present in my body and with my breath during times of stress and joy and stability.
Ok, all of that, and its a pretty solid workout to boot.
I’m so pleased that I lucked out and met Moksha when I did, and if I can spread a little bit of the belief I have in its benefits and guide a class now and then, I’m a happy camper.
(Yes, I also love to camp, swim in the Great Lakes, and hike in the Rocky Mountains. When I can. When I can’t, the hot room does the trick.)