Yoga has been a widespread practice for thousands of years primarily in eastern part of the world. The roots of yoga are traced back in the ancient India where it was widely practiced as a way of maintaining physical and spiritual fitness. That was then. In recent few decades, Yoga has surely made an entry into the regular fitness regime of western world as well and has gradually become quite popular with time. With constant evolution in various forms of yoga in the west, Moksha yoga has become a form of hot yoga now with certain social consciousness attached to it. It involves certain set of poses which are performed in a heated room ranging from temperatures between 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. It is considered quite similar to Bikram yoga, but the poses and variations may vary as per the instructor.
The Corpse Pose or Savasana
Savasana, as the name suggests in Hindi dictionary, means a corpse pose or a dead man’s pose. It is said that all Moksha yoga begins and ends with Savasana. This pose aims to calm the brain and relax the body at the same time. It also helps reduce stress, headache and fatigue and lowers the blood pressure of the body. To perform this pose, all you need to do is lie on your back, let your legs and arms fall free, close the eyes and breathe deeply. Doing this pose certainly needs concentrated practice but reenergizes the body at the end of the asana.
The Standing Position
This position is usually followed by Savasana pose but can be done otherwise as well. It includes forward bending positions, revolved and normal triangle pose, warrior poses, eagle pose, twisting pose, dancer’s pose, crescent lunge and downward and upward dog pose. The objective behind each of these poses is to create heat inside the body and strengthen muscles to improve balance and flexibility. That is one reason why it is performed inside a heated room.
The Seated Pose
This pose is meant to strengthen and open up the muscles in the lower body and aims at stretching and loosening of muscles. It is often followed by Savasana pose but few practitioners may ask you to start right from this pose. This form of Moksha yoga includes bow pose, backbends, camel pose, spinal twists, wheel pose and leg and hip stretches.
The Lying Down Pose
These poses aim at improving flexibility through stretching muscles after the body is adequately warmed up and is always a final and deep relaxation form of Savasana. It is practiced by lying down on the floor either on the stomach or the back. Few poses that are practiced under lying down pose are wind relieving, cobra pose, needle pose, plough pose and legs-up pose.
The Advantages of Moksha Yoga
There are innumerable benefits of hot yoga ranging from various sections of wellness. Yoga in itself is a beneficial art even when done within room temperatures. Moksha yoga or hot yoga ensures overall endurance, flexibility, balance, metabolism and strength of the body. The breathing exercises involved in yoga have a positive effect on the overall functioning of the mind and body. In Moksha yoga, the immense amount of heat ensures sweating, which is an amazing method of detoxification of body. For people suffering from back pain, weak muscle or bone loss, Moksha yoga is certainly a good respite.
For someone who has never tried yoga, it may sound a little complicated or irrelevant, however, once you get used to it, you may actually understand the underlying benefits in your day to day life. It not only rejuvenates and strengthens your inner and outer body, but also refreshes your mind and provides unimaginable positivity for you to have a better outlook in life. So, if you are even a little curious about exploring it, search for the local Moksha Yoga studio in your area.
Let me know in the comments below if any of these steps helped you!