Moksha to the Max

Hot yoga haven at Moksha Yoga Kildonan

The journey with the Passport to Prana card (read this post for program background) continued last weekend with a challenging 90-minute hot yoga class in a brand new studio. First impressions listed below.

Who: Moksha Yoga Kildonan

Where: In a strip mall next to the giant Safeway. 440-1615 Regent Avenue West.

Style: 90-min Moksha class.

Time: 10-11:30 AM, Saturdays

Best for: Hot yoga fanatics that want to work on a specific series of poses. Avoid if this is your first time and you’re wary of the heat. There are shorter classes available.

Studio: This brand spanking new studio, unfortunately, has an awkward layout. There are a couple of wooden benches to rest your bags on while you take off boots/etc. at the entrance but they definitely don’t have that “chill and stay awhile” lounge (typically stocked with magazines and couches) found in other yoga studios. While the hot yoga room is quite large, foot traffic in and out of the change rooms and practice area are forced to squeeze by each other in a narrow hallway. I’d guesstimate around 30 people fit in the room comfortably. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors, beige walls, cork flooring and dimming lights pretty much sum up the practice room’s austere look.

Vibe: Ever seen those documentaries about schools of fish where they all stick together and follow each other? That’s what it feels like to be in this large class. It’s awesome if you just want to blend in (I typically fall into this camp!), but not ideal if you want a space in the mirror to check on form here and there (as was my case). The space is minimalist, the yogis are of all levels, and the teacher is informative.

Cost: Used my Passport to Prana card. For non-cardholders, there’s a value-packed introductory deal ($40) for one month available to first-time members. Otherwise you’re looking at $17 for drop-in (ouch), $140 for 10 classes or $170 for one month unlimited. Lots of options depending on how often you want to Moksha it up.

Experience: Some of the ladies scurrying into the change room from the earlier class said the studio wasn’t super “hot.” It is, but I could see what they meant as it took me a lot longer to start sweating than usual (I liked this!) Insider tip: a couple of ladies piped in and said evening classes are much hotter as the studio retains heat from earlier classes.

The instructor did a fantastic job demonstrating and dishing out tips and tricks for each pose. The extra-long class covered the gamut, from standing to balancing to mat poses with plenty of time for savasana. My only tiny criticism is sometimes she would say things like, “Don’t think about what you’re going to have for lunch,” and then I’d start thinking about it. It took me out of the space, which was the exact opposite of her intention. A simple reminder to stay with the breath would have sufficed.

One more tip, avoid sitting by the light switches if you are easily distracted as they are adjusted throughout the class.

Bonus: Lots of parking room and a Starbucks just doors down (the studio started to smell like coffee at the end, or else I was hallucinating). Perfect for that reflective latte to-go for the drive home.

I’m giving the studio another go with my newly acquired Lifestyle Pass.

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