◊ THE CLASS: 60 min Moksha, Friday 7:30-8:30pm ◊
WHAT YOU NEED
Mat (available for rent)
Towels for your mat and for your sweat (also available for rent)
Loose fitting clothing
As we continue the third instalment of our ‘Fitset Challenge’ in Edmonton (where we review studios with our Fitset Pass) our next stop took us to Moksha Yoga Edmonton West, and we finally got the chance to heat things up after this #aw-ful cold snap we’ve had in YEG. Moksha holds a special place in this FC crony’s heart, as it’s the first place we ever practiced yoga – I’m talking ever. Moksha has been open in Edmonton for over ten years, and has shared firsts with many of the community, not just us. Internationally, Moksha studios are built on having independently owned and community-driven studios that share the same ideals, teach traditionally, and believe in Moksha’s 7 philosophical pillars; be healthy, be accessible, live green, community support, reach out, live to learn, and be peaceful. This studio definitely falls in line with the company ethos, creating a space where a diverse group of people can practice together without judgment. You’ll find a v interesting mixture of serious practice and a jovial community. The team is always pleasant and inviting, and the sweaty yoga practice was challenging, fun, and accessible for anyone. We had a great experience, and whether you’re new to yoga or a professional yogi, it’s most definitely worth checking out for your next downdog.
Moksha West is located on the corner of 149th St. and 111th Ave. in West Edmonton. We’ll be honest – while the location is easily accessible because it’s on the axis of two major roads through town, it’s definitely a little out of the way for most people. This isn’t a studio you’ll stumble on when walking down the street, as it’s located right across from an industrial park and there isn’t much in the area. BUT, it is one of the few hot yoga options in Edmonton, and it’s definitely worth a drive to check it out and get steamy. Because of the location, there is ample free parking, and a number of bus lines will take you right by the studio.
CLASS SCHEDULE + PRICE
This studio has an incredible class roster. They offer eight types of classes (all hot) and there’s something for everyone. Either of the 60min or 75min Moksha classes are what we would recommend for beginners, but all levels are welcome and can find a challenge. The Flow classes and the 90min Moksha classes are categorized as more challenging, with classes like the 90min Moksha requiring you to hold 40+ poses throughout your practice. We took a 60min Moksha class, which is one of their most popular classes and is offered up to five times a day. The class consists of the regular Moksha series condensed into one hour, which results in the poses flowing together with fewer pauses than the 90 minute class and creates an atmosphere that’s more vigorous and fun. They have a very built out class schedule with something for everyone, any time of day with up to 9 classes offered during the week running from 6:30am – 9:00pm, and up to 7 classes on weekends.
The drop-in rate is on par with bê Hot Yoga at $18 before tax, and some of the package deals are worth looking into. The best bang-for-your-buck is the 20 Class Pass, which works out to $12 per class. Moksha recommends that you sign-up online beforehand to reserve a spot, and that you show up approximately 15 minutes prior to the start time. On Fridays, Moksha holds a by-donation Karma Class with a $5 minimum donation (which goes to local charities) and passes aren’t used. I’m not sure we can think of a better way to start our weekend than by giving back to our community. Oh hey, soft spot.
- Drop-in: $18
- 5 Class Pass: $80 ($16 per class)
- 10 Class Pass: $140 ($14 per class)
- 20 Class Pass: $240 ($12 per class)
- 1 Month Unlimited Membership: $150
- Monthly Auto-Renew Membership (Minimum 6 Months): $105/Month
- 1 Year Unlimited: $1200
- Intro Offer $50 for 1 Month (though this has to be purchased on your first visit)
- Students/Seniors get 10% off Packages and Memberships
The studio is jam packed, well decorated, and very put together. As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted with the sign-in desk and a seriously stocked retail boutique. There are huge boot racks at the front, which we know is nice because there’s nothing worse than wading through a sea of winter boots at the end of class, and the lobby has two long benches for peeps to hang out before or after class. The design aesthetic utilizes a mixture of dark coloured wood, stone, and concrete. Earlier, we mentioned that if you visit Moksha, you’ll find a really interesting combination of community and seriousness, and we want to delve into that a little deeper. The studio takes the practice of its yogis very seriously, and talking is highly discouraged in the practice room. That being said, the change rooms and lobby area are full of chatter, probably more than we have ever seen in a studio in Edmonton. The contrast was cool and intriguing and we kinda like it – work hard, play hard. The change rooms offer a TON of space to clean up the sweat after your practice, and we appreciate it. There is nothing worse than waiting in line for a shower. Nothing. Worse. The men’s room has two showers and a bathroom stall, and a bunch of toiletries to sample, including locally made natural deodorant (we defs grabbed some and will totally be back to buy more). The ladies room has three showers, two bathroom stalls, and some basics toiletries (elastics, Q-Tips, etc.). Both change rooms are prepped with lockers, but don’t have locks – so if you want to secure your stuff, don’t forget the lock!
The hot room is pretty standard with full mirrors along one wall and full windows along the opposing wall. It’s not the prettiest room we’ve ever stretched in, but absolutely the largest. It. Is. Massive. There were ~20 people practicing with no shortage of space – even our lanky frames didn’t have to worry about crossing over into our neighbor’s space. The class we attended was quite late, so the room was dark when we entered (finding your friend is an adventure), and the instructor adjusted the lighting when necessary. We have been to Moksha in the daytime as well, and we can say that the full windows on a summer day are not distracting from your practice – it’s open and airy.
The crowd for this class was mainly female, but with a healthy representation of men as well. There was a good sprinkling of diversity in the room, with numerous body types, ages, and skill levels in attendance. There were also a LOT of newbies, which is awesome, as it allowed the instructor to break things down for us and encourage growth in those baby yogis. The music that is played for most Moksha classes tends to be quiet and subdued and generally doesn’t start until after the first flow, which lends itself to the silent practice that Moksha strives for.
- Men’s and Women’s change rooms, 2 showers in the men’s and 3 in the women’s
- Towels and mats for rent
- $5 reusable water bottles – no plastic bottles for sale
- HUGE merchandise section including mats, water bottles, nutritional supplements, Lululemon clothing, towels – basically anything you could possibly want or have forgotten.
- Extras like hair-ties, body wash, and shampoo
- Blocks and bands in the practice room
- Lockers (don’t forget a lock!)
The team at Moksha Yoga Edmonton are fantastic. Angela Zawada, the owner, is a former Panda’s volleyball player and stumbled upon yoga when looking for an additional form of training that would be easy on her joints and compliment her other activities (our poor runner hips salute you, Angela). There are nearly 40 instructors between the two Moksha locations in Edmonton, and all of them are passionate, well trained practitioners. This lends itself well to the Moksha ethos, and ensures that you’re going to get a new and interesting experience with every practice.
Kristen was our instructor for the 60min Moksha class, and she is also the Studio Manager. Her teaching style is the absolute bomb.com. She is totally down to earth, approachable, and super natural at teaching. Kristen has a voice that exudes happiness, and she made us feel welcome and comfortable practicing in her studio. She demonstrated some of the class, but spent the majority of her time walking around the room and providing hands-on adjustments to individuals who needed it. We noticed after the second flow that a large portion of the class was fairly new to yoga (New Year’s resolutions for the win!) and we were seriously impressed when Kristen noticed too and modified the practice to accommodate the room. Kristen is passionate about smart flow style yoga, and actually stopped the class for a few moments to demonstrate step by step what the flow should look like, and how to properly execute each pose. We LOVE this approach, and we love that Kristen was thinking on her feet. Kristen kept the pace for a very fluid class and she built an extremely logical practice that didn’t see us bouncing from standing to seated positions too often, but instead focused on each in turn to push our bodies to the limit before moving on. If we could give her more fruit, we totally would – absolutely one of our favorite instructors so far.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
We’re rating this guy Hard, but depending on you’re experience level we could see it flexing into Way Hard for newbies. The 60min Moksha is described as an all-levels class with a combination of flow, power and yin, so we went in expecting something right down the middle in terms of hard-ness (word?) and that’s exactly what we got. Kristen had us working right out of the gate, starting with some warm ups to waken the body, and a small opportunity to set intentions. The class was beautifully put together to allow us to move to different parts of the body in a sequence that made sense. The first part of the class was largely dominated by standing poses, which moved into seated poses, and finished with floor poses. We basically started with the most exerting poses, and then moved further down the mat. Kristen spent most of the class tweaking form and demonstrating poses for the group, which is what distinguished this as a great class for beginners. That being said, the workout was intense, and we definitely had shaky legs a few times with the many standing poses in a row. We had a great class; it was challenging, sweaty, and sweetly serious.
To try this class or anything else on their schedule, see Moksha Yoga Edmonton’s contact info below.
Web: www.edmonton.mokshayoga.ca E-mail:email@example.com PHONE | 780.481.3070 Instagram | Facebook | Twitter