GoRecess Playground Pro: Rebecca Foon, Moksha Yoga NYC
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Where She Teaches: Co-Owner & Instructor at Moksha Yoga NYC
Classes She Teaches: Moksha Yoga, Moksha Flow, Yang/Yin and Yin Yoga
Background: Becca is a Moksha Yoga certified teacher and has been practicing yoga over the past fifteen years. Integrating her diverse training from teachers such as Hart Lazer and Sarah Powers, Becca teaches a variety of classes including Moksha Yoga, Moksha Flow, Yang/Yin and Yin Yoga. Becca is also an environmentalist and sustainability consultant, as well as a composer and contemporary cellist who has worked and recorded with various artists including Silver Mt. Zion, Patti Smith, Lhasa de Sela and Tanya Tagaq. She is a member of the kirtan music collective Lila and enjoys integrating her music and compositions into her classes.
ABOUT MOKSHA YOGA
What exactly is Moksha Yoga and how does it differ from other types of yoga practices? Moksha Yoga is a green, clean, hot yoga series that stretches, strengthens and tones the muscles while detoxifying the body and calming the mind. Founded by two Canadians, Ted Grand and Jessica Robertson in 2004, Moksha Yoga has grown into a worldwide community of independent hot yoga studios committed to ethical, compassionate and environmentally conscious living.
Are all Moksha classes heated? Yes, all Moksha classes are heated. However, at the NYC studio we offer a non-heated “live music karma class” one Friday a month and all proceeds go to charity.
What are the benefits of a heated class and how do you recommend staying hydrated before and after class? The benefits of hot yoga are many – hot yoga helps with tightness, chronic pain and arthritis. Athletes report greater mobility, endurance, overall strength and even greater performance in competition.
It is important to hydrate before and after class in order to stay hydrated throughout the day. We also recommend taking an electrolyte replenisher (adding fresh lemon to water works well). As a general rule, hot yoga practitioners should drink at least 32 ounces of water in addition to the recommended daily minimum of 64 ounces of water.
What are the seven pillars of Moksha Yoga?
Be Healthy: We work to support life long health for the body and mind by making healthy conscious choices in what we consume every day.
Be Accessible: We believe that everyone can have access to yoga and that anyone can walk into a Moksha studio and feel right away that they belong.
Live Green: We live to protect and serve the natural world through our yoga practice, our personal lives and our business to create a healthier planet.
Sangha Support (support the community): We work to create and support community. Stepping into a Moksha studio gives many a feeling of being part of something special; a friendly place to share and help each other grow, cultivating positive change in the world around us.
Reach Out: Karma Yoga! We use our creativity and sense of community to support others. One way we practice this is through weekly karma classes - all proceeds go to educational, community oriented and environmental charities.
Live to Learn: As Moksha teachers, we know we have a lot to learn from our students and each other. We all commit to being students for life.
Be Peace: When we improve ourselves from within, we have more to offer our family, community and the world. It all starts on the mat!
What’s the difference between your Moksha and Moksha Flow classes? Moksha classes are open to all, from seasoned practitioners to absolute beginners. In a Moksha class, you can expect a dynamic series of postures and breathing exercises, designed for practicing in the heat – but don’t worry, we maintain a comfortable temperature and provide relief through our air exchange ventilation system. All classes are both fun and safe.
Moksha flow classes are intended to open, strengthen and detoxify the entire body. The Moksha flow sequence is linked together with vinyasa flows. The emphasis is on the synergy between breath and movement to help you deepen your practice. The class is always moving and is great for upper body strengthening and improving cardiovascular health. Teachers might also work with their own musical play lists to set the mood.
Does Moksha Yoga also provide a cardio workout and can you lose weight by practicing regularly? The Moksha series is designed to improve cardiovascular health and yes, one can lose weight with regular practice.
What inspired you to open Moksha Yoga NYC and how do you feel it is unique from other yoga studios? An old friend of mine, Sarah Neufeld, and I completed the moksha yoga training together in India. We are both musicians and were interested in integrating yoga into our touring lifestyle as well as exploring music and yoga. We started teaching together at the Montreal studio where we met Britton Darby and Guillaume Brun.
This is where we all came together and began to dream about opening Moksha Yoga NYC. The four of us are deeply committed to offering a safe and accessible yoga practice to anyone who is interested in exploring yoga. We also wanted our studio to be as ecologically and socially sustainable as possible. Our studio features many green building materials and principals. We also have Friday night karma classes where all the donations are given to charity and we like to shake things up by bringing in live music and performances on special occasions.
The Yoga move/pose everyone should master: Savasana – giving yourself the time to truly absorb your practice and breathe into a sense of stillness.
Recommended clothing for a hot yoga class? Clothes that you feel comfortable sweating in.
GETTING TO KNOW BECCA
Favorite yoga pose? Dancer’s pose
What do you eat/not eat? I try to be vegan, sugar free, wheat free as much as possible; however, I like to break my own rules every now and again!
Guilty pleasure? Watching True Blood
As a composer and contemporary cellist, how do you feel practicing yoga to music adds to the experience? Any favorite songs to practice to? I do enjoy practicing to music once in awhile and love practicing to live music in a class. I have a soft spot for practicing to the Rachel’s and Krishna Das.
Most memorable teaching moment? The other day I was teaching and guided the students in doing some abdominal work and then told them to give themselves a hug (by bringing their knees in and wrapping their arms around their chins). But half the class actually gave themselves a hug, it totally made me smile, it was pretty adorable.
If you could GoRecess users one piece of fitness advice what would it be? Be good to yourself, listen to your body and enjoy your yoga practice.