The hot and sweaty yogic world of Modo Yoga, devised by two former Bikram yoga studio owners in Canada, is growing. Previously known as Moksha Yoga, the brand recently changed the name of its studios to Modo Yoga, with studios popping up in 75 locations in the US and Canada.
Toronto-based founders Jessica Robertson and Ted Grand got the idea to create their own form of yoga after opting to change the carpet in their Bikram studios to sustainably harvested cork, which counters traditional Bikram branding requirements, the New York Times reports. A constant of Bikram is that notorious sweat smell, often due to the carpet that every studio is required to have due to the fact it's thought to be more forgiving to joints and less slippery than hardwood floors.
Launched in 2004, Modo Yoga, while hot yoga, is certainly no Bikram, but rather based on a sequence of gentle, fluid postures that can be modified. Classes run 60, 75, or 90 minutes, and temperatures are set at below 100 degrees, so the practice is considerably cooler than Bikram's self-described "torture chamber," the New York Times writes. Also, very importantly, studios are required to be green, from top to bottom -- from the cork floors and VOC-free paints to the natural mat disinfectants and filtered water.
Modo Yoga has particularly taken off in cities like New York, where Katie Holmes and Russell Simmons have been spotted at the West Village studio in Manhattan, which has now grown so popular that the company is looking to expand to the Upper West Side and into areas of Brooklyn.
The company decided to change its name from Moksha to Modo back in October, to avoid confusion with other brands such as a yoga festival by the same name and a Las Vegas band, blog Well+Good NYC reports. While all new international studios will be called Modo Yoga, Canadian studios, where Moksha has been established much longer, can opt to keep their original name.