We all need somewhere to go where we can come in out of the cold.
I’m looking out my living room window at the gray sky and the slush falling in near freezing temperatures. Winter is coming, as it does, right after the short sweet Canadian autumn of dazzling reds oranges and yellows. Barren trees, their leaves swept away in high winds, send out their annual warning: “Dig out your layers of woolen scarves hats mittens socks underwear now. Go.”
This weather reminds me of how grateful I am there’s a hot yoga studio around the corner. Knowing I could skip barefoot across this slush and not miss a beat is reassuring, but this place means more to me than just heat on a cold wintry day. Modo Yoga, nee Moksha Yoga, was my salvation four years ago, after I moved from the middle of the forest to the middle of the city.
I didn’t know a soul and spent most of my time hold up in my apartment writing. And when I’d take a break I’d find myself wandering around trying to figure out how to fit in to my new surroundings. That was how I discovered the brightly painted building down the street.
Modo Yoga Studio is my home away from home.
From the first moment I walked into the studio I felt at home. And when Diana, the studio manager, smiled at me as if I was an old friend I wanted to cry. She explained that classes were held in a hot room and I didn’t want to break the magic and admit I was a yoga teacher with a bias against hot yoga. What I wanted was to be wrapped in the comfort of the enormous heart of the place. I signed up to start the next day.
I remember getting ready for my first class and feeling so happy to have somewhere to go. I had an appointment. And I would be able to rest my mind, stop thinking, stop trying to figure anything out and just breathe.
And that is what I experienced, but there was so much more. From the first class, and for every class since, Modo Yoga has helped me feel grounded and like I have a place in my new town. The studio is a community and no one is turned away. The classes are affordable in the first place but for anyone unable to pay money there are options for energy exchange. Jo the owner and Diana are the beating hearts that fill the atmosphere with open-hearted kindness and they’ve become like family.
I always tell my students, if you are breathing you can do yoga.
I enjoy teaching yoga, and I love even more taking classes with teachers who are devoted to their own learning. That’s what I’ve found at Modo, teachers who want to learn while they’re teaching. Each teacher is deeply knowledgeable, and each is able to make you feel that you’ve been personally guided even when you’re sharing a class with dozens of other students. I haven’t attended a class yet where I didn’t come out feeling better, stronger and more centred in my body while at the same time more connected to the world.
Sometimes I get to bring my guitar and play my songs for the live music class. I sit in the corner and close my eyes and sing while sweat drips down my arms.
My youngest daughter loves yoga too, when she’s in town she joins me at the studio down the street. This week she started her own yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. Her most recent Instagram post shows that the view from the studio is breathtaking, clear skies and woodlands with a river running through to the mountains. I hope she’s warm enough. It’s cold in the Himalaya’s in November. I hope she has a sweater and warm socks.
Here, the slush is still slushing, but that’s fine. I’ll be heading to my home away from home soon. Today it will be a Modo / Yin combo class.
Until next time.
PS. I haven’t been paid to promote Modo. I just love them and recommend you try yoga no matter where you are.
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