By Angela Noel
April 13, 2017
I practice hot, sweaty yoga. I love the quiet, dark room filled with other people. We start and end each session in savasana, or corpse pose. The yogi leading the practice provides an intention, the only voice in the room, as we begin. He or she might share a quote, a song lyric, a poem, or a riddle. I’ve both giggled, and allowed tears to flow. There’s something about yoga that opens up possibilities in me.
No competition. No expectations.
Akin to a spiritual revival, the bunch of us sweat together, breathe together, slurp quantities of water after six sets of chaturanga dandasana (four-limbed staff pose) together. But this feeling of community doesn’t happen by accident.
My yoga studio, Modo Yoga Minneapolis, goes out of its way to foster a sense of belonging. Modo is driven by values–putting people first.
Modo (also known as Moksha in Canada) Yoga was built on the dream of having independently owned and community-driven studios that share their ideas, their love of conservation, an awesome hot yoga series rooted in the traditional teachings of yoga and yoga therapy concepts, and a passion for our 7 philosophical pillars. Today, studios are community hubs where yoga is just the beginning.
The Seven Pillars are a philosophical extensions of what inspired and intentional living can look like. There’s even fun videos to illustrate each concept.
On Modo’s Inspired Life blog, they’re featuring a series of posts about the Seven Pillars. A recent article discusses the beginner’s mindset, part of the sixth pillar, Live to Learn. Each post uncovers more ways for all of us to put philosophy into practice. The fifth pillar, Reach Out, particularly spoke to me. The piece I wrote for Modo’s blog compliments Speaking and Listening: The Power of Truth. It offers five ideas about how simple things can make a big difference.
Reaching out is an extension of self. It’s an effort to go beyond the comfortable, or the normal, and do something extraordinary. Folks like Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Bill and Melinda Gates, Amma, and Martin Luther King do big things and impact millions.
You don’t have to be a yogi to love what Modo is doing. They host many community events open to all, as well as work to support their members’ creative journeys–mine and others. For example, after class one day I found Dave Driver, author of The Bottom Turtle: A Christian’s Journey Into Yoga, in the lobby ready to talk about and sign his book. No friendlier or kinder face could greet a student after a steamy workout. A yoga instructor and member of Modo, Dave writes for everyone (not just Christians) about how, as one reviewer put it, “we can all find the good and grow together.”
Find the good and grow together. Filled with possibilities, that phrase perfectly describes what yoga, and community, mean to me.
Your turn: What does community mean to you? How do you reach out to support others?