Creating Community by Reaching Out

Emily Dickinson Poem

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.

Modo Pillar: Reach Out – Modo Yoga Minneapolis

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?


Author: Angela Noel

Seeker and promoter of awesome people and ideas.

6 thoughts on “Creating Community by Reaching Out”

  1. I work in a little vintage shop downtown in my city. The downtown has become a village within my city of around 92 thousand folks. I love how those who live with in the “village” visit me on a regular basis. It always reminds of the sitcom “Cheers” song. Where everybody knows your name and their always glad you came.

  2. I use to do Pilates regularly and whilst I know it’s different from Yoga, I used to feel the same with regards to the community vibe during classes. It was great as when I first started we were all beginners, so we all grew together. It was lovely 👍🏻

    1. That is lovely! I also think you bring up a good point. A community that grows up together doesn’t have to stay exactly as it is to be meaningful. Times and people change, but the feeling of goodness remains.

  3. I’m a yogi enthusiast also (just not hot yoga, but no matter). When we’re all in the room practicing yoga, breathing together, stretching and posing and meditating, ahhhhh yes, we build community then. We breathe in peace and breathe out love for all. Great post here!

    1. Thank you for reading it, and sharing your own experience. Yoga is one of those things we can do both alone and together at the same time. Like life, it’s up to us to do the work, but it’s with others that the work has more meaning. 🙂

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