written by: Kyneret Azizo
What does the word “community” mean to you? To us, it’s a place where everyone is welcome, loved and bolstered. Our sanghais like a cozy home but on a larger scale. And it just so happens to be the very foundation which Modo Yoga rests on. Community is at the heart of everything we do. So how does Modo Yoga Maple support the community, along with its fellow Modo Yoga studios? Evidently, we’ve begun by establishing a welcoming, comfortable and serene space for everyone to share a common passion for yoga. However, we also reach out beyond the studio walls to offer community services, raise funds to support significant world causes, and are focused on being environmentally-friendly.
Modo’s 6-pillar foundation expresses the heart of Modo Yoga best:
- Be Healthy
- Be Accessible
- Be Green
- Be Community
- Live to Learn
- Be Peace
If you’re a Modo Yoga teacher, maybe even an uber-passionate student, you have these thoroughly memorized. And if you’ve sincerely put the pillars into practice, they’ve likely made you a better individual. The incredible thing about each of these pillars is that their transformative power, first taking root within the individual, eventually spreads outward to the entire community. Just as intended! So without further adieu, let’s take a look at 11 inspiring ways Modo Yoga Maple supports the community. We hope to inspire you to join the cause!
11 Ways Modo Yoga Maple Supports the Community
1. Community Classes
We feel that an immense part of giving back to the community is about providing accessibility and exercising inclusivity. In our case, it’s about making yoga accessible to everyone. For that reason, we offer reduced-rate, Modo Community classes twice a week: Wednesdays at 2 pm and Saturdays at 1:30 pm. That’s not all! Modo Yoga Maple also offers several classes on the schedule with a drop-in rate of just $10.
Speaking of accessibility, did you know that the Modo Yoga sequence was specifically designed to suit the beginner yogi, but also satisfy the advanced yogi? Another thing worth mentioning is that we’ve got non-heated classes for those who cannot practice in the heat! Come one, come all!
2. Karma Classes
Being donation-based, Modo Karma Classes are also a great way to provide access to a broader spectrum of students. But that’s not the only thing that’s so awesome about Karma classes. Branching off the principles of Karma Yoga, these classes are about selflessly dedicating oneself to a greater cause for the benefit of other living beings. All proceeds from these donation-based classes go towards a different cause each month. Incredibly, Modo Yoga studios have raised over $3.2 million since 2004, doing just that. So who does Modo Yoga support?
- David Suzuki Foundation
- Bullfrog Power
- Maasai Wilderness Conservationist Trust
- Big Brothers and Sisters
- New Leaf Yoga Foundation
- Amnesty International
It’s empowering to know that with each breath you take during your practice, you are also supporting another life on this planet. It could be a plant, an animal or a human. Either way, there’s nothing more beautiful and fueling for your yoga practice than that. Check out Modo Yoga Maple’s 60 minute Karma Classes, which are held every Friday at 8:00 pm.
3. Annual Yoga in the Park Fundraisers
Establishing a thriving community means having each other’s back. Modo Yoga Maple holds an annual Yoga in the Park fundraiser event to support a different cause each year.
This year, our efforts went out to support Hospice Vaughan, and we were very pleased with the outcome. Together, we raised $3,105.00! It’s amazing how much power we have when we join forces for a bigger cause. It’s very much like how trees in a forest support one another. They interact, make decisions together, and collaborate to assist trees in need within their community.
4. Teaching from the Heart
You don’t have to pry too deeply into a Modo Yoga Instructor’s personal life before you discover that they are on a mission to create a better world and help others ‘be the peace.’ It’s why many of us choose the path of yoga in the first place.
Modo Yoga teachers do this by fostering compassion, awareness, and tolerance in our students, and showing kindness to all. The goal? To inspire our students to practice those same virtues off the mat and keep paying it forward so they, too, contribute to the community in positive ways.
5. Community Support
Modo Yoga honours people whose lives revolve around caring for and protecting our community, like teachers, medical professionals, or public safety officials. Just last month we offered free yoga classes to all First Responders, Paramedics and 911 Operators!
But as much as we aim to open our doors wide to embrace as many students, we also aim to get yoga outside of the studio and into the world. There are so many ways we strive to do that. You’ll find our Modo Yoga teachers volunteering at schools, community centers, senior homes, hospitals and more.
In addition, we find it super exciting to create partnerships with local like-minded businesses, to help one another grow.
6. An Eco-Friendly Studio Space
If you’ve ever taken the time to notice the details at Modo Yoga Maple, you’ll see there is an effort to create a safe and sustainable environment for our staff, students and the earth. That’s because we believe the part should reflect the whole. What is the yoga studio but a microcosmic version of the macrocosmic environment around us? Basically, we are the green we wish to see in the world. Everything from banning single-use plastic, to promoting merchandise made from natural plant fibres to the paints and floor cleaners we use – it’s all meant to reduce waste and help heal the planet. We take environmental matters very seriously. That’s why:
- Charity funds go to support environmental preservation
- We use eco-friendly and paraben-free cleaners for floors and laundry
- Many Modo Yoga studios have switched to eco-friendly rental mats
- We offer free water refill stations in changerooms
- Our paints are non-toxic
- Erasable student sign-in forms get scanned digitally and then get wiped clean for reuse
- Modo studios are built with the lightest footprint possible
Have a look at this article by Bullfrog Power on how Modo Yoga, previously known as Moksha Yoga, supports a greener planet.
7. Free Live-to-Learn Workshops for Modo Yoga Teachers
One of the ways we strengthen the Modo Yoga community is by providing free-of-charge workshops for our yoga teachers. It’s simple: Modo desires for its teachers to keep growing and reaching new levels of self-mastery. This is directly connected with Modo’s 5th pillar – Live to Learn. It’s an endless loop of evolution. The community helps to evolve its individuals, which in turn builds them up to be even more beneficial to the community.
8. Modo Socials
Every few months, Modo Yoga Maple holds a fun social event with a different theme in mind. These Modo Socials are a great way for teachers and students to form meaningful bonds outside the studio. Plus, they can learn from one another and bring new insights into the classes they teach. I’ve encountered some of the most profound pieces of wisdom in these casual settings with other teachers. What kind of events do we usually plan?
- Apple picking
- Potluck picnics
- Nature hikes
- Bowling nights
- Movie nights
Stay tuned for the next Modo Social email notice! Be prepared for fits of laughter and maybe the occasional tear-jerking moment. We hope to see you there!
9. Member Gratitude Classes
As a way of showing appreciation to students on membership for being part of our sangha, we host special classes a few times per year. These classes are usually co-led by multiple teachers, which means students get lots of hands-on adjustments. We even offer them a little gift at the end of class too!
There’s at least one workshop per month happening at Modo Yoga Maple, with the exception of summertime. These workshops provide opportunities for our students to deepen their practice and expand their knowledge about yoga. It’s where they get more in-depth information about the poses they practice in class. Everything from how to make yoga poses more beginner-friendly, to the principles of functional anatomy is covered.
11. Annual Holiday Modo Market
We love all things crafty and locally made! That’s why every November, Modo Yoga Maple holds a holiday market event that promotes local entrepreneurs and gives them a chance to shine and branch out in the world.
It’s the perfect opportunity to stock up on stunning, one-of-a-kind and handmade holiday gifts for you and your loved ones! Join us for our Annual Holiday Modo Market on Sunday, November 17th, from 6:30-9:00 pm.
If you ask me, the Modo Yoga Maple community is one of the most thriving, passionate and all-embracing ones I’ve had the privilege of teaching at. Having been on the other side of the planet for nearly 2 years, every now and then I find myself pining for its warmth-filled atmosphere, and its lovable staff and students.
I’ve really learned something special while there. It’s that yoga, along with other wellness practices, is not a privilege, but a basic human right. And each year, Modo Yoga Maple has striven to align every action with that core belief. Modo Yoga Maple is truly thankful to the students that have supported us and helped us spread love and yoga.
Will you join us in creating a better world for all? We hope to see you at our next event. 🙂
Kyneret has been practicing and teaching yoga for over a decade. She began as a yoga teacher for Modo Yoga Maple in 2012, and has recently set off on a nomadic adventure to South East Asia. She remains active within our Modo community as a blog writer.
When not writing, she is fully immersed in the day-to-day adventures of travel life and actively seeks out as many foreign yoga experiences as possible to further her knowledge and skills! You can follow Kyneret’s travels on her instagram account @planes_trains_autoimmunity