WanderLand: Channeling My Inner Yogi

I've always been a runner. I used to run track and cross country back in my more athletic days (about a half a lifetime ago). Whenever I go on a health kick and start to exercise, I get out my running shoes, throw in my ear buds and hit the pavement. Now i'm not talking about training for a marathon or anything like that but going out and running a couple miles always makes me feel good. I've never been one for the gym or liked working out in a class with a bunch of other people, but my wife recently convinced me to go to my first yoga class ever. And it was awesome! My wife has been doing yoga for years and always thought I would enjoy it but i've always been too intimidated to try it until now. At first we just signed up for a free one-week trial at a large studio to see how I liked it. Yoga classes can get expensive and we didn't want to waste money if it wasn't something we were going to stick with. The first week went great and after our free trial ended we decided we wanted to continue our practice.

After some diligent research, my wife found a highly rated studio, close to the house, that offers a first month introductory price with unlimited classes for only $40. At a normal monthly rate of $105 this deal is a great way to familiarize yourself with how they do things there without having to shell out for a four month, or in some cases, an entire year membership. With only a month left in the Twin Cities, it couldn't have been more perfect for us.

This wonderful place we became so fond of in our short time there is Modo Yoga Minneapolis. Modo is a hot yoga studio that claims to help stretch, strengthen and firm muscles while also detoxifying the body and calming the mind. At first I was quite skeptical of those claims, but my opinions soon changed as I allowed myself to give in to the practice. Not only is Modo Yoga much more physically challenging than I previously thought, it is also mentally difficult. Its a perfect way to push yourself to physical exhaustion, then seeing what your made of, push further. Most classes take place in their hot room which is normally kept around 100 degrees. This often lead to me sweating heavily before class had even begun, let alone 60 minutes into a 90 minute class. Most instructors here are very good, helping to inspire students and support the Sangha (community). One of my biggest fears about trying yoga for the first time was the fear of just looking stupid. The teachers at this studio helped me understand that Yoga is about so much more than just getting the postures "right" and that self-expression and modification is accepted and actually encouraged. Unlike so many other workouts, this freedom allows the student to truly make their practice their own. 

In addition to a wide variety of yoga classes, Modo also offers Barre classes, which we didn't take but heard great things about. They have a retail section which sells clothing, water bottles and yoga mats (at a somewhat inflated price). The locker rooms are large and clean with plenty of places to store your gear. Another convenient feature Modo offers is an online reservation system that allows you to sign up for classes from your computer or phone. This helps you avoid showing up for class only to find that it's full and, because you are charged if you do not show up for your reservation, helps motivate you to get your butt in there. 

Modo Yoga has helped me loose weight, gain flexibility and reduce back pain. Mentally, i feel more grounded and calm with a better understanding of what i'm truly capable of. My wife Samantha was right, yoga is something I should have tried a long time ago. Now that I know what it offers though, its something I will continue to practice, in some way, every day. And I highly suggest you do the same.


Modo Yoga Minneapolis Facebook and Twitter can be found here