This is a very personal message to you, especially if you have been having a tough time, directly from my heart. My name is Kim, and I’ve owned and operated Modo (previously Moksha) Vancouver since we opened our doors in 2009. My story is not unique, I was in physical distress with an inflammatory disease of my spine since the age of 20. This practice basically picked me up, rearranged me (in a good way) and changed my life in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined. I’m forever grateful and continue to be in awe of this incredible medicine.
The reason I brought Modo to Vancouver was a selfish one: I couldn’t live without it. Over the last decade, I’ve continued to sweat with all of you as I sneak in and out of the studio, I’ve lived my life, had heartache and strife while falling apart in Savasana alongside you. The one thing I haven’t mentioned is that I continue to struggle daily with physical pain. At night I wake up every 3 hours with the feeling that cement and acid is being poured down my spine and I am tormented thinking that this disease I have, might be passed on to my little boy. I’ve learned to self-medicate in 50 different ways, and get on with my day; I have the luxury of taking naps to catch up, hoping that the next day might be a little better, a little more easeful.
While I’ve come in and out of remission, yoga never cured me; it was a way that allowed me to fully accept and feel what I was going through, it continues to allow me to try new things, and not feel ultimately stuck in a rut of helplessness. However, I can’t help but feel that there are so many people out there that are struggling in the silence of chronic pain, and more importantly, associated mental distress of feeling like a burden or isolated.
Our yoga practice sometimes gives off the illusion that if you’re a “good yogi” you have it all figured out, and in some ways, hell ya, this yoga stuff is the real deal; In other ways, I want to make it very clear, yoga is not about sanitizing our experience to ignore the reality of our day to day struggle, so much as it allows us to go deeper, to feel more, and to cope in ways that prevents us from building up too many walls to separate ourselves from our community, our own self love, and our experience with the world. It’s so easy to go on autopilot, in order to survive. We see it in abusive relationships, we see it in high pressure situations, and we see it in the toxicity of the patriarchal mindset. All the walls we build up are in order to allow us to “get by”. Yoga on the other hand, is a practice that continually asks us to melt the walls that we have built, to stay nimble and open to possibility. That ask is BIG and BOLD, but the benefits of THAT are immeasurable.
This note is also a shout-out to our team of teachers that we have had, and do have at this beautiful studio. I’m sure that all of you can echo an equal sense of gratitude for each of our staff, both past and present, that have gone above and beyond, and have done something to shift your life, your thinking or your day, just from a simple touch, or a gentle reminder. The heart work they do is immeasurable and as a student, I’m eternally grateful. I remember on many occasions, walking into the studio and bursting into tears at the front desk (with Melissa of course), because all I could feel was safe. I love that.
So I guess this meandering message is for those that have and are struggling, and for the people in the world that take time to care for those that are struggling. I see you and love you and this is why this studio is here, to serve and heal. As we go into this holiday season, just remember the impact you have on the people around you, and don’t forget to be kind to yourself in those quiet moments.
Sending heaps of hugs.