Best of the City: Breathe easy

Modo Yoga wins Best Yoga Studio category during challenging time for health and wellness businesses

Modo Yoga instructor Kate Beddows, left, and Kristen Butler, co-owner. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Taking deep breaths is important in yoga. That’s a little harder during a virus pandemic – but still possible.

Modo Yoga has found a way to continue to offer classes and help people stretch for health and wellness, and for those reasons and others, it’s been voted Best Yoga Studio in the Best of the City survey.

“We’re trying to create community, we’re trying to better the lives of Nanaimo people and our extended Nanaimo community,” said Kristen Butler, co-owner of Modo Yoga. “So it’s just a little encouragement that we’re doing a good job and we want to keep doing a good job and knowing how we can do better, particularly with this new landscape that we’re in.”

The health and fitness business was hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before there was any provincial mandate, Modo Yoga and its other partner health practitioners made the decision to close down facilities.

Modo Yoga tried to fill the gap by offering live classes via Instagram, and also directed people to online classes through Modo Yoga International. The studio posted daily inspirations on its social media channels to try to encourage people to keep moving and keep well.

Six months later, instructors and participants have settled into a new normal at the studio on Dufferin Crescent. Class numbers are limited to just 15 per cent of what they were pre-pandemic, and participants must wear masks to and from their yoga mats. Staff make sure people aren’t coming in sick, and sanitizing and social distancing measures are the norm.

Butler said as restart phases and health and safety best practices have progressed, there’s been “decision fatigue” about what policies need to be in place and what procedures need to be changed.

“If anything we’ve been hyper-vigilant, doing things that we didn’t necessarily have to do, just to make sure everybody’s safe,” Butler said. “So far, so good.”

People have been understanding, she said, as they really wanted to get back to yoga.

“What keeps us going to try to do it and try to make it work is all the people that keep coming, and [they say], ‘I needed that today, thank you so much.’”

BEST OF THE CITY: This year’s winners

Yoga students can come for Modo yoga, Modo flow yoga, and yin style. They can work up a sweat in the hot studio that’s “metaphorically cleansing,” Butler said, adding that yoga can generally benefit not only physical, but mental health.

“Life is different and hard. Even going into the grocery store causes people anxiety right now…” she said. “It’s an hour to myself where I can relax, I can move, I can take a deep breath, I can take 10 deep breaths. I’m around people that are like-minded, that want to better themselves. You walk out, and it was only an hour, but you [think], ‘I feel like I’m a different person. I’m ready to take on the challenges of the world again.’”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Best Bets

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Modo Yoga instructors Kate Beddows and Kristen Butler stretch out into a triangle position at the studio on Dufferin Crescent. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Modo Yoga instructors Kate Beddows, left, and Jon Dickson, staff member Lisa Moore and co-owner Kristen Butler hold the warrior position at the studio on Dufferin Crescent. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Just Posted

An arrest warrant has been issued for Brian Thomas, of Nanaimo, who is accused of throwing a “spear-like object” at a vehicle. (Photo submitted)
Warrant out for Nanaimo man who allegedly threw ‘spear-like object’ at vehicle

Brian Thomas failed to make court appearance, say RCMP

Items seized over four days of targeted vehicle checks Nanaimo and Victoria by members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC photo)
Gang enforcement team seizes drugs and weapons in Nanaimo and Victoria

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. checked 33 vehicles over four days

Nanaimo RCMP Bike Patrol Unit members ride past Wesley Street on Tuesday morning. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo RCMP investigate knife threat, make arrest for alleged drug trafficking

Drugs, cash and knife found in belongings of man who matched description of suspect

Beef to the lady who backed into my car at the gas station at Rutherford Road. Thanks for damaging one of the nice things I have worked hard for while you went on your way enjoying your day.
Beefs & Bouquets, Oct. 28

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Beef to the lady who backed into my car at the gas station at Rutherford Road. Thanks for damaging one of the nice things I have worked hard for while you went on your way enjoying your day.
Beefs & Bouquets, Oct. 28

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The Calgary Zoo is aiding in recovery efforts for the Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
Despite challenges, 2020 good year for Vancouver Island marmot population

In 2019, the foundation counted 60 pups; this year, it reached 46

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

Most Read