Winnipeg man starts dream job — right as coronavirus pandemic hits

Yoga studios are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Twitter / Modo Yoga Winnipeg

It seemed like great timing for a Winnipeg man to quit his longtime career to follow his dream of owning a yoga studio — at least until COVID-19 reared its ugly head.

Reid Davies, new co-owner of Modo Yoga, says he’s staying positive, despite the coronavirus pandemic scuppering his plans — at least for the time being.

“My big piece of life advice to everybody, when they ask me how I’m doing in my new world, is just ‘don’t buy two yoga studios right before a pandemic.'”

Davies said he had been working in sales for most of his career, and although he enjoyed the people and the companies he worked for, the extensive travel across Canada and the U.S. was losing its appeal. He wanted a career with a better work-life balance.

“When I went to my first yoga class about 11 years ago, I thought, ‘I’m gonna be a yoga teacher one day, when I grow up’… and then the opportunity sort of came about last summer,” he said.

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“I started talking to the current owner about buying in, and the timing was perfect — the timing was perfect to buy in.

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Still, despite his studios having been shut down since early March, with no real idea of when they can reopen, Davies says he doesn’t have regrets about the decision.

“I’m actually surprisingly positive, which is tough these days, but I’m looking forward to coming out on the other side,” he said.

Because of yoga’s ‘deep-feeling’ and connected community, Davies said he’s been in regular contact with the studios’ managers, teachers and clients.

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To stay active within that community, he said Modo has been offering on-demand virtual classes, as well as live classes via Instagram, and has been keeping connected with technology as much as possible.

Besides, he said, if there was ever a business to be in during such a stressful, uncertain time, it’s yoga.

“When I put in my application for becoming a member of this community and an owner, they say, ‘why yoga?’, and my first line was, ‘my family likes me better when I’m doing yoga.’

“I think this is the perfect time to start doing yoga.”

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