Have you ever noticed that nature doesn't stop when a virus hits the planet?
Storms still roll through. Birds still wake us up in the morning. Tiny little ants still do their job, hauling food back to their community. Even when they get totally smashed by a human hiking in the woods, they simply begin again.
Even though it feels like our lives have come to a standstill, the world is still turning. Nature is constantly showing us that nothing waits for humans to "get it together." Life — as they say — goes on. The world (nature, humans, animals and everything in between) begins again, in every moment.
I was reading back to some of my newsletters from many months ago, and I found myself thinking: Wow, I had NO IDEA what was in store for me, or Yoga Hive. There I was mid-January, building studios, opening spaces, welcoming in community members alongside our teaching teams... not a clue in the world what was in store in the coming months.
And you know what? This is no different than now. I have no idea what's in store for us tomorrow. Or next week. Or next year. The birds were chirping then. The birds are chirping now. The news reported on chaos then. The news reports on chaos now. I was happy then. I was happy now. I was tired then. I am tired now.
The circumstances have changed — but you know what? The ant's entire kingdom gets wiped out with one boot print. Lets do as the ant does: Begin again, rebuild, and learn. Our circumstances and challenges change daily, virus or not. So instead of telling you about our "new normal," I will suggest that normal isn't worth our time. Normal is not how we do business here at Yoga Hive.
We're opening the Whitefish studio on June 1st! HOME STRETCH, people!
Or is it?
That's the funny thing about COVID-19. We're making moves and setting dates and *thinking* about venturing beyond the boundaries of what we call "home." But is any of that for certain? No. Could that all change in a heartbeat? Yes.
Nothing is for certain — and I know we feel rattled because of the last few months, but lest we forget: Nothing in life is certain, nor has it ever been.
It's got a ring to it! More info forthcoming about our plan of action next week, with a full summer schedule to boot, including indoor classes, outdoor classes, paddleboard yoga and more!
That being said, are there a million questions yet to be answered about how this is going to work? Of course.. I was listening to my teacher, Anand, speak a few nights ago, and he spoke about questions. Specifically, asking questions – and what questions we ask can reveal so much about our internal state of being.
This weekend is the final weekend of yoga teacher training for our Montana-based crew. And as I reflect back on the last few months (and where they went?), I am reminded that everything in life is impermanent. Every yoga teacher training — however magical they all are — eventually comes to an end. (And our 100% online YTT begins June 3rd - click for details!)
In the same way, I dropped off our 15-year-old Weimaraner with Sean’s parents this past weekend. Daisy will live out her golden years sunbathing and getting SO much love with our family in warmer climates. Our time with our pets — however magical it is — eventually comes to an end.
In the same way, as so many of you know, we made the difficult decision to permanently close our Kalispell and Columbia Falls studios as of May 1st, and carry on in Montana with our flagship location in Whitefish. Every business — however magical it is for however long it lasts — eventually comes to an end.
Sensing a trend here?
The Yoga Hive team agrees that we're now in the year Zero AC — after COVID.
The time prior to this, we fondly refer to as BC — before COVID.
BC, Blaine (owner of Yoga Hive Colorado) and I worked together closely on programs and trainings and executed them separately at our studios. We would check in with each other and share feedback and learnings on our separate workshops and events and yoga teacher trainings (YTTs) and I would fly to Colorado and teach portions of her trainings and she would fly to Montana/Wisconsin and teach portions of our trainings... but they were separate.
Then quarantine happened.
AC, the light bulb happened... a brilliant, shining realization. Online, we can teach TOGETHER! We can merge yoga class schedules and have various teachers from all over the Yoga Hive Universe teach all the Yoga Hive Members. Instead of Blaine leading BeAbundant (a 21 day workshop that ends today) in Colorado, and I lead it in Montana and/or Wisconsin, we can teach it to everyone TOGETHER.
And all this togetherness has been more fun and impactful that we could have ever imagined.
Let me put this into perspective: Earth is a tiny blue dot in a galaxy that is part of other universes and multiverses, to infinity... farther than we have ever been able to see with modern technology.
Also: We are but one human being on a planet of 7.53 billion people (give or take).
Also: Our individual cells are but one component of 37.2 trillion other cells that make up the human body.
Sometimes — in the midst of "social distancing" and "sheltering in place" and a handful of new buzzwords that we'll never forget — it's worth pulling back or zooming in for some perspective on what's going on in the world today, and within our own bodies. (And if you want to visualize this, watch this YouTube video.)
These times — just like so many times in history — will be a blip on the radar of our life. Of course, there are going to be businesses that don't survive, others that thrive, families devastated from losses, and others traumatized from experiences all over the world in light of the pandemic. My intention is not to belittle the gravity of today's situation, which inevitably varies from human to human.
For the vast majority of us, this could be a distant memory with varying small degrees of influence on our daily life down the road. Knowing that — and reminding myself of that — is a reminder that although my actions today could make massive waves for my future, I know time is passing just as fast as it ever did, and every day is a gift, just like they always were (and always will be). Every moment is an opportunity, and just because there's a pandemic doesn't mean opportunities cease to exist.
If we're not pulling our hair out because of quarantine this weekend, it's going to be because we're tired of the Virus-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named posts on social media... or we're figuring out how to grocery shop online... or we're so flipping overwhelmed about the fact our entire world flipped upside down in a matter of weeks/days/hours (circle whichever one applies to you).
And when we're pulling our hair out, our loved ones come to the rescue. They grab our shoulders, look us right in the eye, and shout: "GET A GRIP!"
Of course they have good intentions, but the words they choose are interesting. "Get a grip" ... hmm...
So we have a grip on something — for example's sake, let's use a specific brand of coffee creamer. Your favorite coffee creamer. Because it's your favorite, you're holding it tightly, planning your routine around it, expecting it each morning. Figuratively you're "gripping" it tightly enough that it stays in your possession. You've got decent control over it. You can move it, toss it, drop in, hug it. Whether the "thing" is coffee creamer, or five crayons, or a computer mouse because you hate your laptop trackpad, you've got a grip, you've got control, and you're good to go.
Or are you?
Funny how things change in the course of a week, isn’t it?
And by funny I really mean... life-altering, potentially fear-inducing, and funny-not-funny.
Now, more than ever, is the time to practice. As the first yoga sutra says, "Now, yoga begins."
The impact of this pandemic on small business promises to be massive across the country, and Yoga Hive is not exempt from this, not by a long shot. But one thing you can always count on from us (and one thing we’ve learned over the last four and a half years) is that we practice yoga like our life depends on it.
In honor of helping to make “social distancing” the catch phrase of our time, we've spent the last five days crafting a plan to support the sustainability of Yoga Hive, and support this community like never before. At the recommendation of Yoga Alliance, Yoga Hive’s physical locations in Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Kalispell are officially closed, effective immediately, for in-person group yoga classes until it’s safe to reopen.
Plus, we’re completely out of toilet paper! 😜
And... here's the fun part. Yoga Hive Montana is proud to offer a full online schedule of LIVE classes starting TODAY on Zoom Video Conferencing (full "how to" directions and FAQs below!)
Alaskans have a phrase for traveling to the lower 48... it's called “going to the outside.” And I've never truly understood that phrase quite like I did this week.
After spending the better part of the last few weeks off-the-grid in the Brooks Range prepping for our Far North Northern Lights + Yoga retreat, even returning to mainstream Alaska felt like stepping out of a dream into a harsh reality... it’s a world filled with ongoing news stories, scary updates, and a bit (ok, a mega dose) of mass hysteria.
All I could think was: Where the heck is all the toilet paper?!
In all seriousness, with everything going on from election sagas, to virus watch, to the economy, to toilet paper's disappearing act, I find it hard to pull away from the news sites and my daily news podcast. I find it hard to not worry about the future of... everything.
How do we stay up-to-date in the world without constantly diving into fear?
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: It all comes down to the unknown, and our relationship with it. And our ability to ask ourselves realistically: What can I do right now?
In fact, this concept is so important that it's the basis of the FIRST yoga sutra — Yoga is now. This is the most important sutra, as they are to be practiced sequentially for maximum benefit!
So we avoid asking What does my future hold? Or How should I have done the past differently?
A yogi will ask: What is this moment asking of me right now?
Well, we made it through another holiday season — not to mention another DECADE of life on this planet.
High fives, all around!
As I was scrolling yesterday, everyone's "year in review" posts on social media got me thinking... before we close the door on 2019, lets cherry pick a snag from this past year and dig in. Because... why not?
Specifically: What's the one piece of feedback someone gave you in 2019 that really upset you... not because they're a jerk, or because they don't understand you. I'm talking about the feedback that you heard, reacted to harshly, and yet you know deep down... is right. This could have been at a holiday party, or it could have been 8 months ago. Really give it some thought.
You don't have to say it out loud. You don't have to tell anyone else or — gasp — admit it to the person that they were right. (Phew!) Just hold it in your mind, and bear with me...
There's this amazing quote from Martha Graham that I love...
"There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly to keep the channels open."
So if the entire world is depending on us to shine our unique light, why is it so hard to put ourselves first?
We can't answer that for you, but we're ready to help you answer that question for yourself this January. There are so many influences on our choices, both conscious and unconscious. Some influences include the people you surround yourself with, the marketing you expose yourself to (conscious and unconscious), your intellectual decision making, and your habits.
There is also your intuition... how much do you trust yours?
Yes, today I'm announcing a new year (new decade!) challenge, but at its core, this program is about learning to connect with and trust your intuition. I've spent the last month co-creating this with Yoga Hive Colorado owner, Blaine Wilkes. Yoga Hive Montana's Shelle Kuntz will also be along for the ride, as part of our teaching team!
Here's the deal: We are bombarded by things that confuse our nervous system and block our intuition. Sugar, processed food, alcohol, drugs, and even sneakily addictive food can send chemicals coursing through our body that create reactions and dependencies and separate us from intuition. Social media and advertising do the same thing. Your spiritual evolution, the path that’s unique and special to YOU, depends on you trusting your intuition and taking evolutionary steps. And only way to take evolutionary action is to listen to your intuition. If you choose not to do this, then no one will get your gifts. No one will experience what you have to offer.
The world will not have it.
In this BRAND NEW 40-day Challenge starting in January, you will learn how to meditate, have all your meditation questions answered, and be completely supported until meditation becomes a habit... which is important because we learn to trust our intuition by sitting alone, with no stimulation, and being in silence. You will also try out, and learn how to eat a plant-based diet, get the answers to your nutrition questions, get TONS of resources, and receive all you need to know to shop and cook delicious plant-based meals at home. And you get support all the way. (Don’t worry, there's yoga too!)
In the past, we had a program called BeYou (yoga+meditation). It was fabulous. Blaine also hosted a program in Colorado called BeNourished (plant-based diet challenge). Also fabulous. The world has since changed, and so has the Yoga Hive tribe! With the planet in peril, we need to change our habits NOW. We need radical accountability for our choices and behaviors. And radical support.
So we built it:
Challenge You: 40 Days of Yoga Hive Radical Wellness
Over 40 days and 6 meetings (which can be watched remotely) we will learn to meditate, learn some yoga as part of a daily practice (about 30 mins a day) and learn to eat less sugar, alcohol, meat, dairy, eggs and processed food... all with in-person and remote support from me (Mollie), remote support from Blaine (YH Colorado owner, certified in plant-based nutrition), in-person support weekly from Shelle (long-time plant-based enthusiast and Yoga Hive yoga/meditation teacher), and support from the tribe who signs up with you. We will have a social platform to communicate with each other between meetings, post recipes, send love and ask questions.
Here's how it works:
We start Monday, January 13th and have in-person meetings on Mondays from 7:30-9pm in Columbia Falls. The meeting will start with 30 minutes of meditation and yoga (which will be recorded so you can practice it every day in the week that follows). After, we will have a one hour meeting discussing a new topic each week, building healthy habits for 2020 and beyond.
Can’t make a meeting? Can't make any meetings? No problem. Either join live on Zoom, or we will record everything and you can do this from home at your own pace!
The 40 days officially starts on January 14th (with the first meeting Jan 13th to learn how this works) and ends on February 23rd. Six Monday meetings (Jan 13, Jan 20, Jan 27, Feb 3, Feb 10, Feb 17). You'll also get an amazing manual with a TON of information!
We’re so sure of these transformational practices that if you attend (or watch) all the meetings, practice daily (including meditation every day without missing a day), log your experiences, and complete all of the homework assignments, and STILL don’t see positive changes in your well-being, we’ll give you your money back. Yes. For real.
You can buy this as a stand alone or include 40 days of a Yoga Hive Membership for unlimited yoga over this period. We have 4 options:
Options 1 & 2, if you purchase before January 1st:
No more waiting. No more excuses. It's time to get on board with your own evolution and trust that intuition deep within! Remember: If you don't cultivate what you have to offer the world, NO ONE WILL HAVE IT. The world needs you... and ChallengeYou is the support you've been waiting for!
Mollie Busby is the owner of Yoga Hive, and writes inspirational musings for our newsletter, which we post here, along with upcoming trainings and workshops. To filter, navigate using the links above to see the category you're interested in. If you have questions, or wish to get in touch with Mollie, drop in to a class, or connect online: