When I was a kid, my mom told me I’d scream if I was left in a sandbox. I’d cry if I stained a new outfit. I absolutely couldn’t stand being dirty. To this day, every time I stain a new outfit (which is literally anytime I put something new on my body), I still have this moment of shame and disappointment.
Flash forward to spending summers at summer camp. At camp, being dirty was the name of the game. Intermittent showers... playing outside 90% of the time... running around in the mud, dirt, sand, you name it. Dirt-phobia didn’t stand a chance, and I LOVED it. I felt like myself — more focused on my alignment with the earth, than being attached to material "things."
There's a term in yoga for non-attachment to sensory objects that I was practicing before I even knew what a "down dog" was.
Then after my junior year in college, I stopped spending summers in Northern Wisconsin, and I didn’t spend a ton of time getting dirty. In fact, I was the Style Editor of a women’s magazine, so my job was the exact OPPOSITE of getting dirty.
Unbeknownst to me, that weird, unexplainable childhood phobia set back in. I was attached to all my things — and I clung to them, and I incessantly aimed to keep free of animals, dirt, and messes.
Enter: Off grid living.
People ask me all the time why I choose to live off grid. Sean and I have been living off grid in both Montana and Alaska.
Sure, it's hard work. Chopping wood. Waking up to 40-degree (or colder!) mornings in the yurt when the fire goes out. Struggling to start a fire because the pipes aren't drafting. Hauling 7-gallon water jugs in a sled up a steep hill. Riding a snowmachine or 4-wheeler 3+ miles from where I park my car... in the rain, snow, ice, mud or shine.
I love this way of life because I get that feeling I got at summer camp, year round. It helps me feel like myself. Living off grid helps me regularly appreciate the wind. The birds (like I said last week!). The moon cycles. The snow and rain. My days — and power source — are governed by the sun, and my survival is dependent on my own will, instinct and desire. We had the privilege of building our own home, learning all the skill sets we wish we had learned as kids. (Side note: Our full episode of Building Off Grid is now available on the Discovery Network here!)
We all have our own ways of getting gritty in our day-to-day lives, don't we? It doesn't have to be literal dirt under your fingernails! Running a small business, being a mom, volunteering at a nonprofit, working at a job you love, just living life as best as you can. As a part of the Yoga Hive tribe in one way or another, you likely share my same desire to be authentic, intentional, and mindful in your everyday life, right?
If you're ready for a reset this winter, that's exactly what we're doing tonight at BeYou. Harnessing the power of yoga, meditation, nutrition, and self-study, you are guaranteed to experience radical shifts toward doing what you were born to do in this life: Be yourself.
It doesn't matter if you're hard-working entrepreneur, momma, partner, nurse, volunteer or otherwise! This program is for you if you're ready to kick things into gear. Reset. Refresh and Transform the way you live and work.
For 21 days (the minimum length of time it takes to start a new habit!), we will meet once a week on Tuesdays from 6:45-7:45pm for yoga in Kalispell, and from 8-9pm for personal development. You don't even have to be there in person! I'll be recording every session and posting it on our private BeYou Facebook group (or on Google Drive to be downloaded for those who aren't on social media!).
In addition to our 4 in-person meetings together, you'll get daily inspiration and tools to jumpstart healthy habits, including daily yoga and meditation (including videos and audios you can use at home!), inquiry and planning activities inspired by The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte, thoughtful nutrition education with a customized challenge, and more. Plus — I write you an inspiring email every single day to keep the challenge every present in all of our minds.
You'll close out the 21-days with a fresh perspective, the motivation to tackle whatever you've got going on in your life, and the courage to be the best version of yourself. You can purchase the program as a standalone for only $44, or couple it with a discounted month-long membership to Yoga Hive for $132.
In light and love,
After two relatively sleepless nights traveling across the country, I sat on the bed of my hotel room in Nashville earlier this week and closed my eyes for meditation. It wasn't 30 seconds in that I heard them...
Birds. Chirping outside my window.
Such a simple moment. Even as I realized they were there, they were gone — it was a fleeting experience that could have so easily gone unnoticed. But it didn't... and that makes all the difference.
Hearing the birds, or looking up into a clear night sky filled with stars, or seeing a pale, translucent moon on the horizon in early evening… these tiny moments represent pure presence. Noticing those little things can transport my tired, monkey mind into a silent, pure field of awareness — like the flick of a switch.
But I didn't always recognize this.
A few years ago, I spent most of a hot, Montana summer with Sean, building a tiny cabin on our property for a show on DIY/Discovery called Building Off Grid. And when I say building a house, I mean literally Sean and I (along with some incredibly generous friends) out there with our bare hands: Building. A. House. (Mind you: Without any experience building other than a yurt!). Our timeline was tight — the network gave us three months. THREE MONTHS.
Let’s just say I have incredible respect for those who make their living building homes.
But that summer was stressful in many ways — the house was one thing. Sean had just gone through a second autoimmune diagnosis of Lupus, and a broken ankle during the build process, which he’s very open about. Yoga Hive was still very fledgling and I was working my buns off to figure out how to best serve our communities.
I was burning out.
Until the day I heard the birds —which didn’t happen until after the TV crews were gone and the house was built. I remember thinking, “THIS! This is what I was missing!”
Hearing the birds transports me out of future worries… away from past regrets… straight to the present moment. And I still use that technique to this day; when in doubt, turn to nature to flip my perspective. It's almost so simple, it seems too simple. But as I gain more life experience each year, I realize over and over again that the simplest things are often the ones we need the most.
(And if you absolutely can't hear the birds? Then, yoga!)
In light and love,
Hands down: Worst feeling ever.
It was Sunday afternoon, and I was sitting in my hotel room in Washington DC before catching my flight back to Montana Monday morning. I was laying in bed, exhausted from a 3-day Riding On Insulin ski/snowboard camp with kids, and I hopped on Instagram to post about my upcoming Chakra workshop (tonight in Whitefish!). I noticed @YogaHiveMontana had a new message.
It was a sweet note from a friend, who mentioned she was waiting outside the Columbia Falls studio for me, wondering if everything was OK.
It was a slow connection for my brain to piece together... I wasn't sure exactly what she meant. Had I made plans to meet her there? I hadn't seen her in a while. What classes were happening at the studio? Did an instructor miss their class.....
UGH. There it was: It was me.
For the first time in nearly four years of running Yoga Hive, I spaced on getting a sub for my 10:30am class on Sunday morning in Cfalls.
[Can you feel it, too?] Instant sinking feeling in the gut... followed by a few minutes of research on who had registered online, and then many more minutes sending apology emails, texting around to see who could have been waiting outside... all the while just feeling like garbage.
I know we're all human, and these things happen. I even tell new Yoga Hive teachers it happens at least once to everyone, and we expect that it shouldn't happen twice. Now I can say with confidence that it's even happened to me... and I know how it feels!
But how do we own up to our mistake, and transform that awful feeling in the gut to something positive at the end of the day?
Monday morning, nearly a day later, I was still beating myself up about it. I knew I needed to pull out of that negative headspace. Coincidentally, I got an email that morning from Danielle Laporte. She's currently running a free online course for her Firestarter Sessions content, and the first line of her email was, "Mistakes happen."
You can say that again!
She goes on, "Big, dumb, stupid, lazy mistakes. Fat frickin’ messes that you will regret for a very long time. And no affirmation or predeterministic thinking will change the fact that you’ve done wrong. And when you can get that real about it, you don’t need to waste energy protecting your ego or pouring on the sweetener. You can use that energy to clean up the mess and love yourself while you’re doing it."
DLP closes that paragraph with the best nugget that I SO needed to hear:
"Failure only turns into a lesson if it shifted your perspective or the way that you behave. It’s not a gift unless it transforms you."
I worked through the Comfort Zoning worksheet she provided with the email to remind myself of the things I can turn to when I need to lift myself up (reply here if you want a copy — happy to pass it along!). Through that work, I remembered that for me, confronting failure and shifting my negative guilt into a positive outcome happens if I write about it... like I always do. Of course I'm going to be EXTRA cautious getting subs for future classes—that's a no brainer. But taking it one step further and helping others is the best way I can transform a mistake into good for the world.
So here I am. And I'm so sorry!
If you were waiting outside the Cfalls studio this past weekend and haven't received a personal email from me, please reply here and I'll do everything in my power to make it right. If this has ever happened to you at any time in the history of Yoga Hive and you feel we haven't made it right, reply here and tell me about it. Trust is built over the course of many small acts... and I know I speak on behalf of all our instructors at Yoga Hive when I say: We don't take our responsibility to you lightly!
And for anyone out there who has made a mistake of your own: YOU GOT THIS. Own it, do what you can to make it right, and move on. Let the guilt go by correcting your intellect and changing your behavior over time. [And it goes without saying: I know how you feel!]
In light, gratitude and genuine apology,
I’ll never forget the moment I considered giving up eggs, meat and dairy.
(Emphasis on considered.)
Allow me to set the stage: I’m originally from Central Wisconsin. I lived there my entire life, until I met my (now) husband, Sean, who told me he could never live without mountains. So I happily moved west, and it was the first time I ever lived outside of the land of:
I was standing in a hotel room in Salt Lake City, and I distinctly remember eating cheese and crackers. Blaine, the owner of our sister studio, Yoga Hive Colorado (and a dear friend/colleague who I spend A LOT of time with) was seated across the room. Blaine has been vegan as long as I’ve known her, and long before, and I would always describe her to others as “The Vegan who doesn’t make you feel bad for NOT being a Vegan.”
On this day, I was curious. I wanted to grill her on WHY she was Vegan.
Admittedly, I expected her to list the reasons we're cruel to animals (which she did) and be done with it. I offered all sorts of reasons for my choices, and she humored me with her perspective. Then she started to list more reasons — things that, against all odds, intuitively felt right in my brain — and she kept going, and going, and…. the moment happened: As I popped a slice of cheese into my mouth, I had the thought: Maybe I could eat plant-based?
And just as quickly as I thought it... the thought was gone.
But the metaphorical (and literal!) seed was planted.
The week after I got back to Montana, I hosted Yoga Hive's first signature 21-day BeYou program at the Whitefish studio, and I was excited. Not only did I get to teach a 21-day challenge for our community involving daily yoga, daily meditation, and inquiry through Desire Mapping, but I had an excuse to investigate this whole Vegan thing.
In the middle of BeYou, each person chooses three things that he/she wants to give up for just one week, just to observe. I may have been the facilitator, but I was NOT going to turn down the opportunity to be held accountable. And to any confused friends and family, I could say “I’m doing it for Yoga Hive." The perfect excuse!
So I gave up eggs, meat and dairy for one week. And then one week became two. Two became six, and flash forward five months later, I’m still eating Vegan — not because I believe it’s what everyone should do… please know that’s not the point!
I’m eating what feels good for me. And if it weren’t for my “excuse” to try it, I would have never done it.
I don’t care who you are: It doesn't matter if you want to fill your life with more yoga, a meditation practice, a diet with more veggies, or if you want to spend more time with your family after work. The process of creating new habits is not easy! Which begs the question:
Why is it so fricking hard to get off the couch and do what you know is good for you?
Because we need a reason to try.
If your habit is “sitting on the couch,” then that’s what it is. You have a habit of “sitting on the couch” and you don’t have a habit of [insert positive habit]. You’ve likely spent years honing your “sitting on the couch” habit, so reversing it doesn’t have a quick, easy fix. It takes work, and time, and trust, and doubting, and resolve and.... a lot of screwing up and throwing in the towel and beginning again. It’s a process that doesn’t offer a path “as the crow flies.” You’ve got to navigate the twists and turns of the pothole-laden road through the mountains.
So how do we start? Accountability.
Getting together with others who are also interested in making changes, too. I’m excited to tell you about our NEW and improved BeYou - a 21-day transformation program that features the accountability you might be looking for.
BeYou 2019 will be even better than last year, with expanded meditation teachings, different Desire Mapping activities, new inspiring daily emails, and never-before-seen weekly yoga videos with yours truly so you can practice from home on the days you can’t make it into the studio!
We meet on Tuesday nights in Kalispell for four weeks starting February 26th. I will teach a dynamic, all abilities Honey Flow from 6:45-7:45, and then we have a workshop/meeting from 8-9pm. And if you can’t make one of the meetings (or ANY of the meetings!) we will have a Facebook accountability group where I’ll post video recordings of the class and meeting each week. You can even join in for the meetings LIVE via Zoom, an online video conferencing service. Everyone who participates will be paired with an accountability partner, whether you’re in Montana or not.
Get your spot today!
The program is only $44 for the four yoga + workshop combo evenings. If you don’t currently have a membership with the studio and you want to practice in the studio more often during the program, you can pay $132 for all four meetings PLUS one-month unlimited yoga at Yoga Hive. If the cost feels prohibitive to you but you’re open to asking for support, click reply and fill me in on where you’re at and what you can afford. If I can help make that happen for you, I will!
Have a great week!
A woman gave me feedback on the Yoga for Men flyer last week, and we shared a laugh about the photo I used. She told me that the photo wasn't quite appealing to her husband, but he WAS interested in the concept.
Admittedly, I didn't know what the heck to use because there are SO MANY MEN I've spoken with about this! Do I put a shirtless guy on the flyer with rippling biceps who just got done working outside all day? Or a business-uniformed gentleman meditating on his lunch break? An older man needing flexibility? Zen hippie yoga guy?
Guys. Regardless of the photo on our flyer, here's the deal:
(As always feedback is ALWAYS welcome!)
Ahh the end of hibernation. This time of year, we see faces we haven't seen in a while. Our friends who winter elsewhere come back to town — like one of our favorite C-falls instructors, Debbie! And our friends who work summer gigs put their noses to the grindstone and wave goodbye till the fall. And... the sun is out! We're excited for outdoor yoga on the Firebrand Rooftop Saturday mornings at 9am, Yoga + Mimosas at Lodge at Whitefish Lake on Saturday mornings at 10am, Outdoor yoga at the Glacier Outdoor Center up the canyon starting June 12th, and SUP Yoga on Whitefish Lake starting in July in collaboration with our friends at Paddlefish Sports.
Just as prices and population rise for the summer around the valley, I wanted to be up front and let you know that Yoga Hive is following suit — we are raising our drop-in price for the summer to $17/class. BUT — locals, we've got your back. If you show a Flathead/Lincoln/Glacier county ID to our staff, you can always get our original $15 drop in price. We also have our Summer Special — only $210 for unlimited yoga for three months!
Summer is also a time of growth for Yoga Hive, here in the valley and around the country. We have projects cooking up in more than one new location, and although we still cannot release the details publicly, know that my mission is to share this light we've created in Montana with other small towns around the world. Providing an approachable, easy-to-use, light-hearted business model for towns of our size is an offering that I am working hard to fine tune. And I'm telling you all this because I have you to thank. YOU who show up at our studios on a regular basis, email me feedback when you think we can do a better job, you who send me love notes about our incredible team, and you who send me the most incredible testimonials from your life-changing experiences at Yoga Hive. I feel motivated to share these words from Sarah S., one of our Fall 2017 graduates with you all:
What changes have you noticed in your life as a result of completing our yoga teacher training program?
Sarah: Where do I even start with this question? It is almost an understatement to say that this training has completely changed my life, for the better. I feel more at home in my mind and body than I ever have before. I have adopted a consistent yoga and meditation practice daily that I would be lost without, and always seems to give me exactly what I need in that moment. I genuinely feel as though I am a more compassionate being to everyone and everything around me. I treat myself better than I ever have, physically and emotionally. I feel a deep desire to grow as a person both academically and spiritually. I am consistently finding myself overwhelmed with immense gratitude for my life and the people in it. I am motivated to connect with nature and do anything I can to help the environment. I cherish moments more intensely and presently. I am constantly inspired by what I am capable of and feel as though I can feel my way through any tough emotion I may have. I have been able to accept and come to terms with many problems I had in my childhood and cultivate a better understanding to why things happen. And most importantly, I have developed a connection to myself that allows me to be present in every moment and live in more peace than I ever could have imagined.
Every time I read her words, I get goose bumps. And whether it's a teacher training program, or just a single class or workshop you've taken with Yoga Hive, we aim to make that impact in your life because honestly? It impacts ours, too. When we shine, you shine — and when you shine, we shine. Yoga is a two way street... and we're so honored you're walking with us!
Last thing (if you're still reading, I love you!)... scroll down to read out first TEACHER SPOTLIGHT, as well as upcoming workshops — monthly unlimited members get exclusive discounts! Chakra Flow with Essential Oils, Gentle Aerial Silks + Essential Oils (space is limited!), and my personal favorite:
Yoga for Men. Ladies and to the men that frequent our studio, I need your help! Lets make Yoga Hive even more approachable for our male audience... I will personally be teaching each one of these classes, suited for all abilities, and geared at showcasing a general understanding of what yoga is, we will do a class, and attendees will learn what to expect from a class in a studio. Flexibility and experience are NOT required, and the cost is only $15 per person: June 12, 6-7pm (Cfalls), June 13, 7-8pm (Kalispell), or June 14, 5:30-6:30 (Whitefish).
Thank you thank you thank you — and wishing you all a happy, healthy start to summer in the Flathead!
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:
407 E. 1st Ave.
Whitefish MT 59937
Next to SOBBA Cycle in the Parking Garage
527 Nucleus Ave.
Columbia Falls MT
Just north of JIM and Hellroaring Crossfit.
328 Main Street
Across the street from the Toggery and next to Mimi's Bridal.