May 08, 2018 at 2:45 pm | By Daniel McKay
Mollie Busby started Yoga Hive three years ago and recently relocated her studio to the retail space in the parking garage downtown.
At Yoga Hive, Mollie Busby’s goal is to get those interested in yoga out of their living rooms and into a studio.
“There’s a lot of people in this Valley doing yoga on DVDs at home. And I felt that there was an easy, fun way to get them in a studio and help them kind of develop their practice and see how yoga can benefit their life,” Busby said.
Busby started Yoga Hive in 2015 and now has studios in Whitefish, Kalispell and Columbia Falls. Her Whitefish studio opened in its new home in the retail space of the city’s parking garage in March. Previous studios were located in the alley behind the Stumptown Marketplace and upstairs above the Toggery on Central Avenue.
Busby said so far the new location has been working out great for Yoga Hive.
“It’s just an upgrade from both of our last studios,” Busby said. “Now this studio, the look and feel of it is very much like our Columbia Falls and Kalispell studios, so everything feels really synergistic.”
Busby and her husband Sean moved to Whitefish in 2013. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and also ran Riding on Insulin, a nonprofit organization started by her husband that empowers kids and adults with type-1 diabetes through action sports, which he now runs as executive director.
Accessibility is a key focus at Yoga Hive, Busby says, with the goal of reducing the intimidation factor for newcomers.
“We love the tradition of yoga, it’s so important and it goes back so many years, but to get people acquainted with the practice we try to make things a little bit more accessible,” Busby says. “Instead of using words like ‘vinyasa’ or ‘ashtanga,’ we use Hive Flow and Honey Flow, just to get people acquainted with the practice and then we give them opportunities to dive deeper with workshops and teacher trainings.”
Classes at Yoga Hive are organized by pace, with slow classes like Gentle Yoga, and medium and faster classes like the Honey Flow and Hive Flow.
Yoga Hive also offers aerial yoga classes at their Columbia Falls and Kalispell locations.
Busby said the instructors at Yoga Hive aim to create a special vibe for their classes.
“We have low lights, twinkle lights, good music — teachers can incorporate whatever they want into their practice. Some of them will do crystal bowls or will pull cards, we’ll do a lot of essential oils as well,” Busby said. “It’s just those things you won’t find at other gym-type yoga places. So we really go for the vibe and I think people love coming here because of the peaceful atmosphere and just being able to zen out and escape for a little bit.”
Busby knows how it feels to have less-than-ideal experiences at a yoga class. Her own first class was off-putting enough to make her consider never trying yoga again.
“I actually had vowed never to do yoga again at that point, because my first and only class was awful. The teacher was very weird and I did not connect with him and I vowed never to do it again,” she said.
Luckily a friend convinced her to give yoga a second shot, and soon she was hooked.
Busby said she’s been lucky to have the support of the various other yoga instructors in Whitefish and the Flathead Valley since starting her own studio.
Whitefish has a strong yoga scene, and she’s thankful she was able to fit into that and find her place on the mat.
“I’m just really grateful for the Whitefish community, being welcomed by all the other studios, the other teachers, there’s no way we could do this without the teachers that work here,” she said. “They are a huge piece of what we do, and I’m just really grateful to be here and be able to do this.”
For more information on Yoga Hive, visit www.yogahivemontana.com.
BY DILLON TABISH // OCT 27, 2017
Following the lead of investor Mick Ruis, local businesses help fuel revitalization across town
COLUMBIA FALLS — The prominent hotel and convention center.
The lineup of renovated and emerging storefronts and apartment buildings populating almost half of Nucleus Avenue.
Even the aerial photo of the “Gateway to Glacier” placed front and center on the city government’s website.
All courtesy of Mick Ruis.
It’s impossible to walk through Columbia Falls these days and miss the influence of its benevolent serial investor.
Ruis has invested more than $15 million in local redevelopment projects in the last two years.
First and foremost, Ruis built the $10 million Cedar Creek Lodge, which he then sold to Xanterra Parks and Resorts for the same total price it cost to build.
Along the downtown thoroughfare of Nucleus Avenue, Ruis bought up empty lots and blighted buildings. He constructed the three-story retail and apartment building next door to the Columbia Bar, and it’s now open alongside the former antique store that Ruis renovated and leases to O’Brien Byrd’s fitness and exercise center, named JIM.
Across the street, Hellroaring Crossfit is moving into another of Ruis’ revitalized properties, the former First Citizens Bank. Nearby, the 18-unit apartment complex known as Glacier Courtyards has broken ground and is surfacing in place of the former DaVall Building.
Down the street, local restaurateur Pat Carloss has bought the former Bandit Bar and Saloon from Ruis and is retrofitting it into a new family-friendly bar and grill slated to open in spring.
“Three years ago it was doom and gloom,” Byrd said. “Now there’s so much going on.”
Byrd, a Columbia Falls native who owns O’Brien’s Liquor and Wine and The Coop, which now hosts weekly community markets in summertime along U.S. Highway 2, said a noticeable optimism has sprung up throughout town, driven by entrepreneurial spirit and excitement.
It also helps to have someone like Ruis spearheading instrumental investments.
“The guy is moving and shaking,” Byrd said of Ruis. “His heart is in the right place, and he has the money to back these projects for our town.”
Ruis, a high school dropout who became a millionaire in the scaffolding industry and is now a part-time resident in the valley, told the Beacon that he and his wife, Wendy, have been happy to help the town, whether it’s creating new economic opportunities or creating new places for people to live downtown.
“All of my investments in Columbia Falls are about the people and creating jobs,” he said. “We just feel fortunate to be able to help the town we live in and love so much.”
Indeed, Ruis has been a major community catalyst and set the stage for several upstart businesses of all types that have followed suit as Columbia Falls enjoys growing economic liveliness.
Downtown is lined with an assortment of new family-owned businesses that have recently popped up: Over the Mountain bike shop, North Fork Pizza, Uptown Hearth, Azul Coffee Bar, Glacier Nutritionist, Berube Physical Therapy, Odd Fellow Coffee House, Yoga Hive. A traditional mainstay, Los Caporales, has new owners and is poised for a sizeable remodel and rebranding.
To help maintain the momentum, the city of Columbia Falls is investing in streetlights through downtown, while the Columbia Falls Community Foundation is building a prominent monolith that will sit at the corner of U.S. Highway 2 near the entrance to the heart of town, declaring “Adventure Lives Here.”
Who writes this stuff?!
Mollie Busby is the owner of Yoga Hive, and writes inspirational musings for our newsletter, which we post here. If you have questions, or wish to get in touch with Mollie, drop in to a class, or connect online: