Mondays with Mollie are back—at least for today :-) And I want to break down something fun I asked my Facebook community about recently:
WHAT KEEPS YOU FROM GOING TO YOGA?
Totally respectable question, right? Yoga is this new-agey thing that I know a lot of people are intimidated by — at one point in my life, that was me. After my first class ever, I swore I'd never go back to yoga. I was late to class, had to be in the front of the room, kept craning my neck around to see what the heck everyone was doing, and then the instructor (a white-haired older gentleman who I'd never met before) gave me a physical adjustment that I was NOT interested in.
Yeah. Never going back.
But serendipitously, I was reintroduced to yoga by my best friend Brittany ONLY because I was desperately trying to be her friend when I first moved out west, and that's what she loved doing so I went along. I haven't looked back since... thanks Brit!
This week, Monday's with Mollie is all about the most common concern I heard... what I'm calling the most common myth about yoga:
Myth #1: It's embarrassing not knowing anything about yoga because the rest of the people in the class are judging me as a beginner.
So what's the truth? Watch my first YouTube upload below to find out my take! If you have other questions or concerns for next week, hit me up in the comments — I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I am so inspired by this Yoga Journal article written by my friend, Lauren Walker. Lauren is an author and the creative mastermind behind Energy Medicine Yoga. She writes about her love for nutritious raw fats, her body image, and her internal struggle before having photos taken for her latest book, The Energy Medicine Yoga Prescription.
Lauren writes, "I struggled seriously for a day or two, wondering if I should do a big cleanse, try to slim down, work out more. I’m in good shape—strong, with a healthy breath capacity, flexible enough to do Handstands and Bow Pose, and resilient enough to keep healthy as I travel around the world teaching yoga. But that’s different from camera-ready."
After hemming and hawing, she ultimately came back to the reason she wrote her book, the method that she shares, and the fact that perhaps the hardest pose is yoga is believing that we are enough.
I will repeat it in all caps, because it's so true, and important:
YOU ARE ENOUGH.
She goes on, "So I lifted my shirt and bared my bear belly—round, ripply, stretch-marked, and soft—and took the pictures that show how to strengthen your core. Not how to get six-pack abs, but how to get strong, centered, and real underneath all of it."
I'm having photos taken for our latest edition of the Yoga Hive 200 Hour Teacher Training Manual tomorrow afternoon, and the thoughts running through my head are the same. And its a teensy bit comforting (ok. REALLY comforting) to know that I'm not alone in these insecurities — we all have them. If it's not our body, it's our intellect, our stamina, our abundance... whatever.
So my fellow humans, once again it comes back to the fact that we are all in this human experience together. And today? I'm just going to say to Lauren, Thank you. From one yogi to another, thank you for being so real on such a public platform.
When people say things like, “That’s my idea,” I think Sure. But all the ideas that led to your idea were not your ideas, right? I see the world more like a collective consciousness of ideas, one building on the next. And that’s how I like to think of Yoga Hive’s beginning.
I came up with the desire to start a yoga studio with unique qualities and offerings – but the “yoga studio” idea wasn’t unique. Other yoga studios primed the pump, fostering a desire for yoga in the Flathead Valley long before I did. My husband, Sean offered up the name Yoga Hive. Wheelie Creative custom crafted the logo. A few seasoned yoga teachers took a chance on the new studio and agreed to teach. I worked with multiple business coaches throughout different phases, who ultimately prepared me to coach my own clients today.
It took a village back in June 2010 when we opened, and it still takes a village today.
You guys, I want Yoga Hive to be around for as long as these communities need what we offer. I have so many investors of time, creativity, energy and trust to thank for where we’re at today. I’ve poured my heart and soul into this for two years, building a community of students and teachers alike which I am immensely proud. I lowered my prices when we opened Columbia Falls because I didn’t want cost to be a factor between coming in and not coming in to Yoga Hive. Since then, I’ve tried my hardest to keep things low, while still investing in our space.
On another note: I don’t believe anyone should have to prioritize something before yoga if they need it. Sure, there are choices. Some people would rather pay for a $2.88 kombucha every day ($86/mo.) rather than spend $69/mo. on a yoga membership. If that’s your choice, then I have zero judgement. (And I love kombucha, so I get it.)
It’s when times get tough, and we aren’t able to prioritize yoga at the top — that is when true yoga begins.
So. After careful consideration with the goal of long term viability for Yoga Hive, we will be raising prices and simplifying packages in the coming weeks, coinciding with our move in Whitefish to 126 Central.
Along with that, we launched a Pay It Forward Program today that is open to anyone. If you’re committed, honest, and truly wanting to have yoga in your life, who am I to stop you? If our new rates don’t work for you (or if our current rates don't work for you) there is a form available here where you can tell us what commitment works in your budget. Together, we will agree on terms that work. I understand firsthand that every dollar counts.
And for those who are willing to commit a little more to their membership each month because of the value they find in their yoga practice, and in turn, this entire yoga community, I say thank you. We all say thank you. Your commitment helps us make more commitments to those recipients who will ultimately pay it forward.
The Yoga Hive community belongs to all of us, because it truly wouldn’t exist without the people in it! Not really sure how this is going to go, but like all things Yoga Hive… we’ll try it out and I’m sure you’ll tell me if we need a shift!
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about gurus. Although the word "guru" can mean a spiritual teacher from Eastern tradition, I believe gurus take many shapes in our lives today — from medical doctors, massage therapists, and Reiki masters, to business consultants, professors, and yoga teachers. Some spend years helping us through uncertain times, and others are a profound blip on an otherwise massive radar. Some we hire to work with us, some show up unannounced and go unrecognized until years later.
As someone who spends most of her days showing others the path of yoga, business coaching, and managing my own businesses, I wouldn’t be where I am without my own team of gurus and healers. And before I added Tod Lonergan to that team, I didn’t realize the depth of what I was subconsciously holding onto. And despite immersing myself in a world of connection through yoga, I didn’t realize how disconnected I truly was.
I was in Southern Colorado helping facilitate a Silks Yoga Teacher Training, and my dear friend Alana (who owns a yoga studio and healing center) suggested that before I leave, I get a healing with this guy Tod who she'd just started renting space to. Literally — that was all the information I got. Always up for an adventure, I booked a session (not knowing what that even meant!) on sheer instinct.
Walking into Tod’s space, there were three massage tables — one taken, two available. The man who I could only assume was Tod, was providing a hands-on adjustment to a woman on the table. Completely unassuming is the best way I can describe him… typically wearing a hat, t-shirt and gym shorts, Tod carries more joy and compassion on his sleeve than anyone I’ve ever met. Working on 1-3 people at a time, Tod uses a combination of energetic work above the body, and body/fascial massage, doing what he describes what he does as “internal Qigong.”
It's hard to describe the work he does without feeling it yourself — it's not unlike taking a Silks Yoga class for the first time... it hurts so good. Tod uses vital points on the body to relax, root, and realign. It's like getting all the knots out in a deep tissue massage... but not knowing when you walk in that the knots even existed in the first place.
Our fascia (once thought to be an uninteresting "filler" in the body, but now thought to be a vast, interconnected organ itself that connects all parts of us) is programmed with the experiences we’ve built up — both consciously and subconsciously, physically and emotionally — throughout our lifetime… and without consciously re-programming our limiting beliefs and physically releasing that energy, we struggle. And we are not hard wired to struggle! Tod teaches powerful lessons on how to feel, and yet harness our emotions to defend against daily stress, help us from being reactive, and transform the way we move on this earth.
I literally came home from that trip and told my husband, Sean I had changed. He felt it too. My body, mind and spirit finally felt like they were running as originally intended. I was rooted, I felt lighter, and I felt "tooled up" for life. Hands down, one of the most profound shifts in my life — right up there with my yoga teacher training.
Although Tod isn't quite yet armed with a website and online presence, he will be soon. And you'll absolutely be hearing more about him in the future. Until then!
As my community class warmed up Monday night in Whitefish, we settled into our Tadasana with hands at heart center, and I offered up the opportunity to have the intention, "I Heart Chaturanga." (Pronounced cha-ter-on-gah.) I'll admit, there were a few chuckles... and more than a few concerned glances! With that intention, who knew how many Chaturanga's my class had in store for them?! But we collectively "tried on" an imaginary sweater with the logo I Heart Chaturanga emblazoned on the front, took a few breaths to seal in the intention, and moved into class.
When I started doing yoga years ago, Chaturanga (a fancy word for a tricep push-up)— for me — was a strugglefest. Now looking back, I know it's because the full expression of the pose (or movement) takes a lot of shoulder and core strength, which I had to build over time. So just starting out, a yogi push-up wasn't the most desirable pose in my yoga practice... it's tough! And tiring! But it's a critical part of the flow, and I couldn't exactly avoid it, either.
Going back to Monday night, the class moved into half pigeoon pose, and I asked the group to think about what, in their life, might represent Chaturanga — that can-be-difficult, stubborn, exhausting pose that you can't avoid — off the mat. A co-worker, a project, a relationship maybe. And then, just as we do in half pigeon (breathing into the resistance of the pose), how can we find ease in even the most stubborn parts of our lives?
In my life, my to-do list proves to be my Chaturanga off the mat. Never-ending, hard to look at, stress-inducing chicken scratch that I can't avoid — even writing about it makes me cringe! So this week, I'm looking for ease and testing out Bullet Journaling. Do any of you use that method? (Email me back and tell me about it!) When I first read into this "handwritten to-do list system," I was put off by all the rules and codes... but then I found this woman named Kara on Instagram and her photos got me stoked to try it out.
So what is a Chaturanga in your world that you can build in some ease this week? Especially with the holiday, stay cool — breathe — and have fun.
Yoga teachers say a lot of funny stuff. "Shine your heart forward!" "Eyes of the elbows facing one another." "Grow taller!" So many of these phrases sound ridiculous when heard outside of the studio. And what about the Sanskrit words? Who thought they'd be exposed to an entire new language on the yoga mat? Today, I want to break down a particularly odd-sounding word that gets tossed around: Drishti.
Drishti is a technique of finding a focal point during your practice, to help the mind turn inward.
By controlling some of the distractions around us, our practice becomes more of a moving mediation than moving through poses because a teacher tells us to.
If you're like me, you find a drishti - or focal point, and then casually glance at the person next to you, Oh her, yoga pants are so fun ... bah! Mind back inward - drishti. Turning head casually to the right, Oh the Elk on the wall is so random ... shoot! mind back inward - drishti. And yes, this is OK! The art of the redirect is precisely what yoga is all about. Learning (and practicing!) the control of our monkey mind. There are so many distractions at our fingertips; controlling the mind is more difficult — and more crucial — than ever before.
And then there's drishti off the mat, or what I like to call: My point of attraction. The idea that what we want — our point of attraction — is what we're actively working to manifest, or bring into our experience. In yoga, we have a focal point because we seek a clear mind. In life, we focus on whatever we clearly want. It's the same!
There are so many times running business when I've thought to myself, "I hope I don't fail," or some iteration of that. And according to drishti, we focus on what we want to bring more of into our life, right? So if I spent my whole day focusing my energy on "I hope I don't fail," I am actively bringing more of "fail" into my life because I'm focusing on it. An unintended, negative consequence. Wouldn't it be more productive to focus on an idea like, "I know I will succeed"...which one sounds more appealing? Success, right?!
So we have this balance with yoga off the mat — withdrawal from ideas, impressions and associations that don't serve our higher good (like me bringing "fail" into my experience), while at the same time opening up to the ideas, impressions and associations that we want to bring more of into our space (Success! More of that, please!). And that, my friends, is drishti in a nutshell.
Want more of those positive vibes and self study? I'm opening up two spaces in next weekend's Wild Woman Workshop (May 21st) at our off the grid yurt. Mala making, yoga, self study and nourishing food - whew! Email me if you're interested.
Anyone else feel like the walls are closing in around here?! Just as I was feeling super peaceful this winter, everything became restless — over and over and over again. Turns out it's all in the stars.
Ever since the October Teacher Training, I've been infatuated by Vedic Astrology. It's not your run-of-the-mill horoscope — it's based on the exact date, time, and location you were born. Not to mention, the position of the stars and planets at any given moment can influence our day-to-day lives.
If you don't spend your days nerding out on astrology (like me!), perhaps you resonate with the fact that the last month has been chaotic. We are being pushed to "do the work." Live our yoga. We are being pushed into having crucial conversations. Pushed to look inward and stand in our power, and stand in our truth. Pushed to make space in our lives for what's next... for the path we're meant to take. If we don't do the work and push it aside? Well... who knows. It could be a rough road.
For me, the last month I've been pushed to handle conflict head-on, both within myself, and with people in my world. Some crucial conversations ended in vibrant partnership — some ended with a kumbaya phone call — some just ended and I'm left scratching my head, like what just happened? In one instance... my inner desire to figure out my love/hate relationship with food arose without my even realizing it during Andrea's last self-care workshop at Yoga Hive. I'd been unconsciously wishing for a way to figure out how to manage a busy travel schedule AND make time for nourishing food — and voila! A conversation led to an ah-ha moment where I realized it was time for me to get some coaching to accomplish my goals.
So if you're experiencing any of the chaos like me, take a moment this week to just breathe. If you feel tension in a conversation or through email... just breathe. Know that if you're getting triggered, it may be a signal to deal with something once and for all. But above all, just notice. Maybe journal. Take a walk and get a new perspective. Better yet... get to your yoga mat! You know I'll be doing the same.
Do you ever get crazy ideas? Like, the sort of ideas that have no money/time boundaries and are pure, unrestrained inspiration... that you immediately follow up with, "That's crazy. I could never pull that off."
Well what if - for a day - you stopped telling yourself you're crazy, and opened up to the possibility of actually pulling it off?
I had this crazy idea back in May. I remember it was the week before we opened Columbia Falls. Sean and I were in the car on the way over there, and he made a comment that pinged an idea in my brain. "What if someday I could spread our Yoga Hive community to Kalispell?" Not having opened a second studio, I was already dreaming of a third, and the people and the love we could welcome our Yoga Hive Community. My immediate thought was THAT'S CRAZY! I shoved the idea to the back of my brain, but it continued to resurface as the months went by — each time, thinking to myself: No Mollie, too crazy.
And then during a powerful meditation this fall during the Teacher Training, I was journaling afterward and for no reason other than an urge, I wrote down, "Kalispell studio, next to Nailtopia." There weren't any usable commercial properties for lease at the time, but I wrote it down anyway, and didn't think twice.
Then on the new moon this past December, I decided to set some crazy goals. Like goals for the first quarter that I couldn't imagine myself accomplishing that quickly... just to see the possibilities - and be open to them. One was to open a Yoga Hive in Kalispell. Not 5 days later, I felt an urge to hop on Craigslist to cruise Kalispell commercial leases, and no joke: The space next to Nailtopia on Main Street Kalispell was available for rent immediately.
Call me crazy, but I jumped on it. Our grand opening is January 27th (complete with our friends from Lularoe, Sushi from across the street, Kalispell Brewing beer, and discounts on classes and retail!), and I am so excited/proud/nervous/amazed that it's going to happen! I'm proud to share with you all my New Years Resolution. Sure I have all the same goals of doing more yoga, continuing my self care regimen, taking lots of time to work nights and ski days... but perhaps my biggest goal is to start writing down all the crazy ideas (ALL OF THEM), stop telling myself that they're crazy, and open to the possibility of taking action when the time is right.
I'm opening to the magic of being in the flow, embracing my creative juices, and letting my freak flag fly.
Raise your hand if you've put off self care this week already. Missed a yoga class... rescheduled a hair appointment... didn't buy that new moisturizer because you can squeeze the last few drops out of your current bottle.
I've been there. Up until recently, I was putting self care on the back burner on a somewhat regular basis. Don't we all from time to time?
The key — and this is something that really hit home for me during our Yoga Teacher Training back in October — is that self care isn't just a fun thing to do with our girlfriends at the spa once a year.
Self-care is our responsibility as women. As men. As moms and dads. As wives and husbands. As human beings.
To be clear: I'm not suggesting you piddle away all your savings on spa treatments. Rather, the simple act of caring for yourself — even making a ritual out of honoring your morning cup of coffee, without any other distractions — can be extremely powerful, mentally. Self care switches something in your brain for the better, and has the power to shift your entire day, week, month, year.
For me, the biggest change I made a few months ago was not checking ANYTHING on my phone other than turning off an alarm for the first hour of my day. No emails, no Facebook... just routines as they should be, without screen time. It has made a profound impact on my well-being and productivity!
Sending you warm wishes, and a heart-felt namaste,
You guys, it's been a wild month on the homestead, and my husband Sean and I have a lot to be grateful for — our health, our home, our businesses and our family. And with all this thankfulness going on, I want to talk for a moment about the art of receiving abundance.
I was listening to one of my favorite inspirational podcasts the other day, and the topic was on "Receiving Mode." Essentially, we get what we ask for — so long as our vibration... our energetic "tuning"... is in alignment, ready to receive what it is we need.
So many times, when we pray, or ask for help, or admit that we even need help in the first place, we're asking from a place of scarcity. "I need good health, even though I know I'm not going to get it." That statement hold a vibration of negativity — and a vibration of scarcity. Instead, try "I need good health to move forward with abundance and integrity with my current career." Affirmations like this need to hold a vibration that is the SAME vibration of what you need. And when those two things are in alignment with unwavering faith that you are deserving and ready, you are truly in receiving mode... and the abundance flows in.
And this is just an example from my life. Take from it what you need to hear — I'm just so unabashedly happy right now, feeling gratitude and abundance. Maybe you can find some too.
Recently, Sean was told via a rough month of doctor's visits that after a CT scan, he has a small pulmonary embolism. This small blip on his scan sent our family into a tailspin. PEs are serious business, and if medication like blood thinners enter the picture, especially because he has Lupus, physical activity (namely his career as a professional snowboarder) would be severely altered. Or non-existant. Essentially, life as the Busbys know it would change drastically.
So, I began asking for a miracle. I wrote it down over and over and over. I need Sean to be able to continue snowboarding. Even in moments when I had a hard time believing it was even possible because of that stupid blood clot, I would shake myself and ask, What do you have to lose by trusting in the possibility? I was so ready to receive good news... my vibration was in alignment with the ask.
Many many doctors appointments, second opinions, and a trip to Baltimore to see the best Lupus doctor in the nation later, we had the CT scan re-read by the team at Johns Hopkins. And wouldn't you know: Sean got a call yesterday from the doctor to say they DIDN'T SEE ANY BLOOD CLOTS on the scan. Totally clear. The same scan as before — with fresh eyes and a new perspective.
This faith. This perseverance. This journey. This is yoga, you guys. Call it what you want — coincidence, maybe? Sure. Maybe that word resonates with you. For me? It's a miracle. It's a miracle that came after a series of events that must have needed to happen. I believe positive affirmations and receiving mode lead to abundance in our daily lives... what do you have to lose by trying it yourself?
Write down what you need in a positive way. Believe it can happen. Be open to the various ways it can find you. Watch for signs. Receive abundance. Eye of the storm, baby. I'm right there with you.
Come see us at Yoga Hive this week... revised schedule is below! Cat's second Advanced Yoga Series workshop is coming up November 30th (join in even if you didn't attend the first one!), and Andrea's Courageos Self-Love and Self-Care series begins December 11th! Two amazing opportunities to put YOU first this holiday season. You deserve it!
Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Mollie is a cheesehead transplant to Northwest Montana, with degrees in Retail and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, she lives off the grid, half the year in a Tiny House & half the year in a yurt — both of which she and her husband, Sean, built by hand. Nonprofit Executive Director by day, Mollie also owns and teaches at Yoga Hive — a chain of community yoga studios in the valley.