I have a family member that I love to debate with. Whenever I visit him, politics come up — and normally this is where everyone’s heart skips a beat and the eggshells come out. Not for me! I love the opportunity to voice my view and listen to his. He and I know we’ll "agree to disagree,” but on a deeper level, both of us enjoy the chance to share viewpoints and be heard.
To me, those conversations with family (where I know my viewpoint won’t change anyone’s mind) are practice... practice for when I really need the words to make an impact elsewhere. As a yoga teacher and a writer, I know I need to practice getting my words out whenever I have the chance. The more often I try them out, the more likely they are to carry conviction when they matter most.
In those conversations, I’m detached from the idea of converting anyone, so I’m generously listening. Rather than mentally formulating my next point while he's talking, I’m hearing his view. When I speak, I try to speak to him (based on what he said), rather than AT him... I modify what I say so that he might be able to hear me. And regardless of the outcome, I chalk the whole experience up as a chance to brush up on my listening skills, practice tailoring my words, and ultimately learning how to love my family members for who they are with whatever beliefs they have in that moment.
I know that if my feathers get ruffled, that's on me. That's my attachment to a certain expectation I have for how I think he should act. Of course I could choose to not engage all together... but deep down, I enjoy the challenge of learning how to speak directly to someone, not at them.
It's exactly the process each of our yoga teacher trainees goes through at Yoga Hive. They practice their first custom-sequenced class until it's "just right" for their final test-out. Then when they teach that first class, it’s the most amazing thing to witness! We give love, feedback, and they acknowledge what they’d do differently next time. If they decide to teach post-training (some don’t—it’s not a requirement) they refine, teach, and refine again. It's a lifelong journey, and lifelong learning. As Yoga Hive teachers, when we stop learning, we stop teaching.
So this idea of "marinating" on how we feel and practicing our words applies to all aspects of life.
My teacher, Anand, always says: "If you can't explain something simply, then you don't truly understand it."
If we are having debates with the goal of studying ourselves, practicing our conviction, and coupling that with truly listening to our world (as opposed to a goal of preaching, converting, or forcing an opinion)... that's yoga. Whether you're on a yoga mat, or discussing politics on a couch with your impassioned relative... doesn't matter. It's all yoga — the art of hearing both sides. Being a generous listener. Sitting with the information. Pausing in stillness. Speaking from the heart.
Or when in doubt, just stop talking and get your butt to a yoga class :-)
PS — Come stand in solidarity with Yoga Hive, Love Yoga, and Shanti this Saturday in Depot Park. We're coming together to do 108 Sun Salutations in honor of the Summer Solstice in solidarity with Black and Indigenous People of Color. All registration funds from class (pay what you can!) will be donated to the Montana Racial Equity Project. Scroll for details and a link to sign up.
PPS — We're promoting a Virtual Workshop, also for the summer solstice, from one of our lovely Yoga Hive Wisconsin teachers, Danita. It's in the afternoon this Saturday! Scroll below for details.
It’s hard to know where to begin.
Things are hard and messy these days — there’s no debate on that. The current wave of urgency to act NOW is a familiar feeling for me. After I met Sean, I started my journey as an advocate for people with type 1 diabetes. (I am not comparing chronic disease to civil rights, nor am I implying this makes me some “authority” in today’s world… this is just how my story begins).
Nine years ago this month, Sean and I were on our first trip to Whitefish, Montana. I remember telling friends and family that nothing could stop us from moving there as soon as possible.
The only thing holding us back? We had to figure out health insurance.
Since I’ve known him, Sean has lived with type 1 diabetes — an autoimmune disease with no cure where your body doesn’t produce insulin, the hormone needed for survival and to take in nutrients from food. His pancreas is broken. He didn’t cause this for himself. It just… happens.
In other words: He has a preexisting condition.
I — not knowing anything about life with chronic disease — naively thought I could call up a heath insurance provider and sweet talk my way into getting us a family policy. Then magically, Sean would quit his job as the director of competitive snow sports, and we would move to Whitefish and have health insurance, and the world would be good!
I’ll never forget that phone call. I explained to the gentleman at Select Health that I needed a family policy because we would be leaving our jobs with health insurance to move out of Utah.
At first, he was like, “No problem Ms. Busby! I can help you with that!” He proceeded to take all my information down, asking questions, creating our profile (and I’m thinking, see? Told you so!) … until he asked, “Do either you or your husband have any pre-existing health conditions?”
“Yes. Sean has type 1 diabetes.”
“Oh, I’m sorry Ms. Busby but I can’t offer your family a policy at this time.”
I feigned shock, even though deep down I knew this was coming. I needed to hear him say it. I asked, “You mean to tell me just because my husband was born with a disease with no cure that he isn’t eligible for a policy with you? What do you expect us to do?” (As if this man would have my answer.)
“Correct ma’am. Your husband should not quit his job.”
“But we’re moving.”
“Then you shouldn’t move until you or he has a job that provides health insurance.”
The way I heard his advice? Stay put. Sit down. Be complacent. I was stunned. It moved me. I knew from that moment forward I was committed to doing everything I could to support the type 1 diabetes community, in Sean’s honor. I knew it deep in my bones. Kids with this disease should know they can accomplish their wildest dreams, despite being denied access to basic things like affordable health insurance. I’ve been around the world hosting camps for the non profit Riding On Insulin, and have spent time speaking to members of congress alongside Sean on Capitol Hill about the importance of research for type 1 and access to life saving medical supplies for seniors.
Since that fateful year, advocacy has paved the way for legislation prohibiting insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and providing access to life saving technologies for some of our at risk populations. Taking a stand is incredibly important, and change is possible when we’re passionate for the long haul. This takes love in our hearts for the cause. Not fear of inaction. Guilt for past wrongs. Or shame for “who we are.” True change comes when we dig deep and see that love is universal. Love is human nature.
But how do we know the right action to take when injustice is fresh in our minds and time is of the essence?
In the yogic teachings, we learn about dharma—your own unique path. Not a career, necessarily. Not “your purpose”. But the path you uniquely walk. Yoga teaches us that it’s better to strive on our own path, rather than to succeed in the path of another. Nothing is ever lost in following our own path. But when we engage in competition with someone else’s path, that action breeds fear and insecurity.
So, we must ask ourselves: Are we living our own path — from love, from that feeling deep down in our bones — or following someone else’s path, out of our own fear/guilt/shame? As we all struggle to determine the right thing to do at this time, instead of looking OUT to what everyone else is doing, look IN.
Yes, read books, get educated, take courses, talk to people, share your feelings, get advice, stand up for what you believe in. Do all those things. But when it comes to your personal right action, look inside. You will know what to do and it will be authentic and correct. When we do what others are doing (be it inaction or action) without examining our own role in the situation, we don’t feel fulfilled. We experience disconnect because our actions aren’t in alignment with our own deep knowing. Ultimately, we end up feeling even more separate than before we took action because we’ve behaved in a way that's separate from ourselves.
This is some deep work! So my recommendation? Do the work, look inside, trust yourself and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! (And if you need yoga and meditation in your life to sort that out, you know where to find us!)
Here are Yoga Hive, we have a stance and some action items:
In light with love,
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.
Change is all there is. Lets get present to now, and elegantly begin again.
Stopped meditating because you couldn't find time? Begin again.
Stopped taking Zoom yoga because [insert excuse here]? Begin again.
Stopped making time for yourself because the world demanded you focus on everyone else for 3 months? Begin again.
No need for the drama... the stories... just begin again, and put one foot in front of the other. Do your best. Learn from your mistakes. Trust that something more magical is always right around the corner (and be unattached to what it looks like!). Feel your emotions and allow them to move through you. These are the ways of the yogi — you've got this! And if you need LIVE support in the flesh, we've got you :-) Summer schedule starts June 1st.
We've spent a good deal of time working out how we can all get back together and share vibes in 3D again, and I'll tell you: This plan is not the new normal — in fact, you won't hear me say that phrase ever again (starting now).
This plan is a change from how the studio(s) used to be... and this plan is changeable for the future. Lets all be in the flow, have compassion in our hearts, and show up to Yoga Hive in whatever way makes the most sense for the greater good. Please read our new policies below (or click here to view online) IN THEIR ENTIRETY before signing up for class so that we can all be on the same page starting Monday!
*Quick highlight on masks— because this seems to be a hot topic: Because it's difficult to social distance in our small reception area, we request that yogis bring their own mask, and wear it in the studio anytime they're NOT on their yoga mat. Once everyone is on their mats and class is ready to start, the instructor will cue everyone to remove their masks, if they wish. Instructors will be teaching without masks. Because we are all at least 8 feet apart in the studio, we feel as if the regulations allow for mask-free yoga practice. This is our stance, and we're sticking to it for now. If this doesn't feel authentic to you, we have included a number of outdoor classes you may enjoy, most days of the week!
A few other exciting things coming up:
Sending all my love to each of you for reading this far (and beyond!)
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.
Whatever questions we ask, our life becomes the answers.
Sit with that for a minute. And think about what questions you've been asking yourself lately. "Will I ever travel again?" "Where will my next paycheck come from?" "Will I ever get better at being patient with my kids?"
Once we ask these questions — whether mundane musings or insightful inquiries — our awareness goes searching for the answers. Our mind starts to make meaning out of anything it can, from fake news to first-hand accounts. And as such, our life becomes what we focus on.
If we ask questions from fearful awareness, our life becomes a fearful place. If we as questions with severe and unrealistic optimism, we can miss the quick, simple steps that cut a painful journey in half.
So what questions are you asking? And what answers is your awareness seeking? Use these observations as a clue into your own mental state!
(And if you have questions about what our "grand opening" will look like, wait till we send you an email next week! <--- See what I did there? Ha!)
Me? I've been asking myself how Yoga Hive's 300-hour training is going to manifest for over a year now... and the time is finally right! I'm so excited to share some really big teachings with our tribe this fall.
I am SO excited to finally share a summer studio schedule with you next week! Until then...
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?
This idea of "impermanence" is a foundational teaching of yoga. Everything that is created will be destroyed. And if we let go of the dramatic semantics of the word “DESTROYED” (e.g. Game of Thrones visualizations) we can see how true this really is.
So then the question: Why — when a life, a business, a job, a pet, etc. comes to an end — do we struggle to move on?
Because of our attachment to the way things are. Or the way things were. Or the way we think things “should” be. When we dive into yoga as a lifestyle, we learn over and over again that as we detach from outcomes, and detach from our fixed ideas about how things are, we can wake up to this truth… the cycle of life.
We can wake up to the ultimate impermanence of literally everything.
We find this principle is everywhere in nature. She changes daily, hourly, moment-to-moment. Just as a day in the mountains can bring showers, hail, snow, wind and sunshine (plus clouds, obviously), change is abundant. Weather isn’t permanent. Seasons aren’t permanent.
Understanding impermanence is REQUIRED for our sanity as human beings. If we don't realize that everything comes to an end, we get confused when things go away, or when people leave our lives. And when confusion becomes chronic, that's when suffering begins.
With the studios closing, I’ve been asked more times than I can count, “How are you feeling about it?” My first instinct is to feed into this idea that I’m devastated and struggling because of course I didn’t want to close two studios. Who wants to do something like that?
But then I remember the truth: I know this decision — like all endings — is just a pathway to more freedom for me, and ultimately more freedom for every human being touched by Yoga Hive, and who will be touched by Yoga Hive in the future. And because we can’t QUITE see what that freedom looks like yet from our unique vantage points, this is where trust comes in.
Every moment holds a spiritual invitation for us. (And YES. I just said the S-word. Stay with me.) The moment when we close two of three Montana yoga studios, when Daisy moved to a warmer climate, and even yoga teacher training coming to an end… if we forget about the spiritual invitation for us to dive deeper, we get lost in crisis and suffering when we encounter an ending. Every ending becomes a monumental problem until our entire life is filled with them.
But if we accept the invite and metaphorically RSVP to the yogic teachings, we start to see how this impermanence is just a fact. It’s coming, and we don’t need to wait for it, or fear it. We welcome it with open arms, we shed our tears and feel our pain in the process, BECAUSE we trust that what’s coming down the road is exactly what we need (even if we can’t imagine it yet!).
So hang in there, everyone. And keep practicing! You’ll find us on Zoom for now — but we have plans in the works and are paying close attention to both city, county and state regulations! We will have outdoor classes to start with (weather pending!) soon! Keep following along. In the meantime, some notes for you:
I can’t say I’ve ever written an email to you guys with puddles of tears in my eyes, but here I am. Guess there’s a first for everything.
I want more than anything to tell you this in person.
In light of the financial pressures of COVID-19, I’ve made the decision to permanently close our Kalispell and Columbia Falls Yoga Hive locations. Moving forward, the Whitefish studio will be our Montana flagship, we'll have our one location in Wisconsin, and Arctic Hive will hold strong as a destination for upcoming yoga + adventure retreats in the Brooks Range.
Wednesday night (the night I wrote this, just 24 hours after coming to this decision), I stood at my kitchen sink after a long day of phone calls, list making, and number crunching. I hadn’t cried yet, and I kept thinking to myself that it hadn’t hit me.
I was staring at a sink filled with dishes. I put on music, I started cleaning, and I felt off… slightly nauseous. Wasn’t hungry, wasn’t sick. Just felt weird. And as I washed, and scrubbed, and rinsed, I felt my heart welling up with emotion at the symbolism.
Cleaning up a beautiful mess.
In my mind, I imagined your faces as you stared at your screen in disbelief, as you read this email. Thinking to yourself: NO. WAY. My yoga home is gone. THIS VIRUS SUCKS. This can’t be happening.
The tears started falling. Maybe yours are too. My cry was not a pity party. Not by a long shot. This was a good, hearty cry that went on for a few hours, on and off, as I energetically honored, and released the incredible 4 and 3 years (respectively) we’ve shared together in collectively four different studio spaces between Cfalls and Kalispell. The movement we’ve made. The groups we’ve cried in. The beautiful yellow and blue walls that sheltered us from the wild outside. Over 75 teachers who’ve come, some gone, and served as leaders of thousands of yogis from near and far. The hundreds of cups of tea, kombucha, and Coffee Traders coffee we’ve collectively shared will never be forgotten.
And please don’t be sorry.
I believe we should save it for when we absolutely mean it. When we’ve screwed up. When we’ve inflicted suffering on someone else, and we see our wrong.
No one here has screwed up. For me, tears are the way I release emotion. There's no other way to get it out! It’s exhausting — and requires a million kleenexes — but at the end, I always feel better because I’ve let it go.
You see, none of us are exempt from pain. And right now, I share your pain. I feel this pain — and if I’ve learned anything through the tender moments I’ve spent with so many of you within Yoga Hive walls:
Our pain has led each of us to our own version of transformation. It’s a required prerequisite to transformation.
We might not see it right away, but the more times we realize the pain happens FOR us, the more times we learn to expect it… and to know there’s light coming.
Pain is inevitable. Change is inevitable. But transformation it’s an optional step that only comes to us when we let go of expectations. When we let go of attachment to “what was,” in order to make space for something new.
By being sorry for pain like this (which I will say is distinctly different than chronic suffering), it’s like being sorry for the journey. Being sorry for the uncomfortable. Being sorry for the times in our lives that make us who we are. And truth is? I’m not sorry for any of this. I’ve done my best with the resources I have. You’ve done your best with yours. We shared millions of incredible moments together. We’re all destined for greatness as we open up space for something new on a collective level.
Before I wrote this email, I scrolled Facebook for a minute and read that the summer camp I grew up working at won’t be holding camp this summer. (The instigator of the second wave of tears as I started to write this email). The feeling of camp ending for the summer is one I know intimately. But the feeling of summer camp ending for a long while? That’s a new one.
One that hits home for our Yoga Hive community.
But just like summer camp, your yoga home will someday open again in Whitefish. Your yoga home will still continue with tons of LIVE Zoom classes every week with some of your familiar Yoga Hive faces — tech experience not required! Your yoga home lives within our new baby for on-demand streaming, Yoga Hive Connect.
But most of all, your yoga home will never leave you. Because it doesn’t require a particular teacher. It doesn’t require our distinct yellow and blue walls, essential oils diffusing, or incense burning. If you’ve learned anything from us, I hope it’s this: Your yoga home will never be lost because it’s within you. Sure, all the Yoga Hive touches are nice. And helpful when we’re really needing guidance. But over time, we realize that everything we need is within, and in the same way, Yoga Hive is nothing without Y-O-U.
And so I leave you with my deepest respect and gratitude for all the words you and I will speak/text/email about this — and all the words that will go unspoken.
Thank you for four years, Columbia Falls.
Kalispell, thank you for nearly three and a half.
Whitefish: We’re looking at you for support as we all take a collective deep (DEEP) breath and nourish this yoga home for many years to come.
I personally invite all of you, throughout the valley, to make a trek over to Whitefish (after we open, of course) to join together as one Yoga Hive community in our Flagship space — you'll always have the option to practice with us from the comfort of your home through Zoom as we make online access a permanent offering within the studio. It's an honor to continue to serve you and I'm sure we'll come up with some creative outdoor opportunities to practice together across the valley over the summer. Thank you for making Yoga Hive such an incredible place to work, teach, and grow.
Be on the lookout for an online store featuring props, bundles, merch and more early next week, available for curbside pickup.
In light (and a few final cleansing tears),
PS - If you have questions about an existing membership or punch pass you have on file, please reach out to our manager Brittany at email@example.com. She'll help make it right!
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.
And SO FUN! Meeting people from other Yoga Hives who show up and take classes, co-leading BeAbundant with over 40 students each week, getting creative with ideas regarding how to get programs like this off the ground and learning about different technology options (like Yoga Hive Connect on demand streaming!) to support us moving forward have all been such blessings in this quarantine world.
New friends! New knowledge! New ideas!
When we encounter new things (be it teaching a yoga pose for the first time, or teaching on Zoom, or navigating new funding applications — anything!), we're quick to label things as "difficult" or "uncomfortable." But what yoga teaches us is that when we're in the challenge zone of life, as opposed to our comfort zone, we're creating new neuro-pathways. We're problem solving. We're getting more life experience. We're EVOLVING!
So being out of the comfort zone is not "difficult" unless you decide it is. In other words, if you think a new obstacle is hard, YOU'RE RIGHT! Just like if you think a new challenge is easy... YOU'RE RIGHT.
So Blaine and I? We've been embracing the challenge — and beyond that, we're normalizing the challenge so that over time, challenge becomes comfortable. And even furthermore... challenge becomes exciting. Blaine found this lovely quote from Dan Stevens that sums it up:
The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity.
As we keep looking forward to that sweet moment we practice in person together, we don’t have a re-opening date... but our team is working hard on a plan. Can you please help us? Please complete this survey (it’s quick) to give us information we need as we build out the plan.
It would mean so much to me — to all of us. Help shape our future with your thoughts and ideas! Thank you! Survey link HERE. (If you already took it earlier this week, we did add a few more specific questions, so feel free to take it again!)
And I have an exciting announcement! In this time of live-stream togetherness, this June Blaine and I are CO-TEACHING a one month long immersion Yoga Alliance Certified 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training! It’s a one-time only unique and special opportunity. In a month, from home, taking live classes that are just the same as our in-person 3-6 month YTTs, you can learn the ancient science of yoga and become a yoga teacher. No other time have Blaine and I been able to split teaching a YTT entirely down the middle... but now is the time. This is our chance.
Will you join us? If you click here to see more, you can enter your information at the bottom of the page to take pre-recorded classes with Blaine and I to get a feel for our teaching style. PLUS: Blaine and I will do a live Q&A on Zoom to answer all your questions on Monday, May 4th at 4 PM Mountain Time (in Montana), which is 5 PM Central Time (in Wisconsin). SIGN UP for the Q&A HERE.
Blaine and I have also been having a blast co-teaching 90-minute Saturday morning classes. We have a new one this Saturday at 9:00 Mountain to support your immune system. It has Energy Medicine Yoga, Kriya, breathwork and yoga poses for that very purpose, and you’ll start your weekend strong and ready for whatever is coming your way! It's a regular class so you can use your package or normal drop-in. Sign up on our schedule — all current passes apply.
Also, if you're looking for a way to fine-tune your intuition, and play with accessing that deeper wisdom within yourself, check out Maud's Intuitive Play workshop on Zoom coming up on May 6th. $20 per person — and if you have a credit from a past workshop that was cancelled, we can apply your credit to this. Just reach out.
Thank you so much for supporting the studio during this time. Seeing your faces on live-stream Zoom classes is my inspiration to wake up and work and create every single day!
And one more reminder request – please complete this re-opening survey!
PS - If you're a Yoga Hive app user, you probably saw that it's not working properly as of late. We had to cut a few costs and unfortunately, the app didn't make the cut. BUT if you download the general MindBody app, you should be able to access all our classes through that system. Sorry for the confusion, and thanks for your understanding!
PPS - Because we won't be renting/lending out props at the studio for a long time, Yoga Hive will be selling bundles of yoga props for your at-home yoga studio, and offering curbside pickup... SOON. You will be able to bring these to Yoga Hive when we can all be back together. If you're interested in a bundle or individual props, please respond here with your request and we'll do our best to compile the interest in the next week!
Vedic Astrology Insight from a yoga teacher training faculty member Nancy Ellis: What the planets have to say about today's current events
Vedic Astrology, Jyotish, (the science of Light) is the astrology of India. This is known as the 'eyes' of the Vedas and a sister science to Yoga and Ayurveda. This Light is meant to illuminate the path of the individual, providing insight into one's karma, strengths and weaknesses, personality, career, health, family and relationships. With this light we can see clearly and realize our Higher self therefore aligning with our true nature.
This 5,000-year-old ancient science conveys Eastern mysticism, philosophies and understanding of the human spirit through the language of the stars. It weaves together psychology, astronomy, mathematics, science, spirituality, astrology, physics, geometry, numerology as well as the art of interpretation and skill of useful communication to the client.
Vedic Astrology uses the sidereal zodiac, is geocentric based and places great importance on the Moon. The Moon is our mind, consciousness and reflects our perception of the world. Because the sidereal system is used, and the precession of equinoxes is calculated, Vedic Astrology uses the literal and actual position of the planets relative to our place on Earth.
The Nakshatras, the lunar mansions, are the backdrop of the stars and have great symbolism. The nakshatras are the oldest known form of any astrology in the world. They are rich in meaning and steeped heavily in the ancient mythology of India.
The natal chart, which is the exact positions of the planets and stars at your moment of birth, is your unique blueprint. This shows the karmas imprinted on your soul. Of course, we always have free will, and Vedic Astrology can help shine a light, guiding your path for the choices you make that can serve to better align you. By studying in depth, the natal chart, current transits and the dasha cycle, profound insights can be gained and predictions made. Vedic Astrology can be a great life tool for everyone!
What's happening today for all of us...
Since the unfolding of the COVID19 pandemic, there have been many volatile conjunctions and transits of planets creating immense astrological tension.
Saturn made his way into Capricorn on January 24th, where he will reside for an arduous 2 and half years. Saturn is the planet of lessons, obstacles, delays, structure and hard work and functions well in Capricorn. He is currently joined by Jupiter, Mars and Pluto.
Jupiter can give opportunity and growth, but he is weakest in the sign of Capricorn. Mars is violent and aggressive and is an enemy of Saturn, creating a lot of friction. And Pluto is explosive, controlling and powerful but ultimately leading to surrender and healing. Capricorn is the Earth sign that relates to government, ambition and success.
When Saturn enters any sign it creates restriction, slowing things down, a lot! And that is exactly what we have been forced (Mars) to do, slow down, reset and pause. What I find interesting is that these planets have been placed in the nakshaktra (lunar Mansion) Uttarashada. Uttarashada means ‘later victory’, it shows what can not be suppressed. Often called the Universal Star, it shows the ability to stand up for what you believe in, responsibility, truth, sincerity and a commitment to humanity. By sheltering in place, each of us is practicing our commitment to all humanity. In this nakshkatra the true nature of humans come out regardless of what they need to face. The aim of this lunar mansion is moksha, spiritual liberation and I believe through all of this we will each have deep transformation.
The nodes of the Moon, Rahu and Ketu have played a major role in the pandemic. They been in a treacherous alignment for about a year, but really as of December 26th 2019, when the solar eclipse occurred, this is what set the ecliptic pattern. This difficult placement refers to the nakshaktras have they have been transiting though. Rahu, the north node, has been in Ardra, the symbol is a tear drop and is a place of destruction and sadness. Ketu, the south node, has been in Mula, also a place of destruction and great losses where material possessions are stripped away but lead to spiritual realization. The last time the nodes were aligned in these nakshatras was the tragic event of September 11th.
Prior to that they were aligned during the AIDS epidemic, and dating all the way back to the Spanish flu pandemic, same nodal placements but inverted. We began to see some hope and relief as Rahu moved out of Ardra on April 22nd. However, the nodes will remain in Gemini and Sagittarius until mid-September this year, so we aren’t out of the woods yet.
With this Great Pause we have been given, through its destruction, loss and sadness, we will rise again. We will transform and release these old ways of living that didn’t serve our higher selves. Profound change is happening, look within, embrace it and let it this transformation guide you.
Nancy Ellis has been a devoted student of Vedic Astrology since 2005. Her
main teachers are Dennis Flaherty of Northwest Vedic Sciences and Joni
Patry of the Galactic Center, each have been practicing astrologers for
over 40yrs. Nancy deepened her studies in India, meeting Jyotish masters
in Pune and near Dharmsala. Nancy has the deepest reverence for this
ancient science and is committed to offering this wisdom with highest
intention of good for her clients.
Her readings are warm, insightful, wise and enlightening. Nancy is a
longtime certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Yoga Instructor and
Meditation facilitator. She is also a Licensed Massage Therapist, specializing
in Thai Bodywork and owner of Saffron Sun Healing Arts. She is an educator, teaching the in-depth Ayurveda coursework for Yoga teacher trainings in Montana and the Pacific Northwest since 2008. To schedule a reading on your personal chart (which we highly recommend!) please email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.saffronsunhealingarts.com. For 25% off all services in April, use the code metta.
Tuesday officially marks five weeks I've spent in quarantine... this is the longest I've spent in one place in over a year. A YEAR! Sinking into a rhythm without traveling feels... good. And long overdue. And so many provisions with COVID — however crushing in other ways — have ultimately made this rhythm possible in my life.
Gratitude, like this, comes in waves. Each day, I look forward discovering it all over again. Earlier this week, the gratitude wave caught me off guard.
Sean and I finally broke our streak, and went into town. I was waiting while a cashier rang up my grocery order. I surveyed around me as people pushed shopping carts — some with masks, some tucking their chins and mouths into their jacket collars. Some not taking any such precautions.
And in that moment, I felt my chest tighten and my eyes brim with tears... of gratitude. I WAS SURROUNDED BY OTHER HUMANS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FIVE WEEKS!
The corners of my mouth (underneath my own mask) turned upward. And I could interact with them (at a safe distance). Smile at them (at least with my eyes). Such a simple observation, and gratitude hit me like a ton of bricks. I walked out brimming with joy, a smile ear to ear... which no one could see underneath my mask — the irony!
Something I'd always taken for granted, now in plain sight... and I was feeling all the feels.
As I reflect on what else I've taken for granted over the years, I find myself daydreaming about walking down Central Ave in Whitefish, or down Nucleus in Columbia Falls, or downtown Kalispell... seeing friendly faces on the sidewalk as I carry a hot, handcrafted latte, smiling at tourists as they stand in awe of the amazing place we call home. I love that feeling — I crave that feeling.
But here's the thing about daydreaming about how life was... it sets us up for failure because this dream assumes no change. And change is the only constant. It assumes all those small businesses will still be there when we emerge.
And truthbomb: Some won't.
It also assumes those tourists will be there, supporting our economy like usual by paying full price, in bulk, all summer long.
The same applies: Some won't.
Imagine Christmastime after we've made it through the summer, with the festive lanterns and garlands hung from the street lamps... just look at this!
And as you walk down Central, you pass dark storefront, after shuttered shop windows, one after the other. A nicely decorated ghost town. Wouldn't you wish, in that moment, you could turn back time and bring back the places you loved?
Of course you would.
But what would we say in that moment? Hindsight is 20/20.
It's easy to say: That won't happen to our town. It can't.
But if COVID has proven anything to us, it's that we can absolutely expect the unexpected, at any time. So why not do something about it, and make sure we're not living in a shell of a town, six months from now, or a year down the road?
My point is simple: Your vote counts. Your support matters. Every purchase you make at a small business matters, and helps carry them one step further toward weathering this bump in the road. This, coming from a studio that has given out more free yoga passes than ever before for so many new community members — we're so grateful you're here and you tried our LIVE online classes! But after all the free, our aim is to generate interest for a sustaining commitment so you continue to get yoga because we can afford to provide it.
And remember: Abundance isn't about the "haves" and the "have nots" ... yoga teaches us this:
Your attention is your most valuable currency.
We all have attention to give. It helps a small business when you spread the word, tell your friends, share on social media. All those referrals (especially in a small town) mean the world to us.
If other business owners are anything like me, the decisions we're making right now are crucial. Each step, we're walking on egg shells as we determine what needs to be left alone, what we can feasibly maintain, and how to possibly move forward when the state/county/city opens.
And here's one more important thing to consider: The need for your vote doesn't stop when we all open up. It doesn't stop a few months from now when you're wanting to spend your days out in the breathtaking wilderness rather than downtown shopping.
It will matter for a long time.
A friend of mine who lost her son years ago to complications with type 1 diabetes wrote a book on grief and talked about the feeling after people stop bringing lasagnas over... the newness of the loss wears off, and reality sets in and the family is left to fend for themselves once again. I think the chapter is called, "More Lasagna, please." That idea has always stuck with me.
As a community (this includes you), our collective loss is forcing business models to change, and will inevitably prevent as many tourists from visiting our towns this summer. This impact will be felt for many, many months to come.
I'm also the world's biggest optimist (you all know this by now) ... but yoga doesn't ask us to ignore what's right in front of us just because "this too shall pass." Yoga requires us to examine everything. Take nothing for granted. And take decisive, correct action when the moment is right.
So my advice (which I'm taking myself) is to start investing in what your future will look like. How will you vote with your attention to keep our small communities thriving? This week, I'm proud to promote two Yoga Hive resources to you — Nancy Ellis is sharing some incredibly Vedic Astrology wisdom with us (scroll to read!) and is offering deals on her Vedic Astrology readings... and Maud Mangin, one of our teachers at YH Wisconsin and a gifted intuitive healer herself, is offering a fun virtual workshop for Intuitive Play in early May. Details are below!
I speak for all of our teachers here at Yoga Hive — the handful currently teaching, and the nearly 30 total teachers throughout the Flathead that are part of our team — we would be so honored to continue serving you through our memberships and punch cards as we eventually offer some in-person offerings, and continue offering live online classes via Zoom for the foreseeable future. You could even buy a gift card for a friend or family member — no matter where they live!
If the LIVE online class times aren't working for you, or if you live somewhere other than Montana, we're proud to announce:
Yoga Hive Connect is OFFICIALLY open for live streaming!
For as low as $15 a month (plus a 7-day FREE trial!), you can gain access to this incredible, growing database of Yoga Hive classes, workshops and perspectives... proceeds from which support your local studio.
Through May 1st, as a gesture of gratitude, we're offering the one-time opportunity to become a founding member. By using the coupon code foundingmember, you not only get 7 days to try for free, but you can get 50% off the monthly unlimited rate of $20/month. So that's all the goodness of taking our classes whenever you want, for only $10/month... for life. Cancel anytime on your own — no need to email us!
This offer is only through the end of the month, with no extensions. Act now.
Cheers to each one of you out there — thank you. Thank You. THANK YOU, for doing your part to sustain the businesses and people you love! Remember: Spend your attention wisely.
I can feel it.
The nation is buzzing… waiting for someone, ANYONE, to give the green light to go back to “normal.”
And normal was on my mind a lot last weekend. There were a solid four hours on Sunday (FOUR HOURS!) where nothing related to coronavirus, the state of this business, or the weight of strategizing reopening the studios felt heavy on my shoulders.
It was bliss.
Sean and I returned Monday after a long weekend up at Arctic Hive — 63 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the heart of the Brooks Range, locking up so many things we’d left open and exposed in anticipation for our yoga + northern lights retreat that couldn't happen earlier this month. I felt so grateful to be able to ski up a snow-covered trail into Gates of the Arctic National Park… It felt so good to sit around the wood stove with snow falling outside and dream about our plans for a fall retreat this September. It was amazing to just sit in stillness, inside and outside. The quiet of that place never ceases to take my breath away.
And before I get to the meat of this story, check out these photos...
Ahh. Takes me back. (Click here if you want to be the first to know when we launch dates for the next retreat!)
On Monday, as we rolled back into town, I could feel the shift. Having had my own taste of “normal” over the weekend, it’s as if I could feel the rest of the world yearning for the same. More than usual. Wanting things to be comfortable again. Get us OUT of this uncertainty and take us back to the way things were.
Here is what I know: We cannot unsee what we’ve seen over the last month.
We will never go back to the way things were because the fact is: Everything has changed. And despite the best efforts of the media and Big Marketing Companies to convince us to drown ourselves in all the old vices we had to create “normal” outside of ourselves pre-COVID, it’s not going to work.
Greed, gluttony, deception… those motives won’t fly anymore.
We’re different. We’ve experienced The Great Pause, 2020. We’ve gotten a glimpse of your life on the slow side. We’ve felt — either willingly, or kicking and screaming — the immense power of pausing. Of stillness. Sure, uncertainty is there. Loss is there. Different and uncomfortableness is there. But you are there.
You are here.
And when everything that makes you comfortable gets stripped away, you get to choose how to rebuild. Let me repeat: You have the ability to choose how you rebuild your life and your priorities.
This is a fundamental teaching of yoga: When we strip away all our earthly desires and see life for what it is — a divine play — we realize that we don’t need all the “stuff” to survive. We are the audience and the actor and the entire experience of the great play of life. Nothing outside of ourselves is within our control, and nothing outside of ourselves is needed to self-realize.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The only way out of this giant pickle… is in.
Choose wisely. Spend wisely. Recognize what makes you feel good from the inside out… not just what just makes you “feel good” for a minute before you throw it out. See the people in your life and recognize who lights you up, who you’re grateful for, and who you’re allowing to weigh you down. Choose who you want to rebuild with.
Not when businesses reopen. Not when you can walk the streets again with friends. Not when you can have dinner parties again.
Now does not happen in some future you’re waiting for. Here’s the secret: The future will come to you. Best not to wait for it, because it’s coming whether you like it or not. It’s what you do right now that shapes which future comes your way. If you don’t change the way you live, love, do business, shop, eat, and make decisions after the biggest global shut down the world has ever seen… right now… you will spend your days wondering when your life will get better. When your bank account will get a boost. When you’ll stop fearing for your life, or the lives of your loved ones. Wondering why life can’t just go back to the way it used to be.
This endless worrying and fear is suffering. When we resist change (which is inevitable) we are resisting the very nature of being human. Time is the definition of change, and time is all we have as a constant, always moving… nature shows us this in her seasons, her moon cycles, her weather patterns — both destructive and beautiful on the same day. Another word for this phenomenon? Evolution.
As humans, we have the choice to evolve, or suffer. And nothing is inherently wrong with deciding to suffer! The choice is yours.
(But you can bet I’m going to opt for evolution.)
Cheers to having virtual classes happen long after we start seeing some of you again in person!
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.