I know it’s down here, somewhere.
It was early 2020 and I was in my parents’ basement, rifling through large Rubbermaid totes filled with memories, scrapbooks and notebooks. I was on the hunt for something I’d seen only a handful of times in my life.
My holy grail.
I remembered it as a small, black binder filled with my dad’s old sermons. When I was growing up, he volunteered to preach at church when the pastor was out of town. I remember walking into his office a few times, and he’d have the little binder open, making notes. I also remember friends at church gave him a hard time because he was long-winded at the pulpit!
These days? I’d take a long-winded sermon a million times over if my dad was the one giving it.
Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2015, and although it was a slow progression at first, 1 year turned into 5+, and things were changing fast. He was close to needing round-the-clock care, and it was only a matter of time before… well, you get the idea.
I just wanted to hear his words clearly again. Or at least read them.
I don’t even remember where I found it, but I did. Just like I remembered it — a black binder filled with his most treasured thoughts on the meaning of life.
I cracked open the first sermon, and by page 2, my jaw dropped. Dad wrote:
We as human beings cannot, and will not, have that for which we ask — nor can we have anything we want. This is because our very request is a statement of lack. Therefore, our prayers should not be for our wants, but rather to be thankful in advance for that which we choose to experience… we are, in effect, acknowledging it’s already here.
My mind was blown. I couldn’t have said it better myself… because I had. In similar words, that’s what I teach about abundance and living yoga.
And another sermon:
… and there’s the rub. For it’s what we do when we imagine ourselves to be ‘better than,’ which sets the stage for great human tragedy. […] Paul said, “All of you are Christ’s body.” Let’s try taking that literally. Let’s assume that God is the only body, and every time we do something as a part of that body, it affects the whole being. The only condition that God puts on our experience in the flesh is that we can’t remember where we came from or where we are going. (Many of us get accused of that quite frequently anyway!) We are just here to enjoy and experience the experience. And doesn’t this really make great sense? If we knew all things both before and after life, what good would the life experience be? There would be no surprises and what fun would that be? We must believe there is no separation, no disunity. We are simply different parts of the One Body, called Humanity. No path through life is any better than another. Simply, different.
Minus the cast of characters, the concepts were the same as I teach when discussing yogic philosophy. His sermon was essentially the same answer I’d found through yoga to my question: What’s the point of all this?
Page after page proved that I’d been studying and teaching precisely what my dad was studying and preaching years ago. He may not have called it yoga, and I may not call it religion, but we each had a spiritual connection all the same. In his words: Same body. Same unity. Different paths to get there, as it should be.
Finally, I found a passage where I felt him speaking directly to me:
Life is an opportunity for us to know experientially what we already know conceptually… this is so because our soul knows all — it just can’t remember. Therefore, your job on Earth is not to learn (because you already know), but to remember Who You Are, and remember who everyone else is. That’s why a big part of your job is to remind others: So they can remember, also.
Tears pooled in my eyes.
Now, I knew with certainty I’d come full circle. No more mountains to climb — just a big, poetic circle to enjoy lap, after lap.
There isn’t just one way “to the top of the mountain.” Dad’s words confirmed what I’d come to know: Yoga isn’t some weird, new-agey outlook that goes against other spiritual paths or religions. The yoga that taught me to love my body, quiet my mind, and open my heart is — in fact — the same “yoga” my dad had in his own heart. Call it God. Call it church. Call it meditation. Call it spirit. Call it religion. Call it hiking-in-the-woods-because-it-makes-you-feel-connected.
To me, it’s all just… yoga.
The Sanskrit word yoga means “union,” and thus, yoga in all its shapes and forms helps us systematically remember who we are, deep down. There in the heart, we find unity of all paths and all beings.
Furthermore, as a yoga teacher, simply by being in that space and sharing how we arrived there… that is enough to remind others that they can get there, too — choosing whatever path meets their needs. We all arrive at the same place eventually.
My friend Angie puts this concept so sweetly: We’re all just walking each other home.
And that, my friends is the end! Or rather, our beginning.
Inspired by my dad and our story, I created a 5-week, self-paced course for spiritually-curious women that is not — by any accounts — yoga for fitness. It’s part philosophy, and part breathwork/movement, and I’m calling it Yoga for the Spirit because, well… that’s the point!
For five weeks, dive into the five layers, or “energy bodies” within me — eventually arriving at the spirit at our center. This is the systematic way I first dove into my heart through yoga, and I’d be honored to walk you through it, too.
Whatever spiritual background you come from, and however much (or little!) yoga experience you have, please know: You’re welcome here. You can be whoever you are, and believe whatever you believe, and still practice yoga. The goal is to deepen your connection to life — which is a unique experience to y-o-u.
You’ll spend a minimum of 1 hour a week working through the material, and then you can come back to the short breathwork/movement practice daily, if you wish. And, although I identify as a woman and I teach through that lens, if that’s not the case for you and you feel called to this course, I would love to have enroll. New content drops every Sunday and you’ll get encouragement from me along the way. You’ll connect with a network of other folks doing the same on our Yoga Hive Connect Mighty Network.
Normally, this course costs $99 for lifetime access.
But because you're reading this, I’m offering this course at 100% discount. Totally free.
If your curiosity is piqued in the slightest on how the ancient yogis systematically mapped out the path to the spirit, let’s do this.
In honor of my dad, select “apply promo code” at checkout, and enter the code STEVE to get 100% off the $99 price. There will be a link in your confirmation email that takes you into our Yoga Hive Connect Mighty Network platform, and you’ll find our first week’s content waiting for you, along with an activity feed where you can post an intro to the group!
Best of all, because this is self-paced, you will get lifetime access to the videos and content. So if it doesn’t work in your schedule now, you can do just as my dad encouraged me so many years ago, “You’ll find your spiritual connection when you need it!”
Questions? Reply to this email and you’ll go directly to my inbox — I will personally respond to every inquiry.
Otherwise, I’ll see you there!
It was the summer of 2017, and I was doing a photoshoot with friends in a beautiful Montana venue, and I had just experienced my first time holding a handstand … without a wall… in front of other human beings… for THREE WHOLE SECONDS.
It felt like an eternity.
I re-live that moment every time I see the photo...
My feet landed back on the earth, and elation coursed through my veins — followed immediately by tears streaming down my cheeks. I felt on top of the world.
For 4 years leading up to that moment, I’d immersed myself in all things yoga as a way to heal my body, my heart and my spirit.
I took trainings and continuing education courses, opened multiple Yoga Hive studios, taught a handful of classes every week, incorporated yogic philosophy as a way of life, and spending hundreds of hours apprenticing senior teachers and assisting at yoga teacher trainings.
I knew I wasn’t an expert in all things yoga — but I *thought* I knew a lot. Adding “handstand” to my repertoire felt like a pinnacle.
But, just like any mountain summit, we must eventually descend again. I just didn’t realize at the time how far down I'd have to go.
Late 2017 into 2018 was a particularly difficult time in my life. I lost a lot — and consequently, found a lot of new perspectives. While I trudged my way through the muck, I realized that despite everything I'd done and all the knowledge I'd acquired, I still had a lot of big, hairy questions.
Where does yoga come from?
When will I know it all?
Is handstand really the peak?
Deeper still were questions unanswered from my weekly childhood visits to Sunday School:
Why am I here?
What is the meaning of all this?
What does it mean to be spiritual?
A friend of mine mentioned she was going to India for advanced yoga training, and I surprised myself by admitting I was interested in joining her. Sean was supportive, and I booked my ticket. By the time I arrived in late November and experienced my first Himalayan Kriya Yoga journey, I knew with I was on my way back up the next mountain of my journey.
By integrating everything I’d learned in India, plus two additional pilgrimages in 2019, I changed the way I live and breathe, I was able to deepen my connection to life itself. My body felt like home. My breath was easeful. My mind was still, more often than not. I was filled with wisdom and I felt the magic of the universe was alive all around me. What I first learned as “yoga for the body,” had truly morphed into Yoga for the Spirit.
And while I thought I’d reached a spiritual peak with all this new knowledge, I soon discovered there was more I needed to learn. That little girl inside me who exchanged church for McDonald’s still needed some answers.
… and it all started with a little black binder, tucked away in my parents’ basement. I'll share the final part of this story (and a gift!) tomorrow....
Growing up, my dad made a deal with me.
If I went to Sunday School at our church with a smile, he’d guarantee a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin Happy Meal on our way into town. It was bribery, sure... but I felt like I had a choice!
(And let’s be honest: It was worth it for the new toy nestled in that glorious cardboard breakfast box.)
As I got older, and the toys lost their luster, I remember asking my parents why I still needed to go to church rather than sleep in or hang with my friends. Dad always said, “All I ask is that you stick it out, and once you’re in high school, you can decide if you want to keep going.”
I did what he asked and promptly stopped attending after 8th grade, other than the occasional special Sunday. Dad would always ask me after that, “You coming to church tomorrow?” with a knowing grin.
99% of the time, I said no!
My parents respected my decision — and even after all those Sundays at church, I didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. When we spoke about it, Dad would reassure me, “You’ll find a spiritual connection when you need it.”
Flash forward to 2009, when I was fresh out of college.
I was living in Madison, Wisconsin with a million friends, working my dream job in a city I loved, and yet… felt totally empty. I was unhappy with my body and confused as to why I hadn’t met the love of my life — because wasn’t that the point? I was wholly uninspired.
It made exactly no sense.
As I was brainstorming ways to get my life in order, I remembered Dad had told me during his college days in Madison, he would attend Sunday service at a church nearby.
Lo and behold, that same church was still standing. I’ll never forget my first time back in a pew, holding a hymnal in my hands. After an incredibly moving sermon, powerful organ notes blaring, and emotions swirling in me, my eyes brimmed with tears and my heart tightened in my chest. To this day, I don’t really know how to describe what I felt other than: Spiritually inspired.
It was a first.
Although I’d found a breadcrumb on the path that day, it wasn’t what I’d call “the start” of my spiritual quest. I didn’t rush out and become a member of the church — and it would be 2 years until I found a method to mend my relationship with my body, and another 5 years until I was exposed to spiritual teachings I could sink my teeth into.
But I knew something had definitely changed inside me, and I was so grateful for Dad’s guidance along the way. Bribery and all, he knew that sooner or later I’d need to chart my own path inward. He gave me all the support he could, until I was on my own.
And eventually, I did find my path… and what happened as a result blew my mind.
I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow...
The photo above was taken a few weeks ago, here at Arctic Hive in Alaska.
This photo below was me as a brand new yoga studio owner in 2015:
Same smile and yet, so much has changed.
At the age of 28, I opened my first yoga studio in Montana. Hearing the business name for the first time was an aha-moment. Our last name is Busby (pronounced buzz-bee)… and I was not interested in naming the studio after myself but I knew I wanted “yoga” in the name.
My husband, Sean casually offered: Why don’t you just call it Yoga Hive?
The rest is history.
Bees — and thus, hives — are not only a beautiful symbol of community and sweetness and many other things, but also near and dear to our family’s heart and name.
So I found a local space to rent in Whitefish, and got to work on a business plan. I acquired some yoga props from a friend, invested in the business basics, and decorated my back alleyway studio (which had a concrete floor!) with droopy Christmas lights, prayer flags and a few tapestries. It was… eclectic, as you can see. But I loved it. The space felt cozy, and magical, and REAL.
Back in 2015, the studio was just as much a space for me to practice as it was for the yogis who showed up. I practiced, I taught, I worked on myself and searched for my authentic voice as a teacher, as an entrepreneur, and as a woman.
And search, I did.
It was easy to get swept away in the dream of expansion. Between opening new locations, moving locations, and opening yoga retreats venues, I’ve launched a total of ten yoga studio locations in the past seven years.
...one of which is the fabulous Yoga Hive Wisconsin studio in Waupaca that is still humming along today. So many of you reading this are able to enjoy multiple times a week which makes me so happy.
I have such deep gratitude for everyone that’s been a part of this ongoing Yoga Hive journey — seriously, all of you (yes, you!) who are reading this, thank you.
I’ve learned so much. After teaching thousands of yoga classes, employing over 100 yoga instructors nationwide, training over 120 yogis, hosting 20+ retreats, and traveling across the world to deepen my knowledge of these ancient teachings, I finally feel like I’ve finally found myself, in a studio that feels just like the first one — but looks nothing like it.
It’s here, at home in our arctic Yoga Hive, surrounded by mountains and Black Spruce Trees:
A seven year journey that led me… to me.
And it's my genuine hope that however you interact with Yoga Hive, that is has the same impact on you. (And I'm being completely honest when I say I'd love for you to reply to this email and tell me how yoga has changed your life.)
One more little plug — if you've been wanting to dive deep into yoga in the arctic but the fall dates never work in your schedule, we just launched April 2023 dates for SHEWild! I features a shorter, 7-day immersion at Arctic Hive. If it speaks to you, please reach out. Spaces are filling already!
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.