Yesterday, as I was working on the curriculum for the upcoming Conscious Leadership course, I brushed the dust off the manuscript of my first book, The Yoga of Business.
I wrote it in November of last year, but haven't touched it since, because... well, COVID.
The book is written how I speak to you in these newsletters. I take my life experience as an entrepreneur and as a human, and apply that yogic mentality to the wild world of business — which is precisely the foundation for Conscious Leadership!
Pre-COVID, I was determined to get it published, but then the Virus of the Year arrived, and sent me back to real-life business bootcamp, once again.
Knowing what I know now about 2020, I was both surprised and relieved that my words in the book still ring true — maybe more-so than they did before. A true testament to the timeless nature of yoga. Here's an excerpt from the Preface that really stuck with me as we face a new year, starting tomorrow:
Growing up, my dad was a stand-in pastor at our church. He gave sermons when the actual pastor was out of town. Apparently, he knew a thing or two about inspiring folks. Through his words, impeccable attendance record and willingness to volunteer, he showed the congregation what devotion looks like.
Me, on the other hand?
I had to be persuaded every week to go to Sunday School! Egg McMuffin Happy Meals were my bribe of choice — and it didn't matter who was in the pulpit during the sermon. And despite my pushback on whether it was realistic to turn water into wine, my dad never forced me to learn anything I wasn’t willing to learn — he just asked that I show up.
And I did.
What I (nor my dad) didn’t know then, was that he was my first yoga teacher. Not by making poses like down dog and Warrior 2. My dad was teaching me through his actions what it meant to show up, to study, and to learn.
Although he's given me many nuggets of wisdom as my spiritual identity has evolved, perhaps the one I remember most is: “God never gives you anything you can’t handle.” And despite my constant search for a spiritual landing zone, that idea has been an anchor through my whole life.
What in the world — you might be asking — do God, church and Happy Meals have to do with business?
The answer is everything. My entire life has prepared me for this moment, right now.
And so has yours — all the hard times, the scary times, the euphoric experiences and memorable moments.
I believe that with my whole heart, and you’ll be hearing many stories in this book that seemingly have nothing to do with running a business… and yet they have everything to do with who I am, which is everything to do with running my businesses.
I believe the same might apply to you, too.
As I reflect on how far I've come since my Happy Meal Sundays, my thoughts drift to all the things 2020 has taught me. This year has truly been my great guru (teacher).
I learned that nothing — no business, or ambition, or travel plan — is more important to me than my family. I officially moved to Alaska to be with my hubby, Sean, and haven't been on an airplane in eight months! The universe (and an incredible team around the country) made it possible to still teach yoga remotely, uniting our communities from Montana, Wisconsin, Colorado and beyond. This has been a true gift to do what I love, with the human and pups I love, and I couldn't be more grateful.
Also: I learned the supreme art of letting go (aparigraha, in Sanskrit) when I made an incredibly difficult decision to close two of our beloved Yoga Hive locations due to the hardships associated with COVID. Seeing so many of your faces, and air-hugging you from a distance as I loaded the Uhaul with years of studio stuff... those moments and hugs and helping hands meant so much to me.
And: I learned what it means to build a wilderness retreat center above the Arctic Circle in the Alaskan bush. I have the strength to haul materials — yes, nearly every single thing you see in the photo below — by hand, either partially or the entire way to our build site when the mud was too thick, or the ice too slick ... and then smile for the camera at the end of the day!
...among many, many other things.
To think... if I judged the "quality" of 2020 based on my initial expectations in February, I'd be so disappointed because the last year has been one giant pivot.
But — I was ready to see (or perhaps, be shown) the path of least resistance, without being attached to what life "should" look like... and I will tell you: That is the secret to success right there:
When we grip life less tightly, magic happens.And so, as you collect yourself, and your resolutions and a bubbly beverage of your choice, I invite you to remind yourself (as I have) that your ENTIRE LIFE has prepared you for this moment. This new chapter. This new year.
2020 has been our collective great guru.
And whether you're smiling in remembrance, or cannot WAIT to be in 2021 (or perhaps somewhere in the middle!), the age-old practice of honoring the guru within and without is indeed something to raise a glass to.
Cheers — happy new year, friends!
Ever since spending another summer in the Midnight Sun, Sean and I have been looking forward to experiencing our first Polar Night in the Arctic. It lasts from November 30th - January 9th here at Arctic Hive. It’s a time that only happens above the Arctic Circle when the sun stays below the horizon during the day. There are just varying shades of twilight blue “light” during a short period each “day”, before darkness settles in again and northern lights dance in the sky.
Here's a good diagram I found on timeanddate.com that really shows how it works:
My body has been feeling it. I’m grateful to be taking A LOT of vitamin D — but I’ve been witnessing myself turning inward more often, sleeping a little longer than usual, and indulging in more self care routines before bed. Truly, I feel like a hibernating animal sometimes!
Then on Monday this week, as Sean and I enjoyed a quiet night watching the Northern Lights, I could feel the incredible energy from so many of you, experiencing Shelle’s Yin + Sound Bath in the Whitefish studio with Meghan. I could feel those of you in Wisconsin, Colorado and beyond unwinding from the comfort of your home with Blaine in her virtual Solstice class. And as we put the finishing touches on Arctic Hive before our Northern Lights + Adventure retreats this March/April, I was imagining our guests witnessing the magic of this sacred place.
I could feel a collective sigh of relief from all of us in this Yoga Hive community, far and wide, past, present and future. (Yes, you!)
We’re letting the light back in.
Then on today’s Yoga Hive staff call, we debrief’ed all the amazing feels from Monday’s classes, and how we want to create that space more often. We spoke about how experiences like that give us permission to feel. Not in a superficial way. We’re talking true, intentional experiences that empower us — even help us — to feel the emotions that need to flow through us. It’s these experiences that bring tears to our eyes or a smile to our lips for no other reason than to release what’s no longer serving us inside.
There’s an old saying that Anand always reminds us of: “What you resist will persist.” Monday night felt as if we all recognized this new chapter — the path of least resistance, and we witnessed the page turn, together.
And if you’re anything like me, you’re not taking this next chapter for granted. Our promise to you, here at Yoga Hive, is that we’re not turning back from this path of seeking a more spiritual connection with life through yoga.
We don’t teach yoga classes to make you sweat. We don’t run trainings to teach you how to make the “right shapes” on your mat. We aren’t here to run yoga retreats without depth.
No, no. We’re here to hold space for what this community needs. And the honest truth? We’re not just creating what you need. We’re creating what WE need, because we are right there with you. We’re ready to see the beauty in our lives, tap into the abundance of spiritual connection through yoga, and keep our inner fire burning bright.
And my prayer for all of us this holiday season, as we look to the horizon of 2021 is that we can see that sacred intelligence within ourselves. Your flame isn’t inside your yoga teacher. It’s not in the right yoga pants or yoga shapes. The flame — your flame — is within you. We’re not creating it for you. We’re not even the ones holding up the candle for you. It’s you, dear friends, that fans the flame within yourself.
And if you need some kindling for your fire in 2021, we’ve got you covered. We would be so honored to have you learn with us:
...Throw this unattainable idea of work/life balance out the window in 2021. Instead, seek an optimal state of unity within and without by applying liberating yoga philosophy to your entire life. It's professional development that's worth every penny!
An online course with Mollie Busby
How it works:
--->> CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR SPOT NOW!
I was chatting with one of our Yoga Teacher Trainees this past week for her podcast. Jen and I were discussing how I became an entrepreneur, the Yoga Hive story, Sean and my adventures building Arctic Hive, and we dove into the details of our retreats happening this March.
And she suggested something that surprised me: "You should talk about the spiritual component of your retreats. That's what hooks me."
I paused. Spiritual?
Am I creating a spiritual experience? I can't say the word s-p-i-r-i-t-u-a-l and expect people to show up... can I?
Seriously, this was something I had to chew on.
Flash forward to Sunday. Jen and her YTT cohort graduated from their 100% virtual training, and after our closing ceremony (my all-time favorite part of the YTT experience), one of our other grads thanked me. I had tears brimming in my eyes as she said: "Thank you for having the courage to teach this lineage of kriya yoga. I can't imagine it's been easy being different, but it's important. It's life-changing."
And with that spiritual bug in my ear, my wheels started spinning again. Could I be so bold as to admit that we're facilitating a spiritual experience in Yoga Hive classes? In our trainings? On our retreats?
I mean... how can you see something like the Northern Lights, or the majesty of the Brooks Range (or BOTH at Arctic Hive!) from the comfort of your yoga mat, and NOT feel a spiritual connection to Mother Earth?
Or... how could you NOT sit in a room packed with yogis (ahh, pre-COVID times!) and —in electrifying unison —pound your fists against an imaginary wall and you breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth, working all negativity and frustration out of your body with a kriya we call Prana Shakti?
Or... how can you NOT experience joy and exhilaration as you drop all the structured poses and DANCE your heart out in the middle of a yoga class?
I love it. I seriously love all of these things, and what we've created at Yoga Hive.
But... because a spiritual experience on a yoga mat might seriously confuse a lot of people who think yoga = group fitness. I had to Google the word spirituality to make sure I understood it:
Spirituality: the quality of being concerned with
the human spirit or soul as opposed
to material or physical things.
THAT. IS. IT.
It's like that quote... Instead of human beings having a spiritual experience, we — through our work at Yoga Hive and retreats at Arctic Hive — learn to see ourselves as spiritual beings having a human experience. Using kriya, breathwork, a relatable approach to ancient philosophy, and Energy Medicine Yoga, we're exploring ourselves and learning about ourselves on a deeper level than a fitness regimen would ever take us.
Sure, we incorporate vinyasa/power flow. We do yin, and restorative, and hatha flow. But combine all that with the mantra, mudras, kriya, breathwork, philosophy, and EMYoga ... and you've got more than a 60-minute yoga class.
You've got a yoga journey.
Not a group fitness class. Not a seminar where you listen to someone explain how you should live, or how you should move. Not a workout focused on your bum, or your thighs, or any one body part in particular. It's a yoga journey where you dive deep and realize yourself, through yourself.
And in this season of giving stuff, getting stuff, and wanting more material stuff to fill our lives with, I know I speak for myself, and our entire team at Yoga Hive. We want to rise above the noise, and dive deep. This is one of the most incredible times in our life to heed the call to learn. To study. To bring more to the table for our students who need us most.
Me? I'm right there with you. I'm seeking deeper meaning through my morning meditation, an intimate connection with Mother Earth as I build our nest here at Arctic Hive, and I seek more union with my body and my life experiences as I flow on my mat and beyond.
I'm ready to share the lineage of Kriya Yoga with more of you.
So many of you who took your 200-hour training elsewhere have asked how you add kriyas into your classes. The thing is: Kriyas can only be received by willing students from trained Sattva Yoga Master Teachers, and there are only a handful of us running teacher trainings here in the USA.
Maybe you have no clue what kriya is, and maybe you're not even using your teaching credential in the classroom, but all this talk about being more spiritual is intriguing to you? Listen to the whisper, my friend.
Himalayan Kriya Yoga Teacher Training... happening February 10th-14th, 2021 — the missing link for any 200-hour Yoga Alliance-certified yoga teacher who wants to up-level their teaching, and impact students with more than just asana.
(All held on Zoom with plenty of breaks and a balance between activity and sitting still!)
--->> CLICK HERE TO PAY YOUR $250 DEPOSIT NOW!
--->> CLICK HERE TO PAY IN FULL, EARLY BIRD PRICING NOW!
Mollie, what if I'm ineligible for the kriya weekend training because I haven't taken a Yoga Alliance-certified 200-hour training yet?
You're in luck! In Yoga Hive's 7-month 200-Hour YTT, you get everything listed above (yes, everything) ... and much, MUCH more. Early bird deadline coming up is December 31st! Save $250 by registering between now and then, and paying on a payment plan of your choice. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to reply to this email. I will make myself available for questions and concerns you may have! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
A few more things you don't want to miss:
In love and spirituality,
The first time I decided to go to India, I told Sean it would be a one-and-done. Don't worry, honey! I was checking a box on a yoga-related bucket list at the foothills of the Himalayas. I got the e-visa (which is the same price as the 10-year visa) because I was so sure I'd never need it again.
Once I arrived, I'll never forget Blaine and my first interaction with a new friend.
As a gal from the midwest, I'll talk to just about anyone — and I smiled at a man who had just grabbed a coffee from the cafe. I introduced myself, and I learned his name was Thomas (pronounced to-MAS). Hearing his accent, I inquired, "Where are you from?"
Thomas replied casually, "Planet Earth!" He smiled and continued on his way, wherever he was off to. Blaine and I exchanged looks.
What on (Planet) Earth did we get ourselves into?
That evening at the opening ceremony, we each took a flower from a beautiful mandala display in the yoga hall, and walked down to the river as a group to place it in the river and offer up our intention for the training. We were chanting a mantra that was new to me — the Tara mantra — which is all about connecting in with the earth and grounding down, but keeping a connection open with our higher self — balancing between the two is the great act of life.
There I was, in the foothills of a mountain range I'd never been to before, chanting words I'd never used before, with over 100 other seekers like myself—interested in learning yoga from the source, having no idea what was in store for me the next day, let alone the next month of my life... I set my intention as I watched my flower drift downstream:
Let go of what I think I know.
My intention was so fitting — because as our teacher, Anand, always says, "The only obstacle to knowledge is knowledge." When we think we know, then we know. But, when we realize we know less than we don't know, THAT is when the true seeking can begin. The idea is to experience all things within our own universe — or perhaps our own version of "Planet Earth" — so that we can realize it for ourselves.
Thomas was onto something!
This won't surprise you at all. By day two of training, it occurred to me that I was DEFINITELY going back to India. With my 10-year visa officially stamped, I went back to Sattva in April of 2019 for Master Training, diving even deeper into Kriya, flow state, advanced meditation and mantra.
November of last year, I returned for a third time on a scouting mission. I picked out the routes, transport and logistics for — what will be — Yoga Hive’s annual Retreats to India with Blaine and myself. I stayed for a week longer for a master teacher module with my teacher, Anand, about Conscious Leadership.
When COVID hit and we cancelled said retreat to India, I enrolled in many different online courses both with Anand and other new teachers to study yogic history, philosophy, and texts — trying my best to take advantage of this unique time to learn online. In all, I’ve spent more than 1,200 hours studying yoga at the source and (thanks COVID) from the comfort of home in the far north of Alaska.
And all this learning... for what?
For access to wisdom — not simply information to fill my brain. But how can I be sure? Because when we encounter true wisdom (unlike encounters with basic information) we experience a shift. We change. We cannot go back to being the same person we were before.
Wisdom changes us for the better. And you can bet I've come a long way since my first trip to India.
This is where you come in... I’ve been integrating all my learnings and have some big programs for 2021 that I think you're going to love— and I'm so proud to lead this first program alongside Blaine. Since our trip to India, she's been on her own journey, becoming an Energy Medicine Yoga Master Teacher, and is on her way to becoming an Eden Energy Practitioner. Using the feedback we’ve received from you in this post-COVID world, we are answering your request for more in-depth study and deeper connections made virtually.
You want accountability to commit to change. You've told us that you want to go deep. Our answer?
Introducing: Soulful Sadhana
... an online course and community that weaves ancient yogic wisdom with a manageable monthly practice aimed at transforming your life and the way you live it.
The Sanskrit word, Sadhana, can be translated to "tuning." And Anand explains, without access to wisdom, applications for that wisdom in our daily life, and the dedication to commit, we exist in disharmony with our environment. We're out of tune. Out of touch. Life is burdensome instead of blissful. Then, when we finally get the courage to take on a practice — or sadhana, our commitment transforms our commitment to life itself. We tune in.
And hello! We'd much rather live BLISS than BURDEN, yes?
If we've learned anything since that first trip to India, having each other to lean on is imperative to success. No one should have to do it without the support of a group — we aim to create a tight-knit community of sincere seekers so we can deep dive together. Join Blaine and I this January for one, three, or six months of Soulful Sadhana — you'll find more details of this program below!
Other things we don't want you to forget:
In love and service,
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.