At the start of 2021, I got an email that changed my life.
In-between weekends of our Yoga Hive live-on-Zoom 200-hour yoga teacher training, a trainee sent me this email:
I just have a few questions…
Need the pronunciation of Sanskrit for downward facing dog.
Can we discuss the patriarchal ideas that are infused into the culture
and women’s roles in yoga?
Also (and I’m on Day 1 of my moon cycle), I’m wondering if there are
any specific poses to help with cramping.
I remember smiling. I love questions. They’re the bedrock of the yogic tradition. Whatever the students ask helps co-create the flavor of each training. As far as I’m concerned, if an inquiry arises, it’s something we all need to know — and I fully include myself in that. I learn so much facilitating yoga teacher trainings.
Per usual, I got to work.
Recording the pronunciation of adho mukha svanasana (down dog) — no problem. Regarding cramping, I had a few of my own experiences to share, plus I gathered feedback from other yogis I knew.
But the patriarchy? And historical roles of women?
That was a new one.
As I started to flip through the 2020 version of the training manual I’d written, and the textbooks I’d assigned, I started to connect the dots on the relevance of her question...
Nearly all our textbooks were written by men. What’s more: Nowhere in the 180+ page manual I’d written and revised for half a decade was menstruation mentioned once… nor were modifications for cramping or any other common byproducts of being on a cycle, through menopause, hormones, or ways to accommodating women’s’ unique bodily features (like breasts and larger hips) in a pose.
Regarding historical context, I taught how vinyasa was originally created as a fusion of yoga and gymnastics for teenage boys.
I covered the yogic goddesses as feminine archetypes.
I mentioned the impact a woman named Indra Devi had on spreading yoga throughout the USA in the 1970s and beyond.
But a specific account of women’s history in yoga or the influence of patriarchal systems was nowhere to be found… in the manual, or in my head. The feminine perspective wasn’t there, because I hadn’t been taught it. And I hadn’t known to search for it.
I honestly didn’t know the answer.
I addressed the topic briefly with the group, explaining what I did know: Women were restricted from accessing aspects of the yogic teachings throughout time, just as women were shunned throughout many periods in history — and still today.
The juicy conversation that ensued lit a fire in me that’s been burning ever since — it has informed every book I’ve added to my personal library, the overhaul I’ve made to our beloved YTT manual, and it served as the catalyst for my decision to work nearly entirely with groups of women in future teacher trainings and many of our Arctic Hive retreats. The intersection of yoga + the history of the sacred feminine has been a constant theme since that moment because it’s exactly the direction my own practice needed to go.
Through countless courses, trainings, books, immersions, classes — you name it, I’ve been on a mission to discover more about both my familial lineage as well as my soul’s lineage through yoga, how faith and spirituality intersect that, and most importantly: What all of that means through the lens as a woman.
And with the exception a few close family members and girlfriends with whom I can openly share and who’ve been cheering me on, the journey has been me, my journal + pen, surrounded by a council of powerful women through their written word. Yep... just me and my books!
But I’m feeling a shift again after all this time. I’m determined to make 2023 a year filled with support that goes beyond my bookshelf. Perhaps you, too, are looking for a community where you’re free to share what you’re discovering on your spiritual path? A place where saying the phrase “this might sound weird but…” is never necessary? A container of women that strives to include wisdom from MORE traditions, rather than to say “our way or the highway”?
I’m honored to launch a cyclical online community for women that weaves wisdom so we can learn, practice, and evolve together. Most importantly, a structured opportunity to practice Kriya yoga on a mat, Kriya yoga during daily life, and Kriya in the loving presence of Mother Nature.
A community of women to spark spiritual exploration, integrate through soulful sadhana, and deepen our connection to the magic of Mother Nature all around us.
SHEvolve offers the space to grow on your unique spiritual journey with encouragement and education along the way. Each month, we’ll explore how to bee present with one aspect of yogic philosophy/teachings, through the lens of sacred feminine — in loving contrast to the masculine culture we live in. You'll learn during a wisdom talk, you'll experience through a kriya yoga practice, and you'll apply wisdom through a prithvi (earth)-based practice that you can take into nature wherever you are.
Just as the bumblebee visits a hive to store nourishment and cultivate a family, SHEvolve sisters support one another as we hear wisdom, cultivate a daily soulful sadhana, and connect to our magic within.
I’ve put all the details below if you feel the resonance with this — and I'm so excited to announce our theme during our first 9 months: We'll dive into the 9 planets of Vedic Astrology!
BUT, before you scroll, I’m excited to tell you about a FREE offering with me on Zoom this Thursday, December 15 at 5pm AK time:
SHEVOLVE // ORIGIN
December 15th, 2022
A FREE women's circle + satsang + yoga practice
to explore women's history in yoga
LIVE on Zoom with Mollie Busby
(+ recordings will be available to all)
4pm AK / 6pm MST / 7pm CST / 8pm EST
Join me for this FREE offering that offers a sneak peek into SHEvolve — no strings attached. During our 90-minute Zoom call (or recording if you can’t make it live!), you'll get a first-hand test drive of what you can expect in the SHEvolve community.
You in? I would love to be in circle with you — whether you're able to be there live, or join via recording.
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.