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!
Real talk: How many times have you felt like a failure in the last 24 hours?
Those of you with kids... being (all at once) homeschool teachers, housewives/husbands, business people working from home, pet caretakers, responsible parents, the list goes on. How many times have you smacked your forehead today and thought: Ugh. I'm awful at this.
To my fellow business folk: When you look at your dwindling bank accounts, or hear back from an unrealistic landlord, or cup your forehead with your palm at your makeshift workspace in the kitchen surrounded by dirty dishes when you realize your entire business model isn't working. (This is the part where you drop a handful of choice expletives).
To the front-line healthcare workers out there, learning to fit new gear or retrofit gear when there aren't enough supplies. Having to make decisions about who gets a ventilator and who doesn't. Trying to comfort scared people when you're so stinking scared down to the tips of your toes. Fail. Fail. Fail.
We have got to reframe failure. And fast. Lives depend on it.
When I googled failure, the internet told me: Lack of success.
Lack of. Also known as "not having". Or missing out. Or incomplete. And when we're lacking the one thing our great nation touts as the most important trait we can claim as Americans (ahem: success)... how do we expect ourselves to feel in times like this?
That's the thing: Success is relative. And if failure is entirely dependent on success (or lack thereof), it stands to reason that if we reframe success, we reframe failure along with it.
Let's look to yoga: The entire purpose of life, according to yoga, is to self-realize. That is, experience our world through our lens of collective memories in order to help us learn about who (and what) we truly are. That's it! No fluff. No nonsense.
The purpose is not to "experience only good things that make us lots of money." It's not "experience only things that make us feel comfy cozy." Not even "experience things that bring out the best in us."
Just... experience. Without boundaries or expectations, for the sole purpose of discovering more about ourselves. When we define success as simply learning by doing, then we tint the lens through which we view all the aforementioned experiences. Our life — and the impact of this pandemic on what we thought life was — takes on a different quality.
For example, facing the reality that you won't be able to afford to have all 29 yoga teachers to teach their usual classes each week on Zoom because you weren’t prepared for a world economy shutdown; this is a lesson in compassion — for yourself as the risk taker in charge, and immense gratitude for the incredibly understanding, resilient people you've surrounded yourself with.
Or... teaching your kids algebra. While your reasoning may be wrong because you've forgotten everything you used to know from high school, your kids get to watch you step up to the plate of being something you weren't just 1 month ago... they learn determination. And you learn a little algebra as they start teaching you!
To our healthcare teams on the front lines: I can only imagine where your heads might be at. But with each passing decision you make (however gut-wrenching), you're learning on how to make more efficient decisions moving forward. You get better and better each time you act... even if the outcomes seem more gruesome. This movement toward efficiency is helping our nation learn how to deal with this virus — this is evolution in action.
As long as you're learning — wherever you're spending quarantine, you're on a path of evolution. So today, as you encounter yet another thing you would normally consider a failure, pause. Reframe the moment. See your opportunity to learn.
And if you still find that difficult to do, what about yoga? Why have you not joined us in a LIVE online yoga class yet? Did you know you can try it for free to see if you even like it? It's true: Use the promo code yogahiveonline for a 1-time 100% discount off a Drop-In Pass (with no mat rental!). This code is good through April 14th - 1 per person, please.
And if you really need to pull yourself out of a pit of self-sabatoge/misery/pity/you name it... consider being a part of our 21-day reset with yoga, meditation and inquiry called BeAbundant. Details are all below... and if you're someone who can't attend the meetings, we record everything so you can watch on your own time.
No more excuses. No more failure.
Cheers to learning, Mollie
After I arrived home to Alaska last week, it was the first time in a long time that I really felt myself settle. I realllly slowed down.
All my trips planned through July are cancelled. My cell phone hotspot wasn't working, so it wasn't worth it to be on the computer. I didn't have anywhere to drive, or food to buy because we're stocked. And without all the things that normally fill my schedule, I found the craziest thing: Space.
And although my mind still runs a million miles an hour, the content within has a different quality — backed by stillness instead of busy-ness. From the depth of my awareness (on a walk with the dogs), a thought popped into my head.
When we slow down, we can speed up.
Our mind has time to reset, to open up to new possibilities and new ways of thinking. And as I think about all those people on the front lines of this medical nightmare, I pray that everyone has enough time and space to breathe, reflect, and heal as we navigate this new path.
And then it occurred to me that I'm not alone. The media/government reinforces this fact every single minute.
We go through these things during pandemics. We go through these things without pandemics. Despite what we believe in the Facebook feeds, Instagram stories, and highlight reels we scroll through on social media, no one is exempt from the pains of life. And no one is exempt from the joys of life. And right now, no one is exempt from COVID-19. We are all human beings having a human experience, and we're all in this together, whether we like it or not.
The only difference is that now, we're all forced to slllllowwww down and actually see that, and feel that. And grieve that. And grow from this.
So when you hear the whisper to slow down... to pick up that book... to finish that project... to air-hug your neighbor from a 6 foot distance... to show up to the front lines in your scrubs to care for those who can't care for themselves... pause. Deep breath. You've got this.
And you are not alone.
Here are Yoga Hive, Blaine (owner of Yoga Hive Colorado and a master teacher for our EMYoga training this summer!) and I have planned a new 21-day program with completely new content to reinforce this fact.
We are proud to co-create and co-lead BeAbundant.
Using virtual group discussion, yoga and meditation practice, we will harness the power of yogic technology to let go of resistance, allow creativity to flow, and see our world as a chain of infinite possibilities over the course of 21-days, and 4 weekly meetings. You will walk away from this experience with new friends who are interested in growth, new habits focused on your wellbeing, and a game plan for how to move forward in your life. The world is not happening TO you. It’s happening for you.
This entire program will happen once weekly on Zoom starting Tuesday April 7th from 6:30-8pm MST. You will get a recorded weekly yoga/meditation practice to use daily during our program. Never used Zoom online video conferencing? No problem. We'll walk you through it step by step, and the software is free and easy! We will record all meetings, too... so if you can't make it live, you can still join in.
In a nutshell? We gotchu. The standalone 21-day program, which includes four meetings + a virtual manual and day-by-day program instructions + recordings from Zoom to access after the meeting time, is FREE for any autopay monthly unlimited members (reply here and I'll enroll you free of charge), and costs $44 for anyone else. If you want to make a one-time purchase for a month unlimited yoga + the BeAbundant program, you'll get all that for $108. Click here to enroll today!
It's time to rise up and dive deep during this time of cocooning, so that when it's time to emerge from this quarantine chrysalis and re-enter the world, you've got a game plan, a rock solid daily routine and mindset, and bold and beautiful butterfly wings to carry you as fast as you need to move.
Slow down. Speed up. BeAbundant.
Interested in seeing what online yoga is like before you commit? Try out a class -- on us. If you haven't attended online classes yet, you're welcome to use the promo code yogahiveonline for a 1-time 100% discount off a Drop-In Pass (with no mat rental!). This code is good through April 14th - 1 per person, please. Tell your friends — join us online this weekend to see what Yoga Hive is all about!
PS - If you don't have the means to pay but need BeAbundant in your life, please reply to this email and fill me in on your situation — I'm ready to help make this happen for as many community members as possible.
Let me put this into perspective: Earth is a tiny blue dot in a galaxy that is part of other universes and multiverses, to infinity... farther than we have ever been able to see with modern technology.
Also: We are but one human being on a planet of 7.53 billion people (give or take).
Also: Our individual cells are but one component of 37.2 trillion other cells that make up the human body.
Sometimes — in the midst of "social distancing" and "sheltering in place" and a handful of new buzzwords that we'll never forget — it's worth pulling back or zooming in for some perspective on what's going on in the world today, and within our own bodies. (And if you want to visualize this, watch this YouTube video.)
These times — just like so many times in history — will be a blip on the radar of our life. Of course, there are going to be businesses that don't survive, others that thrive, families devastated from losses, and others traumatized from experiences all over the world in light of the pandemic. My intention is not to belittle the gravity of today's situation, which inevitably varies from human to human.
For the vast majority of us, this could be a distant memory with varying small degrees of influence on our daily life down the road. Knowing that — and reminding myself of that — is a reminder that although my actions today could make massive waves for my future, I know time is passing just as fast as it ever did, and every day is a gift, just like they always were (and always will be). Every moment is an opportunity, and just because there's a pandemic doesn't mean opportunities cease to exist.
Nature is still on our side. She doesn't necessarily want to be comfortable, but she wants to grow and learn. As long as we're on the same page with her, we're going to get along just fine.
How do we get a place where we're comfortable with the pace of the world and confident in our every step with a mission to grow and learn? It comes down to letting go of an attachment to what "success" looks like. To what "bad" looks like.
And for our purposes here, letting go of the attachment to what "opportunity" looks like.
I remember this one activity at leadership camp where we were given the task of making a cup of tea, and we were given a bag filled with random supplies and 20 yes or no questions of our leader. As we whittled away the questions, and tried our best to use a bow-drill to start a fire (SO HARD), I remember toward the bitter end as we struggled to light a fire, someone came up with the idea we should ask our leader if she had any matches.
It was the ultimate testament to creatively using resources. We detached from the idea that we "have to use the bag of supplies we're given." We had already gotten pine needles from nature (no one said the tea had to taste good!), and we'd figured out the cup and heating situation. We just needed a spark. And the one person who had identified themselves as a guide, a teacher, a bystander... we realized was actually our greatest asset.
She handed over a match, we started a fire, made the tea... and FELT LIKE A MILLION BUCKS! We did it. I'll never forget that moment... and that lesson to look at my entire life as an opportunity has never left me.
The life of Yoga Hive Montana is testament to this same truth. Our history has prepared us for this moment, as we lean on a massive resource we're lucky enough to have: five studios around the country! Today we join hands with all five Yoga Hives to bring you a virtual class schedule with over 30 classes a week from teachers, many local friendly faces, some new ones. You'll be able to use your pass at Yoga Hive Montana to take LIVE virtual classes with teachers here in the Flathead, along with teachers at Yoga Hive Wisconsin and Yoga Hive Colorado. Click here to see the full lineup on the schedule.
We are grateful to lean on one another during this time to make sure Yoga Hive is around for the long haul. We know our creativity and agility — like any small business — is our greatest asset. So thank you for co-creating this new reality with us, and for meeting us on your mat!
Don't forget to share the zen — not the virus! We are offering a QUARANTINE SPECIAL (couldn't help it!). It's $44 for unlimited yoga for two weeks of online, LIVE classes with Yoga Hive using Zoom. Your cousins in Minnesota and your grandma in Arizona can buy this pass and join the fun. We walk you through the process here.
Don't have $44 but desperately need yoga? Or a CLUE about where your next paycheck will come from? Reply here with what you can pay. Your message goes straight to my inbox and will be completely confidential. We GOT YOU.
In light (and gratitude I never decided to make my own line of tea),
If we're not pulling our hair out because of quarantine this weekend, it's going to be because we're tired of the Virus-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named posts on social media... or we're figuring out how to grocery shop online... or we're so flipping overwhelmed about the fact our entire world flipped upside down in a matter of weeks/days/hours (circle whichever one applies to you).
And when we're pulling our hair out, our loved ones come to the rescue. They grab our shoulders, look us right in the eye, and shout: "GET A GRIP!"
Of course they have good intentions, but the words they choose are interesting. "Get a grip" ... hmm...
So we have a grip on something — for example's sake, let's use a specific brand of coffee creamer. Your favorite coffee creamer. Because it's your favorite, you're holding it tightly, planning your routine around it, expecting it each morning. Figuratively you're "gripping" it tightly enough that it stays in your possession. You've got decent control over it. You can move it, toss it, drop in, hug it. Whether the "thing" is coffee creamer, or five crayons, or a computer mouse because you hate your laptop trackpad, you've got a grip, you've got control, and you're good to go.
Or are you?
Consider the moment you approach the cooler at the grocery store, and you scan the shelves for that same friendly label you've come to know and love... and then, dang it. You notice they're out. First you question whether it's true: "Could it be? Are there REALLY no more or did they move it to a new cooler?" You scan, and pace, and then frantically grab an associate and ask WHERE IS THE VANILLA SOY CREAMER, PLEASE?!
The associate confirms they're out of stock, and mentions that there's been a shortage of that exact brand and flavor lately, and they don't know when to expect more in stock...it could be weeks... months... maybe August. When you check your phone, you notice Amazon isn't even doing shipments of it for two weeks, and apparently the price of one container of your coffee creamer costs $87?
So although you weren't physically holding that coffee creamer in your hand in the grocery store, figuratively speaking, you had a grip on it. You shaped your entire morning routine around it. It defined you! And so naturally it stands to reason when you hold tightly to something, you have that something to lose.
Let me say that one more time:
When we hold tightly to things in our life, we have things to lose.
So when we take this simple example and extrapolate it to the current climate of the world, it would seem nature is slapping us in the face with this simple truth... the tighter we grip to "the way life is," the more we have to loose when life changes.
Especially when it changes without our consent.
I was listening to an online meditation from a friend of mine on Facebook, and she spoke about this concept. I loved how she put it; When we're attached to things in our external environment, things outside of ourselves, and we create our life to be centralized around those things, we realize at some point that things outside of ourselves can be taken from us. Anything! Any one! At any time!
I think about the people in Tennessee recently who went through a wave of devastating tornados. Their houses just simply plucked off the foundations, swirled around and smashed down.
Demolished. In an instant.
Things like that — or our recent shake up with the world — can feel jarring, unfair, and life-altering. Maybe it's not the coffee creamer that puts us over the edge, but something more impactful like losing a consistent paycheck. We assume, either way, big or small... our life from here forward will just get worse.
But if we loosen our grip on "the way our world is" we can start to peek around the corner. We can start to allow creative energy to flow, we listen to the whisper of our heart, and we pivot. We get a glimpse of how our life could actually be BETTER down the road. Different — no doubt. But better. Ultimately, life is not happening to us. It's happening for us.
To see that glimmer and get out of your own pity party, I'll tell you this: The only way out, is in. Practice. Meditate. Yoga. Of course you need to exercise and get your blood pumping... but I'm talking about the practices that allow you to focus on the inside job. Especially today when there's no one around to care what you look like other than your family and your pets (quarantine perks?). It's important now, more than ever, to really sit with the uncomfortable and do the work.
And you guys, I'm speaking from my own depth of experience... not as someone who is above "needing the practice" anymore, but as someone who is diligently working on a daily basis to hold it all together. No one is exempt!
When we practice, we are cultivating a strong internal culture, and strong sense of ourself as a human being. And your commitment and dedication to your internal practice is something that can never be taken from you. No one can take meditation away. No one can take away your learning... your insights... your gut instinct.
It's the ultimate lifeline... GRIP YOUR HEART OUT, BABY!
And even with quarantines and closures, here at Yoga Hive, we've got you. We're completely running online, with some of your favorite teachers and more to come. Hear what Shayna had to say about her first online class with us...
"I wasn’t sure about yoga online. The thought of doing yoga over the web seemed like just too much... but I tried my first Yoga Hive class LIVE on Zoom today and it was not what I expected. It wasn't just another recorded yoga class. I could see and hear the friendly instructor the whole time. I could see other students in the class and say hello. I felt the love and energy, just like if we were all in the same room. It was an amazing experience and I highly recommend trying a Yoga Hive Live class online. I’ve learned that resistance can show you what you need the most." — Shayna
And if you're like Shayna, wondering if online yoga feels anything like the "real thing," we've created a whole explanation page on our website about what these online classes look and feel like. CLICK HERE. While we could never say this before, you now can bring your dogs... your kids... and your cats to yoga. Even your ferret, Paul. He can come, too.
On Monday, we will merge online yoga schedules for all five Yoga Hive studios around the country. You'll be able to use your pass at Yoga Hive Montana to take classes with teachers at Yoga Hive Wisconsin and Yoga Hive Colorado. Click here to see the current schedule and stay tuned over the weekend as we add more for Monday onward!
Oh yeah. That.
Well, to be honest, we could use some too... but we know that yoga is the most important factor here. So we are offering a QUARANTINE SPECIAL (couldn't help it!). It's $44 for unlimited yoga for two weeks of online, LIVE classes with Yoga Hive using Zoom. Your cousins in Missoula and your grandma in Rhode Island can even buy this pass and join the fun. Share the zen — not the virus!
Don't have $44 but desperately need yoga? Or a CLUE about where your next paycheck will come from? Reply here with what you can pay. Your message goes straight to my inbox and will be completely confidential. We GOT YOU.
In light (and openness to the possibility of enjoying a new coffee creamer in the future),
Funny how things change in the course of a week, isn’t it?
And by funny I really mean... life-altering, potentially fear-inducing, and funny-not-funny.
Now, more than ever, is the time to practice. As the first yoga sutra says, "Now, yoga begins."
The impact of this pandemic on small business promises to be massive across the country, and Yoga Hive is not exempt from this, not by a long shot. But one thing you can always count on from us (and one thing we’ve learned over the last four and a half years) is that we practice yoga like our life depends on it.
In honor of helping to make “social distancing” the catch phrase of our time, we've spent the last five days crafting a plan to support the sustainability of Yoga Hive, and support this community like never before. At the recommendation of Yoga Alliance, Yoga Hive’s physical locations in Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Kalispell are officially closed, effective immediately, for in-person group yoga classes until it’s safe to reopen.
Plus, we’re completely out of toilet paper! 😜
And... here's the fun part. Yoga Hive Montana is proud to offer a full online schedule of LIVE classes starting TODAY on Zoom Video Conferencing (full "how to" directions and FAQs below!)
As for the state of our world amidst a pandemic... as someone with so many family members, friends, and colleagues with chronic health conditions... I keep getting asked, “Is this for real?”
In short? Yes. It’s absolutely for real. Whether you're part of the "at risk population" or not, we're all part of the same ecosystem, and this thing moves in ways we can't always anticipate, Chlorox wipes or not.
It’s not something we need to resist, or fear, or turn a blind eye to. As yogis — I told you last week — we respond to the need of the moment. And right now, all over the USA, we are called to physically distance ourselves from others not for our own safety. I’ve been traveling through Alaska, Wisconsin, and now to Montana. I’ve seen the way communities are responding in so many places for the last month, I’ve watched my colleagues in Denver, Miami and beyond boldly take their studios completely online. We can’t sit back and wait for this to become small town Montana’s problem. The time is now, and this concerns everyone.
Deep. Breath. We have nothing to fear!
And yet… fear is there, isn’t it? If it’s not fear, then it’s some other emotion. Denial. Anger. Disappointment. Confusion.
So do we smother it down and deny we’re “having a moment”? No. In times like this, we practice yoga IN ORDER TO have emotions like this bubble to the surface. You heard me right: Yoga brings it all to the surface. That's the sneaky purpose of yoga when you really start practicing in earnest… to bubble things up so we can see them, acknowledge them, and delete them.
What seems sneaky at first becomes a technology we can use to free ourselves from unnecessary suffering.
And even with fear, or denial, or anger on board, those emotions don’t define us even though they might feel all-consuming. Emotions are like tools that give us an indication of what’s happening on the inside. If we recognize where we feel fear in our body (tight hips, clenched jaw, etc.) then we can recognize it and treat the body as it’s happening by doing breath work, meditation, and yoga. The emotion becomes a tool for self-healing.
This moment-to-moment awareness of our emotional state is called emotional intelligence.
As yogis, we remain vigilant, we tune into what’s happening on the inside through this emotional intelligence, and we practice like our lives depend on it.
And know for sure: Yoga Hive has you covered. You can count on:
Alaskans have a phrase for traveling to the lower 48... it's called “going to the outside.” And I never truly understood that phase quite like I did last week!
After spending the better part of the last few weeks off-the-grid in the Brooks Range prepping for our Far North Northern Lights + Yoga retreat, even returning to mainstream Alaska felt like stepping out of a dream into a harsh reality... it’s a world filled with ongoing news stories, scary updates, and a bit (ok, a mega dose) of mass hysteria.
All I could think was: Where the heck is all the toilet paper?!
In all seriousness, with everything going on from election sagas, to virus watch, to the economy, to toilet paper's disappearing act, I find it hard to pull away from the news sites and my daily news podcast. I find it hard to not worry about the future of... everything.
How do we stay up-to-date in the world without constantly diving into fear?
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: It all comes down to the unknown, and our relationship with it. And our ability to ask ourselves realistically: What can I do right now?
In fact, this concept is so important that it's the basis of the FIRST yoga sutra — Yoga is now. This is the most important sutra, as they are to be practiced sequentially for maximum benefit!
So we avoid asking What does my future hold? Or How should I have done the past differently?
A yogi will ask: What is this moment asking of me right now?
Before heading up to Arctic Hive last week (which is our home and igloo above the Arctic Circle... the northernmost yoga studio in America!), Sean and I poured over weather forecasts and tried to prepare ourselves as best we could.
Needless to say, there were a lot of unknowns.
Our objective was to ready the property for this April’s retreat by breaking in spring access trails, hauling food and provisions, moving solar panels, shoveling massive amounts of snow from roofs and decks, and packing a dogsledding trail. From afar, we wondered what -30 daytime temps would feel like as we spent our entire days and parts of the evening outside doing physical work, trying not to sweat to avoid hypothermia. We wondered how much firewood we would go through, how long snow-boiling shifts would take to make ample water for our dogs, how to keep our snowmachine and truck oil warm to prevent freezing. We wondered if we had the right layers/boots/socks/gloves/hand warmers... you name it.
We wondered, we researched, and we prepped as best we could. That’s all we could do. That's what the moment was asking of us. And we knew if it weren't so logistically complicated, then surely the village of Wiseman would look quite different. Instead of the 12 souls that live there, year round, off the land (mostly all from the same family) would be more like 1200. Or 12,000.
Having prepared our hearts out, we drove north, 7 hours from Fairbanks into the heart of Alaska’s mighty arctic Brooks Range—the Himalayas of the Arctic. And despite the unknowns of winter, all we could do was walk through the fear of unknown.
A wise yogi named Scott taught me this idea of “walking through fear." I’ll never forget as he described his experience in the armed forces overseas, and how when it comes to fear, you have to face it, walk through it, and let go of the desire to turn around to get one last look at it. A difficult lesson learned for him, I’m sure... and one I didn’t take for granted, and use daily.
The more we step outside our comfort zone into a space of challenge (walking through our fear), the more we find ease in the unknown. The more we sign up for classes that make us a bit squeamish... the more we take trips to wild off grid places... the more we try that yoga pose that pushes our limit... each new experience adds up and prepares us to flex our “uncomfortable” muscles at the drop of a hat.
So days upon days and nights upon nights of working outside in temps that ranged from -25 to -47 degrees for hours in a remote and isolated wilderness? Yeah. It was mind-numbing cold.
Was it amazing to push through the intense moments and work side by side with my partner in one of the most incredible places in the world?
Yep. Totally worth it. Mission accomplished.
So whatever fear you’re facing at the moment — whether it’s a manageable stressor or it’s a big, hairy, esoteric fear of the unknown for our planet (or somewhere in between), take a step back and assure yourself: The future does not exist.
Say it again, put it on a post-it in shouty capitals, whatever you have to do: THE FUTURE DOES NOT EXIST.
Then ask yourself: What is the moment asking of me, right now?
From there, don’t wait. Prepare, and walk through it, resisting the urge to look in the review mirror.
You’ve got this!
And, maybe now you feel a pull to spend 5 magical days with us in April and disconnect from the rest of society when daytime temps are likely much more comfortable than -25 degrees... You’ll spend 5 days in and around the comfort of our warm igloo studio and staying in hand-harvested Alaskan log cabins, nourishing yourself and taking time to just... be. And thanks to all the chaos in the world, flights are pretty dang cheap to our launching point in Fairbanks... click here for all the details!
As for Yoga Hive Montana? In this moment, the world is asking everyone to keep clean — which, when you consider all the implications—isn’t a bad idea! We have already increased cleaning overall, and will continue to regularly deep clean the studios and props.
Here are a few things we’d love your help with!
Anyone feeling like a vacation right about now?
I know for me, every February I get to this same point. Winter is “go time” around here with camps, plus yoga, plus family time, plus (endless list of things) … and I know there’s always an end to the madness. But yet, when I’m in it, it’s hard to stay IN IT without thinking about when the madness is going to end. And once I’m thinking about “the end” then I’m no longer in the present.
And this is what the media and popular culture supports, right? Work hard, play hard. Work 80 hours a week so you can bank enough vacation time to spend 10 days on the beach somewhere finally “relaxing.”
But you and I both know what happens on day 6 of vacation. What are you most worried about?
THE END OF VACATION!
We literally go on vacation, enjoy a few days, and then get sad because the trip is almost over — which hangs around until we’re back home and back in the reality of our crazy life, waiting (yet again) for the next vacation. What a cycle!
This winter, I’ve been really trying to stay focused on the present, amidst the chaos. A great word for this is Equanimity — being like the eye of the hurricane. In moments of overload, I acknowledge the chaos, acknowledge my commitment to it (which is important because I feel so fortunate to do what I do for a living) … and yet, I ask myself, “What can I do right now to relax and refocus on the moment?” Often a few deep breaths (or ten) are involved.
Sometimes I sit myself down for a midday meditation, or just stand outside and feel the wind on my face.
And without a beach vacation in the midst of chaos, I’m able to cultivate those little moments of sacred relaxation. And then I write them down so I can remember my strategies, and remember what situations are especially triggering for me so I can learn to anticipate them in the future.
These moments are a lifeline — and these moments shape the mood of my life. Those moments are all a "beach" in their own way.
My teacher, Anand, often talks about this phenomenon. He said, “Get out of the waiting room of your life!” We’re spending days WAITING for vacation. WAITING to start working out. WAITING to “indulge” in self-care because we don’t have the time for anything except… waiting. We always have time to wait.
And when you run the math on about 30 days of vacation versus YOUR ENTIRE YEAR, why do we push for relaxing only 30 out of 365 days per year? That’s 8% relaxing. 92% intensity.
There has to be more balance, or something has to give... and it will. We can either be in control of that process and make time for mini-vacations all day long. Or we can wait until our body gives out… or our mind gives out… or our commitments give out.
I’m not sure about you, but I’d really like to be the one in control of that process :-) Which is why those little moments of pause make all the difference in the sustainability of our lifestyle!
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.