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,
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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.