I remember the first yoga class I taught after returning from India.
I was nervous — not because I wasn’t prepared to teach. On the contrary… I was more trained than ever. I was about to teach a class in a way that I knew none of my students had ever experienced before — and I had no clue how they’d react.
For years, I’d been showing up as a studio owner to teach a consistent, powerful sequence of physical poses. I taught what many — in the west — consider “yoga”. But after my life-changing journey to the source of yoga in the foothills of the Himalayas, I couldn’t go back to the way I’d done it before. My new style had my same personality, but with new breathwork practices, ancient mantras, and repetitive techniques designed to re-write deep-seated subconscious programming. These practices (which we call Kriyas) had given me a direct connection to my inner wisdom and paved the way for massive healing and transformation I so deeply needed.
I knew in my heart that my next step was to share. But how?
I’d spent years fitting into the box of “yoga” that others expected of me. But in that split second, sitting in front of a room full of students, I recognized that familiar feeling of being different. My childhood insecurities reared up… I almost didn’t teach the class.
But something inside me insisted: It’s time.
So for the umpteenth time in my life, I stepped into a space of embracing that which makes me different. I taught my first public Kriya yoga class… and no surprise here: I haven’t looked back.
From yoga teacher trainings to online courses to 60-minute studio classes, yoga retreats and yoga festivals, I’m honored to have taught thousands of receptive yogis what I brought back from across the globe.
Each student has their own intimate experience with Kriya — a Sanskrit word that means simply “evolutionary action”. I sequence the Kriya techniques with dancing, whole-body shaking, and familiar yoga poses and sequences we all know and love. This is all wrapped up into what we call a yoga journey. The experience isn’t just a bodily workout… it’s a work in — allowing us to access parts of ourselves we didn’t know we had using mantra, intensive breathing, mindful repetitive motions and more. I’ve had students tell me that years of struggling to reconcile aspects of themselves came together in just one particularly powerful Kriya yoga journey.
Although the yoga I teach is undeniably different, I’ve let go of any resistance to walking this path because… well, I love it. My life has become this practice, and this practice has become my life — and I’m proud to say so.
What started as a way to learn my body became a mindful meditation to meet my spirit. I finally learned what it meant to have a spiritual practice.
It felt stable and supported. But… there was a catch. Once I stepped off my mat or cushion, my life “outside of yoga” building cabins, living in the wilderness, and tending a growing sled dog team felt somehow detached from that blissful yogic path.
I knew something still hadn’t clicked but I couldn’t put my finger on it… until the plywood came into the picture.
I’ll tell you part 3 of this story tomorrow!
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.