A 21 day online event with Blaine Wilkes and Mollie Busby
April 7-April 28
In this 21 day program, we will use virtual group discussion, yoga and meditation practice to 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. You will walk away from this experience with new friends who are interested in growth, new habits focused on your well being, and a game plan for how to move forward in your life. The world isn’t happening TO you. It’s happening for you.
We will join together on Zoom for a yoga practice and content/discussion on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00 Mountain time on April 7, April 14, April 21 and April 28. Mollie and I will facilitate and we’ll join Yoga Hives in CO, MT and WI!
Pricing is $44 for the program and meetings and $108 for the program, meetings and unlimited virtual yoga classes.
You Cannot Change and Stay the Same
One year ago, my teacher in India said that to me, “you cannot change and stay the same.” Obvious, yes, but it hit me like a ton of bricks. I had spent decades wanting to change, changing a couple of things for a short time, then falling back into my habit field. I engaged in a lot negative self talk. All of it in a loop. The same behaviors, the same negative self talk, looping and looping, over and over again.
We are here to evolve. And by evolve, I mean get to the other side of it.
Whatever "it" is for you. That is your work in this life. Transcend it. The universe conspires to help those who strive so know that you have the support, and the love, and the magic that exists around us to get past your current struggle so you can see what is waiting for you on the other side of it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As I watch an update about the Amazon fires in Brazil, the number of trees lost and species extinct or at risk, and the millions of tons of CO2 going into the atmosphere, I roll out my yoga mat and surrender into a deep forward bend. The fires peaked in August, but they are still happening. These fires are primarily due to farmers and loggers clearing the land for animal agriculture so people can eat meat. I can get so upset. Connect to the breath, hold the forward bend. More deeply surrender.
I started meditating before I started the physical practice part of yoga. It was hard. I had many stories and arguments about why I couldn’t meditate. You may have them too, my mind is too busy, I can’t sit still, I have too much to do, I must be doing it wrong, I can’t tell if this even works! I tell my meditation students, it was war. And, at the time it was.
In Yoga, we have warrior poses, and we call the life of a Yogi the warrior path. My friend and business partner Mollie (owner of Yoga Hive Montana) chose veganism a little over a year ago. She is currently in a small town in Wisconsin with her family. She shared with me this week that it’s hard to be the trailblazer. No one gets it.
We have to fight the war in order to find peace.
Change is hard and, in our attempts, we fight the inside battles as we hear the inside voices and experience the fluctuations of the mind.
But the first step to change is to STOP.
No action, just be. Turn off the news, put away your phone, remove yourself from others, find the silence inside you, listen and FEEL. All those squirmy feelings? Feel them. The only way change is going to work is if it comes from the kindling burning inside you. Action fans the flames but doing nothing holds the steady burn. The burn that makes the change part of you. Not something outside of you to achieve, but part of who you are.
For our January 40-day challenge, we include meditation. Partially because some people want to start a meditation practice, but mostly because it supports your life, your inner flame and your connection to yourself.
For my frustration with the devastation in the Amazon, and the impact of our choices to the planet and our health, feeling hopeless or mad doesn’t do anyone any good, especially me. The yogic path has been paved with timeless practices that soothe and empower the spirit.
I go back to my mat.
Imagine a world where billions of people are running around stressed all the time.
Not so hard to imagine, right? I went to the Rec Center the other day to do a treadmill workout. It was not a pleasant experience. It was a Sunday morning and the energy was frantic. The locker room had people stepping all over each other, annoyed, and the workout areas had a bunch of grumpy people, clearly getting their workout in before diving into a day of rush and a massive to-do list. Everyone’s stress was due to things more important than the next person’s. And this energy is not just here, it is everywhere.
We all matter, and each of our thoughts and energies adds to the collective consciousness.
We all matter.
In that building, I felt negative energy everywhere. I do daily practices to keep my energy strong and stable and it was like, WHAM! I need to do something now so this doesn’t affect me, and then affect those around me, and so on.
Here is your tip! When the collective stress (or your own stress) is in your system, take 5 conscious breaths. Eyes open or closed. Only think about the breath. See if you can feel it all the way in your belly. Make it slow. With your full attention on the breath. 5 times. Then move on. (Whisper voice: you just meditated).
It is Holiday time and there is A LOT going on. I feel it myself… “next week I free up a little” is basically my motto right now. There is also a lot going on at the studio (you can read what’s up below) and plenty of planning and strategizing for next year. I am also doing more work with Energy Medicine Yoga which is really exciting because Lauren Walker is a profound teacher of mine.
I write this for a couple of reasons. One, this will be short. Two, I talk to lots of people at Yoga Hive and within all the busy-ness I hear a theme in our Tribe that I have been thinking about.
We are evolving and not everyone is OK with that.
More people are on their meditation cushions and yoga mats and taking yoga trainings and things within them are shifting. Things like spirituality, craving more space and quiet, more plant based eating and cleaner lifestyle choices. It is GREAT, but in this time of spending more time with family it is also challenging. People don’t always like it when you change, especially the people who raised you or have known you a long time.
When I graduated from my training in India, I drew a card as part of my graduation ceremony. It currently lives on my altar at home. It says this:
One of the great secrets of authentic power is to be absolutely free of others opinion of you.
Read that a couple of times.
It is liberating.
Fun and a little stressful. Many of us know the work of Marie Kondo, the queen of tidying up. Keep what “sparks joy” and rid your space of the rest. There is wisdom in this philosophy, for sure. But instead of getting rid of stuff, what if we don’t buy it in the first place?
I grew up in Oklahoma and Holiday time was buy a bunch of stuff time. Decorations, stuff for parties, random things to give people, disposable plates and utensils and cups for easy-to-clean-up parties. I was just there last week and it pains me to say, from what I saw, things haven’t changed much.
I want to do better.
Buying things that end up in landfills, or the ocean, is something that bothers me now. Until I committed to a more mindful and intentional life, with a vow to minimize the harm I do in the world as much as I can, I didn’t really think about it. As we would say in Yoga, it wasn’t in my awareness. But it is now, and once it is in there, you can’t just ignore it.
So, for Holiday gifts, why not a gift of wellness instead of stuff? Cooking classes, studio or gym memberships, a weekend away, meditation coaching, and online wellness courses are all examples. If you have a Partner or loved one who would like to participate in a wellness activity but struggles to find time due to kids or other obligations, maybe buy a package of classes and include a promise to do what it takes to free up the other to have time to do the activity. A dual gift!
Such and fun and uniquely challenging time of year. Last year, I skipped the whole thing. I went to India to study Yoga before Thanksgiving and I came back after Christmas and literally missed the entire season.
This year, I am here and looking forward to this special time we have, even with the overindulgence and “too-muchness” in our culture. As I talk with members of our tribe before and after class, I hear some angst and stress. I hear stories of trips planned due to family obligations and guilt, and gatherings that will be stressful, and unease about spending time with certain people who cause tension. I have some of that too. This is how I navigate:
My first tool is a gratitude practice. I love how November, gratitude month, is also the month we really need this in our toolbox to get through issues and triggers. When you are feeling internal tension, step right into a gratitude practice. If you don’t have one, get googling, find one, and start now. Here is the next one:
Step into your power.
You, and only you, can choose how you feel and react in any given moment. No one makes you feel a certain way. This can seem radical, but it’s the truth. I experience this with my Partner, Berk. "When you do X it makes me feel Y so stop doing it!" But that’s ridiculous. The way I feel is inside me. It is not his fault I have a stuck emotion. It is my work to identify and transcend the emotion, or urge, or anxiety, or whatever it is. It is not his job to change and tiptoe around me. It is my job to identify my internal issues and do the work to not let this thing inside me have power over me anymore. This is what I do:
When I feel the stress, that anxious tightening inside me, I become present and connect to my breath. Then I resist the temptation to complain (internally or externally). That is a hard one, resist complaining. Then I feel what is happening inside and label it. Over time I see the patterns. Then I can stop the cycle.
When we identify an emotion, or urge, or anxiety, and name it. It stops having power over us.
This is an all-the-time practice, but one we get to use a lot over the next couple of months.
And, lastly, meditate each day. It will help you be calm and grounded as you walk into any gatherings. Even a few conscious breaths in the car before you walk in the door will provide a centered mind and loving heart.
How are you doing with the end of daylight savings time last Sunday? I know, as I teach in the studio during the evening, it is very noticeably dark. And we had 3 snow storms in October!
As I am currently sitting in Whitefish, Montana (here to teach a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training weekend at sister studio Yoga Hive Montana) it is dark and cold.
Not that long ago, it was extremely difficult for our ancestors to get through the winter. Winter was survival time! So we, the resourceful humans, started to create rituals with light. Leaves off the trees? No problem, we will string them with lights. Time for holiday celebration? Lights on the house, candles in each window. Winter holiday time? Bake! Have friends over for meals and parties. Everyone gathers in the kitchen, the heart of the home, for warm food and love. These rituals offered hope and light in the middle of the darkest season.
As I stare out into the darkness, I light a candle (yes, I bring a candle when I travel as part of my daily meditation ritual) and that brings me to my top tips to get through the darker, colder months. One of my favorite Anne Frank quotes:
Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.
We have big news!
For quite a while I have wanted to bring more “yogic lifestyle” into Yoga Hive. By yogic lifestyle I mean the way we live our lives and the choices we make to bring harmony and contentedness to ourselves and our community. I care about each of us individually and also our relationship to the world we live in and the planet we live on.
Yoga is not one hour a day; it is all the time.
Every breath, every choice, all that we do is Yoga.
Personally, I work hard to do the least amount of harm possible and I care very much about the planet. This is reflected in my food choices and shopping patterns. Are you familiar with zero waste initiatives? Zero waste is a visionary goal to reduce and eliminate discarded materials from our lifestyles. For example, how many people buy laundry detergent, then when it is finished, throw the empty container away and go buy a new one? And shampoo, and dish soap, and household cleaners… this list could go on a long time and there are millions of people doing this. Zero waste means we take a container, that we use over and over again to a location and fill it up. Then when it is empty, we refill it again.
Enter Refill Revolution.
Brittany La Gesse is Founder and Owner of Refill Revolution in Boulder. She and I have partnered for the Holiday season to bring zero waste to Louisville in the form of Refill Revolution pop-ups at Yoga Hive. She will bring bulk refill supplies but also the many other items needed to support this lifestyle, such as re-usable straws, portable utensils, reusable produce bags (no need to ever grab a plastic produce bag again!), towels, and much, much more! November 1st and 2nd will be the first 2 pop-ups. And, we are co-hosting a Holiday Open House on Saturday, Nov 2nd. We will have free yoga classes and snacks and deals and prizes and it will be a perfect time to pick up Holiday gifts and support the move to reduce waste in your life and the lives of your loved ones.
Mark your calendars for Nov 1st from 5:00-9:00 (during Louisville First Friday Art Walk) and Nov 2nd from 10:00-4:00 for Holiday Open House. Free Aerial Yoga on Nov 2nd at 9:00, 11:00 and 2:00 and free class cards will be handed out to those who come by on Saturday. Also snacks, giveaways and all the party things.
Be sure to register for the free classes on the SCHEDULE. They will sell out fast!
Daily inspirational emails and meditation videos in October
October is a great month, football games, OctoberFests, outdoor fall events, Halloween parties. And drinking at football games, drinking at OctoberFests, drinking at fall events, drinking at Halloween parties. Have you heard of Sober October? It is a thing. We think it’s a GOOD thing! Guess what else we think is good? This is a toughie…… meditation (a little sarcasm there).
We all need more space. Space to breathe, space to think, space to connect with our true self, space to be alone. Alcohol (and other substances) take up space. And drinking takes time. Sometimes, taking a break from it can show us how much space we can create when we don’t do it.
That is why we developed a month-long Sober October Meditation Series. As motivation to not drink for a month, do a little meditating, and see what happens. We also encourage you to find a friend to do it with you. If you are at a party, its easier to order the sparkling water if your companion is doing it too. And you learn different things about people, have different conversations, when alcohol isn’t involved. I know this to be true. Without alcohol and noisy bars, we learn different things about people, in a more human, connected way. Drinks with friends is a totally legit way to socialize but it's not the only way.
So, lets Sober October together. It is $33 and you will get a daily email with motivation from Blaine. And a daily link to a meditation video. About 10 minutes meditation every day (at whatever time works for you). We will also be able to online chat with each other to ask questions and share experience.
Blaine Wilkes is the owner of Yoga Hive Colorado, and writes inspirational musings for our newsletter, which we post here, along with upcoming trainings and workshops. To filter, navigate using the links above to see the category you're interested in. If you have questions, or wish to get in touch with Blaine, drop in to a class, or connect online: