Yoga Hive strives to get newcomers on mat

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Mollie Busby started Yoga Hive three years ago and recently relocated her studio to the retail space in the parking garage downtown.

At Yoga Hive, Mollie Busby’s goal is to get those interested in yoga out of their living rooms and into a studio.

“There’s a lot of people in this Valley doing yoga on DVDs at home. And I felt that there was an easy, fun way to get them in a studio and help them kind of develop their practice and see how yoga can benefit their life,” Busby said.

Busby started Yoga Hive in 2015 and now has studios in Whitefish, Kalispell and Columbia Falls. Her Whitefish studio opened in its new home in the retail space of the city’s parking garage in March. Previous studios were located in the alley behind the Stumptown Marketplace and upstairs above the Toggery on Central Avenue.

Busby said so far the new location has been working out great for Yoga Hive.

“It’s just an upgrade from both of our last studios,” Busby said. “Now this studio, the look and feel of it is very much like our Columbia Falls and Kalispell studios, so everything feels really synergistic.”

Busby and her husband Sean moved to Whitefish in 2013. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and also ran Riding on Insulin, a nonprofit organization started by her husband that empowers kids and adults with type-1 diabetes through action sports, which he now runs as executive director.

Accessibility is a key focus at Yoga Hive, Busby says, with the goal of reducing the intimidation factor for newcomers.

“We love the tradition of yoga, it’s so important and it goes back so many years, but to get people acquainted with the practice we try to make things a little bit more accessible,” Busby says. “Instead of using words like ‘vinyasa’ or ‘ashtanga,’ we use Hive Flow and Honey Flow, just to get people acquainted with the practice and then we give them opportunities to dive deeper with workshops and teacher trainings.”

Classes at Yoga Hive are organized by pace, with slow classes like Gentle Yoga, and medium and faster classes like the Honey Flow and Hive Flow.

Yoga Hive also offers aerial yoga classes at their Columbia Falls and Kalispell locations.

Busby said the instructors at Yoga Hive aim to create a special vibe for their classes.

“We have low lights, twinkle lights, good music — teachers can incorporate whatever they want into their practice. Some of them will do crystal bowls or will pull cards, we’ll do a lot of essential oils as well,” Busby said. “It’s just those things you won’t find at other gym-type yoga places. So we really go for the vibe and I think people love coming here because of the peaceful atmosphere and just being able to zen out and escape for a little bit.”

Busby knows how it feels to have less-than-ideal experiences at a yoga class. Her own first class was off-putting enough to make her consider never trying yoga again.

“I actually had vowed never to do yoga again at that point, because my first and only class was awful. The teacher was very weird and I did not connect with him and I vowed never to do it again,” she said.

Luckily a friend convinced her to give yoga a second shot, and soon she was hooked.

Busby said she’s been lucky to have the support of the various other yoga instructors in Whitefish and the Flathead Valley since starting her own studio.

Whitefish has a strong yoga scene, and she’s thankful she was able to fit into that and find her place on the mat.

“I’m just really grateful for the Whitefish community, being welcomed by all the other studios, the other teachers, there’s no way we could do this without the teachers that work here,” she said. “They are a huge piece of what we do, and I’m just really grateful to be here and be able to do this.”

For more information on Yoga Hive, visit www.yogahivemontana.com.

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