The Practice of LIVING and not simply Surviving

Dear Yogis,

I recently sent out a letter to some of my students from over the years talking about my journey as a Yogi and yoga teacher in the world.  I am going to share a piece of that letter here, as an invitation to understanding and committing to the power of your own practice.

As our world changes rapidly around us and the structures that were meant to support and sustain us are crumbling and transforming, I want to share how many times and how many ways Yoga has SAVED me, and opened the door to my future.  I'm often asked how I can be so piercing in my approach, and how I can so confidently move into uncomfortable places with my students.  All I can say is that I can only do this work with others because I have done it relentlessly with myself for years, and in these uncertain times, I urge you to stay true to your practice and true to yourself.  Here is a piece of the letter I shared:

“A hundred times I thought about walking away, acquiescing to the the idea of what I was "supposed" to do, and giving up.  But no matter how much doubt and fear I would swim through everyday, I never stopped practicing, and I never stopped believing that this was my path. As I deepened my study, I began to integrate my practice into my life, instead of make time to step out of my life for it.  I have practiced while I parent my two amazing daughters, I practiced when my marriage was falling apart, I practiced while I relocated my family to not one, but two different states, I practiced through my mother's life threatening illness, I practiced through the heartache of divorce, I practiced through the pain of healing.  I practiced as I began to rediscover myself. And I practice now, in this time of transformative change.

Every year that has passed, I TRUST this path more and more. I deepen more and more into my practice, and learn over and over again that the tiny whisper in my heart always leads me in the direction of what was highest and best.  At some point on my journey, Yoga stopped being my lifeline and became my life. It wasn't something that I did, it was who I WAS.  I'm not exactly sure when that transition happened, but I am certain that the shift has made all of the difference in my willingness to LIVE my life and not simply survive it.  I am no longer looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, and instead I am being guided by the ever present, unwavering light inside.  This knowing hasn't liberated me from pain and suffering, from doubt and fear, but it has polished me and led me to a sense of freedom and love even in the midst of chaos.  

I tell you all of this NOW because it's more important than ever before to find that light for yourself.  If the world is feeling like too much, turn toward your practice and the tools that you've learned to AWAKEN to the guidance of YOUR truth. NOW is the time to find the unwavering courage and determination that is the essence of your spirit. NOW is the time to do the inner work of becoming clear, knowing yourSELF, walking YOUR path in service to the world.  NOW is the time to find your VIRA BHAVA, the essence of a warrior that exists inside each and every one of you.  

This is not the time to project our fears, our pain, our disappointment outward. This is the time to turn inside of ourselves, find our tribe to support us in our work, to dive into our shadows and begin the process of healing, love, and self acceptance.

I want you to know that if Vira Bhava Yoga ever was or ever could be the tribe that you were looking for, we are still here.  And we aren't going away.  We are fully committed to catalyzing communities of Spiritual Warriors in the world. Through tools, support, and community, we are committed to moving in the direction of what is the highest and best for ALL.”