BFA, 500 RYT
Maria is a multidisciplinary artist and wellness coach living in Atlanta, GA. As the curator of GROOVE, she publishes personal essays along with progressive art, ideas, and exercises. Maria teaches the art of integration, and her work explores human behavior, relationship and social dynamics, as well as environmental and emotional intelligence. Maria uses the creative process and collaboration to experience harmony and enhance her daily life through the lens of bioenergetics and somatic psychology.
How are you in the Vira Bhava World?
My life unfolded in magical ways once I discovered my Vira Bhava nature. I learned what it means to be honest, to distinguish the fearful voice of my mind from the guiding whisper of my heart. I learned what it means to be kind, to embrace parts of myself that I’ve rejected for too long. I learned what it means to be humble, to dance in the graces I’ve been gifted and shower the world with gratitude. I learned what it means to be courageous, because there is nothing scarier than stripping yourself naked in a world full of people who are afraid to do the same. But mostly, I’ve learned that a true warrior contains an inconceivable amount of love. As a Vira Bhav, I aim to offer the fierce love of a mother to everyone I meet... I’ll let you know when I figure it out.
Julie has been a teacher and practitioner of yoga for over 12 years. She discovered yoga through her experience as a personal trainer and athlete. Yoga first began as a physical practice for Julie. But, as she deepened her studies in the philosophies of yoga, she found that yoga is actually a beautiful lifestyle, rather than a work out. She gradually began to practice more self-compassion and awareness on and off the mat. Julie began to shift to a softer, slowed-down and meditative approach to her yoga. The result has been a greater sense of balance and ease in her life. Julie’s teaching style continues to evolve to reflect these experiences. In her classes she loves to share her passion for yoga by inspiring her students to grow in their own unique ways.
How Are You a Vira Bhava in the World?
I find I continually place myself is situations of growth. I also believe that anytime you keep putting yourself in a certain place over and over again (on my mat), that over the years it changes you. It’s been gradual, but showing up for myself on my mat almost every single day has changed me and in turn has impacted those around me. Understanding my purpose in the world (dharma) has been a powerful experience for me. I absolutely love to share what I discover with my students. I also really enjoy leading and bringing yoga to new audiences. As I’ve spent time on my mat studying myself, I’ve come to see the ways that I can uniquely make a big impact in the world.
I find that as I contribute to the growth of others, I too continue to grow. The imprint my life makes on other lives matters to me. I’m extremely fortunate to have created this job, to do this work, with such an intensity and primacy in my life. What I’ve learned from my yoga is that my life is a practice. Modeling things like self-care, keeping my daily practice, and my practice of compassion for others is a way that I feel I can contribute to their lives, and in turn, the future of our world.
It is Shari’s passion for the practice of yoga, and the significant transformation yoga offers which fuel her desire to teach. Her yogic journey began over 30 years ago with spiritual study & meditation as well as asana. Her presentation of instruction is firmly rooted through education of kinesiology, and informed by Yoga Tune Up®, Iyengar, Anusara and Vira Bhava Yoga. Shari Williams is certified through Yoga Alliance and holds an E-RYT 500. She completed her advanced training through Vira Bhava Yoga. She is a licensed and certified Yoga Tune Up® instructor and a published member of the YTU® blog writing team. She has been ACE and ACSM certified. Holds workshops in Myofascial release, Corrective Applications of Yoga Asana, and is a Yoga Alliance continuing education provider (YACEP).
How are you in the Vira Bhava World?
Yoga is a lifestyle of consciousness for me. I practice to hone awareness of my own existence, the climate of my mind and body sensations, my thoughts and feelings, and my presentation of such out into the world at large. Yoga is the foundation of which my outer life is merely an expression of my inner world. My personal yoga practice is my anchor to go out into the world.
I feel the importance ever more potently at this time in history. Everybody has a story, every human being will experience some suffering in their life. As a Vira Bhava yogi my life path or dharma is to be able to be a positive influence, to make a difference by expressing compassion and perhaps touching a heart by giving space for all feelings to be welcome. My work in the world is quiet and gentle, I am not a rock star yogi, I am quietly here to serve and help humanity achieve a richer experience of their time here on earth, while supporting them to feel better in their body, past story, or situation whatever it is. Yoga practice affords me perspective of what is real beneath the turmoil of thoughts or physiological distress. Yoga is to live each moment with attention, to be unconditionally kind, and recognize that the way we treat each other is the way we treat the Mother.
Growing up in Western North Carolina I have always felt a deep connection to the mountains and the natural environment. I was first introduced to yoga while in college looking for ways to improve my dancing ability. I received my 200 HR Hatha Yoga RYT from Neighborhood Yoga (Boone, NC) in 2009. I went on to explore yoga therapy, meditation, schools of practice and deeper relaxation techniques. I recently completed a 300 HR Tantra Teacher Training through Vira Bhava Yoga. I like to teach pranayama techniques (breath work), meditation, dynamic flow and relaxation to build a deeper understanding of the connection between all the layers of our being. My approach is to explore, be curious, play and be open. The awareness created on the mat will provide a strong foundation to fully live life with purpose!
How are you in the Vira Bhava World?
When I first heard about Vira Bhava Yoga I was searching for a deeper connection to my authentic self and my life. I was feeling like I was caught up in the hamster wheel of life. I was going through the motions of everyday life in my role as wife and mother but was lost in the expectations of my world view. I kept asking myself “There has to be more than this? What is my purpose?” That is when I reached out and found Vira Bhava Yoga.
My experience with Vira Bhava Yoga has given me the tools that allow me to be intentionally purposeful in my life. It allows me to show up in a genuinely authentic way in all my interactions. It has depend my connection to the Self and the Divine. The process that Vira Bhava uses of working through the Koshas, the sheaths of the body, provided a powerfully meaningful path in the process of uncovering my Dharma. The process of working in depth in each Kosha provided an integrative approach to healing all of the parts of me. It empowered me to look at the parts of myself that scared me. Frankly the parts that I habitually ran away from. The depth of information and knowledge that was shared at each training session left me feeling empowered and integrated. Vira Bhava Yoga provided a safe and supportive environment where I could let down the walls. To truly look face to face at the monsters, the darkness, the void. Vira Bhava continually challenged me to show up for myself in these places again and again. It was in this process that slowly my Dharma started to reveal itself. .