In 2010, an idea was born. The plan was to revolutionize Yoga Teacher Trainings. I wanted to share the profound practices that my teachers were sharing with me, but with an emphasis on what was real in life. Real life. Kids, divorce, money struggles, emotional challenges. I wanted to provide an opportunity for us to share about our experiences in life and in practice. I wanted these trainings to enable us to assimilate our processes in community, and in doing so, empower each other to learn from others’ experiences, and finally I wanted to support and promote the desire to start living the lives we want to live.
I didn’t want to become an expert at asana or a renunciate who limited the pleasures of life to only the most sattvic.I wanted to honor the doorway of asana and its impact on our spiritual practice. For me, asana was more than just a physical practice, for years it had been a lifeline. And the practice of asana was the bridge that led me to a deeper understanding of the power of this practice, but it was just a piece.
I was a few years past 30, and was growing less and less interested in demanding my body to fit in to the modern idea of yoga in the west. I wanted to allow the inner wisdom that we were hearing about in our studies to have a voice. I wanted to try less and feel more, so I did. And everything started to change. Then I started to share my discoveries with my students, and they started to feel and embody the change too. Something was rumbling, though I didn’t really understand what it was, I decided to trust it implicitly, to take the risk of following this quiet whisper inside me, even if it didn’t work out. I decided to choose trust over doubt, and it took more courage than anything I’ve ever done.
As a part of this redefinition, I started researching, meditating, and exploring what it meant to be a practitioner of Tantra in the world, and stumbled upon a teaching from the Mahanirvana Tantra (Tantra of the Great Liberation), which taught about the three temperaments of a Tantrika.
According to the translation of the text by Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe), the Vira Bhav “works independently towards the production of acts in which sorrow inheres.” Vira Bhava yogis tirelessly work to examine the places within themselves, and therefore the world, that present as challenge. This means that they are constantly turning toward the discomfort of life. Uncovering the sources of pain and struggle. And they act. Vira Bhav are rajasic, meaning they are active, sometimes daringly, toward what they believe is the highest and best. The Vira Bhava yogis are the heroes of their own lives. They contain within them the discipline, belief, and power to enact their dharma. They seek to thrive when it seems like an impossible endeavor, and they learn from their defeats, allowing them to become their own source of power.
As a result of this discovery, the yoga school, Vira Bhava Yoga was born. And we’ve been sharing, training, and empowering others in the world ever since. So who is Vira Bhava Yoga?
We are a family of yogis exploring, sharing, and supporting the empowerment of our purpose in our lives. We have a shared belief of the process of discovery, and we value the process as much as the result. We are students of life whose confidence grows through experience. We are leaders in big ways and small. We TRUST, that we are an important part of the whole, and that our ideas, our dreams, our voices matter. We are understanding, compassionate, fiercely vulnerable, resilient, honest and real. We are practitioners and teachers of yoga that value the courage it takes to show up for our lives. The easy and the hard. We turn toward life, rather than away from it, and we show up to our practice to enter into our lives more deeply rather than escape from them. We are people, just like everyone else AND, we make our lives our practice. We struggle, we get frustrated, aggravated, overwhelmed. We snap at our kids, and sometimes stay up too late. Most of all, we are relentless in our belief that everyone is powerful.
I give thanks every day that I am surrounded by Vira Bhava Yogis. Everyday, I encounter such powerful examples of who we are and how we are showing up in the world. It makes me feel proud to stand alongside the them all and courageously engage in the world as Warriors in Yoga in life. Who is Vira Bhava Yoga? You are.
You are a warrior, a hero. You are living with purpose in all that you do. You are doing brave things in your life and in the world. You are finding the lessons in the difficulties. If you’re looking for a community to share your triumphs triumph or support as you venture towards it… We would love to hear from you. How are you Vira Bhava Yoga in your world? Please share your stories with us! We grow stronger through communication, connection and collaboration.
If you want to deepen your relationship to yourself and cultivate your purpose with a community of others who powerfully hear the call join us. We offer 200, 300, and 500 hour Yoga Alliance certified training across the country. We also offer an advanced apprenticeship to those who graduate from our Advanced Studies Program. If you hear the call, check us out. We are just ordinary people…. Being great.