Para Yoga

Give Your Power a Voice

I knew as a child I had a great power inside of me.  When I became brave enough to glimpse its marvelous magic I felt as if it’s magnitude could swallow me whole. I knew that my voice and my power were uniquely mine. A synonym for power is magic and this power is inside all of us.  For most of my life I have been in the process of discovering and hiding my magic power all at the same time.

My teacher says if it isn’t a paradox it isn’t divine. From a young age we’re taught to keep our  “power” in a small box to fit the mold and expectations of others. When we are young, it seems as though we can’t hide our power. Over time we adapt to our circumstances, learning how to let just enough of our magic show to keep us interesting but certainly not enough to make us different, unique, or stand out.

When I started my 200 Hour Vira Bhava Yoga Teacher Training I knew walking into our first practice that I was about to take the top off my perfect small box. I was terrified, trembling with anticipation, fear and excitement. Through my yoga practice I could feel the layers peeling away to show the innate, golden authentic-self that had been patiently waiting to emerge. This was a profound embodied experience that cultivated yoga in the core of my heart.  Through this practice with Vira Bhava Yoga. trust and respect were formed; I restored my power in its most lustrous, immense grandeur.

We all have a unique power inside, we have just forgotten.  In these times it is our job to remember. It is our job to ask questions. Our world in its current state of discomfort, fatigue and grief needs NOW more than EVER our unique power. That is why its time for each of us to give our power a voice.

It is our job as yogis to cultivate trust in purpose. When we come to the mat, we work to create and build energy as purpose. To notice each moment when we show up for ourselves on or off our mat has powerful purpose.

This doesn’t mean that you have to go out and quit your job because your purpose doesn’t match up with your profession… I mean maybe it does.  For most of us this isn’t the case. What we learn in the Vira Bhava Yoga 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training is how our purpose and power can express itself in many different areas of life.  We bring our power to every moment. We learn to use the strength of our power to continually guide us on our path.

One definition of power is to move or travel with great speed or force; this is a power of a Vira Bhava Yogi.  We are warriors. We are courageous. We are unapologetic in our greatness and we walk together in community. We know that by boldly expressing our power we are inviting others to do the same. Seeing ourselves in others, knowing that by first healing ourselves we can then heal as a whole.

I want to live in a world where every person has the opportunity to live more authentically while empowering others to find and share their unique voice. If this sounds like something you too seek… Join us! Vira Bhava Yoga is coming to a town and studio near you. We are excited, whole hearted individuals striving to support each other in being great! Learn more and Register for our programs here!

 

Receive & Yield

I just spent a weekend with my teacher.  Surrounded by like-minded and like-hearted students just like me.  Yogis, yoga teachers, psychologists, chiropractors, and sincere seekers.  It was an experience that pushed my limits and filled me up.  Even in a short amount of time, I was able to expand the boundaries of my container and then filled it to the brim. 

And it was intense. Most of us always practice harder in class than we do at home.  We try harder, we trust the intensity in a different way, we know we are supported in going deep.  And did I mention it was intense.  My body, having not been pushed or challenged in a while, had a lot to say, and mostly it screamed.  Every muscle felt raw, exposed.  And the Para Yoga style of movement isn't a fast paced, sweat your ass off kind of asana.  It's a slow, deliberate, powerful way to practice asana that requires you to gather all of your strength and capacity around your purpose and then "sit with" what your system delivers in response. Scream. 

My body was enveloped in two practices a day, my intellect was stretched by lectures on Tantra, energy, power and potential.  My heart was expanding and beating against the walls of the protective container I've so diligently placed brick by brick around it over the years (and lifetimes).  I was at my maximum.  More than once I wondered if I could continue.  Then I remembered some interesting information I read recently from Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, about capacity we have to rewire our brains in favor of the positive.  He says when we slow down our experiences and notice the good, we can then receive the good in any moment (even the challenging ones).  Pretty simple, huh?  So as my body and mind were stretching to the edge of their capacity, I turned my inner focus to the feeling of growth.  I was in the experience of growing.  Right there in the center of it.  I didn't wake up one day and realize I had expanded, I was feeling it in the immediate moment.  With this realization I would feel a surge of power that allowed me to stay in it.  Stay present with sensation and move through the doubt. 

Hanson says the next step is to absorb the good that is now defining your experience, to yield to it.  The direction reminds me of the experience of crawling up on my grandmother's lap as a small child.  Once I made it there, I was happy, then I would let down.  I would soften into her support and take in the sensations, the smells, the feelings, the rhythm of the moment.  In Hanson's research, when we can yield to the experience of the good, we start to re-wire our brains, we "turn a passing mental state into a lasting neural structure." 

By the end of the weekend, I was steeped in joy.  The intensity, rather than drain me, was the very thing that softened me.  I was surrounded by my community, the support structures of the practice. I was with my teacher.  I was truly and deeply happy.  I returned to my life feeling more receptive and more inspired than maybe I ever have.  And now, days later, I am still drawing on this deep well of gratitude and softness that the weekend offered.   I am so grateful for these opportunities, and wish for you all the opportunity to refill.