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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.”  

Bless,

Kelly

 

Dear Yogi

Dear Yogi,

You already know that the world is changing.  I don’t have to tell you how important these moments are.  I know you feel it in your gut, your bones.  I know when I look in your eyes that you are ready to rise up, to turn toward what you’ve always known, to honor the deep wisdom that has been pulsing inside of you for as long as you can remember.

You already feel the pull, the call to expand beyond what you’ve spent years trying to fit into.  The uniform of society doesn’t fit you, maybe it never has, and you are finally ready to admit that you’ve outgrown it.  So what do you do?  To strip away the mis-fit, you will be left raw and naked.  Exposed and vulnerable. And you know it’s time.  

I see you on your mat.  The practice is your homecoming.  You feel right when you are there, you feel whole.  You come to this practice to refill when life has left you empty.  You come to Yoga to remember what you have spent a lifetime forgetting.  That YOU are the point.  YOU are purposeful, potent, and beautiful.  What you have to say is important. You already know it’s time to claim your voice, your birthright, yourSELF.

I see you because I am you.  I have climbed uphill until I am exhausted.  I have sat in the depths of loneliness. I have laid in the floor and wept thinking there is no way anyone could understand.  Until someone did.  

I don’t have to tell you that it’s time.  You already know.  I don’t have to tell you that if you are ready to be supported by a community of like minded people, that we are your people.  What I do have to say is that you don’t have to do this alone.  You don’t have to struggle in silence. You don’t have to sacrifice your path for ANYONE else.  I want to see you, and I promise not to look away. I already know you are beautiful, and I can’t wait for you to see it too.

I want you to know that the reclamation of your PURPOSE is the most powerful action you can take.  When you fully claim your RIGHT to be YOU in this world, you are creating a wave of powerful change that will ripple outward infinitely.  If you can’t wait any longer to make the impact you were BORN to make, then join us.  We are more than just a Yoga Teacher Training, we are everyday people choosing to step toward each other for the better good.

If Yoga is your path, and you are ready, then we are your people.  We are waiting for you.  We can’t wait to see it all, the light and the dark, the beautiful and the wretched  We welcome every piece, and we will keep showing up.  We will keep challenging you to show up for yourself.  We will offer you tools and practices to support your growth and expansion.  We will help you gain the skills to share your power with others.  We will do all of this, and more.  

If you are ready to step in, the door is open. Check out our upcoming programs in your communities, and our online offerings.  We look forward to your arrival.

In love,

Kelly