yoga teacher training

A Case for Space

It wasn’t too long ago that we honored the importance of space in our lives.  We planned family vacations focused on lolling around rather than experiencing every adventure money could buy.  We knew how to sit quietly together and enjoy the silence, lost in our own thoughts as they say. We knew how to be present in the space, because it was our only option.


Now, we have an abundance of choices.  We NEVER have to be “trapped” in silence, or alone with our thoughts.  We have a plethora of options on which to focus which can allow us to be either productive or numb, and we never have to feel lost in our thoughts and feelings ever again. So do we feel any less lost?  My hypothesis is “No.” Instead, we are driven to fill every gap with action or distraction. We are desperate for more knowledge, but run like hell from wisdom. Why??? I think we have forgotten where our true wisdom and understanding are sourced.  We now seek continuously and constantly outside of ourselves for all of the answers, the support, the strategies, and even for proof of what is “right & wrong.” We have lost our connection to our inner compass, our guiding wisdom that is ours and ours alone.


When anything arises from within us, be it inspiration or question, we immediately doubt it, analyze it, and ultimately override it with our well-honed tools of categorization, logic, and analyzation.  The case for following your heart is closed, being judged as frivolous, too risky, or naive. And we wonder why we need to be taught how to take care of ourselves (a knowing that is so unique to each individual that truly only YOU can know). We are bombarded with “opportunities” to be better in 15 steps, to be more efficient, more successful.  We even have lists for self care, boundaries, communication, and rest. Our wisdom has gone underground, and we refuse to create the space to find it. Stepping into the possibilities of feeling, trusting our gut rather than the “how to lists,” is lost. We feel shaky and afraid to move in the direction of our desires all the time. But, in truth, ALL that you need to know is already present, all you have to do is make the space to hear it.

I want to make a case for front porch swings and fireflies, for staring off into space, for lingering in bed on a Sunday morning listening to the rain. I want to allow the time to get lost in our thoughts, even if they don’t feel good. I want to fight for the spaces on our list that live between the check boxes, for the cracks in the plan, for the gaps in the strategy.  What if, and I know this flies in the face of all things “right and sane,” but what if we just stopped and did nothing. What if we took a walk in the middle of the day, didn’t check a damn thing off our list, or allowed ourselves to watch the clouds or the stars passing across the sky? Would our worlds fall apart? Really?


Now, to be clear, I’m not saying we should stop acting.  What I am saying is we should try acting on the impulse and inspiration that arises from the gap (regardless of circumstance or evidence), instead of requiring a plan, a strategy, or an external affirmation.  What if we turned inside to the rarely recognized whisper of knowing and trusted that no matter what it tells us to do, it knows best. That no matter how crazy it sounds, or how impossible it appears right now, it is the right thing, and doors will open to make it possible. Is it conceivable that the voice within us knows better than our parents, our bosses, our colleagues, our partners? What if we trusted that “best” doesn’t have to be synonymous with easiest, most efficient, most productive, or most profitable? What if we started trusting ourselves again?


I know this idea is revolutionary, and disregards EVERYTHING we are taught and told. I know we hang our hats on accomplishment and our heads at the thought that we cannot do it all. I know there is a desperation driving the need to be doing all of the time, but isn’t our achievement only making the desperation stronger? Isn’t our doing leading us deeper into distraction, and farther away from the possibilities that arise from knowing ourselves?  


I’ve been teaching Yoga a LONG time, and resoundingly people say that they cannot sit still, they cannot move slowly, their mind’s are NEVER quiet.  They need to move fast, to work hard and distract the mind in order to rest. And this perpetuation of the push, the perpetual doing, the harder, faster, louder approach is taking us farther and farther away from our innate wisdom. This absence of stillness and quiet is simply a call to conversation.  A conversation that needs no outside input, no additional opinion or critique.  This conversation is not meant to be shared with others. This conversation happens when we move away from action and distraction, and make the space and time to be with ourselves. If we continually fill the space in our actions (or our inactions), the gap from which our wisdom arises grows into a chasm.  To peer over the edge of that abyss initially feels like terror. Not because it is dangerous, but because of what might effervesce up from it’s depths. 


We are innately wise.  We contain the entire universe within the boundaries of our skin.  The intelligence of the whole is encoded in every individual part. We cannot learn the wisdom we seek, we can only listen and be guided into action.  This is the ONLY path that will lead to “peace,” a dynamically shifting state of change in which you infinitely trust the process. 


For those of you who say, “How do you know what is your inner guidance and what is your mind?” I say, MIND THE GAP.  Put your mind in the gap between strategy and plan.  LAND in the space between action and distraction and LISTEN. All you need to know is right there. And it will guide you, if you let it.


Stay in the erratic movements of the mind until they allow a passage through.  Move inward to feel what lies beneath the vacillation and doubt. It might not come in the way that you would like to hear it, but please, listen anyway. YOU know what you need more than anyone, more than any outside evidence. Move with care and attention in your actions.  Take an hour to do one sun salute, experience the feeling of your own breath for an indeterminate amount of time, stare off into space and meet yourself in the cracks between your thoughts and actions. Pay attention to the discomfort that arises. Whatever you choses, please, don’t push yourself away again. Chose to be present. Allow the guidance to arise from within you, and act based on what you receive instead for what you hope to gain.  Watch how your relationship with the world changes. There is a place in you that knows, that has always known, and will always know, all it needs is some space to grow.


Transitions, New Chapters, Epic Journeys

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Dear Yogis,

This year, although still brand new, has already brought so many changes, and I want to take a few moments to share and reflect on them with you.  I began this year in a new home, with a radically new life in many ways, and a yearning to live more to the root of my being. My family and I have moved from California, where we have lived for the past 7 years, back to the soft, ancient mountains of WNC, only an hour from where I was born and where my family still lives.

I won’t lie, the transition has been intense, especially for my children, and I had extreme moments of doubt.  Doubt in myself, in my decision, even doubt about my life path. Through it all, I have continued to lean in to the trust that I have spent 20 years of practice developing, and return day after day to the techniques that keep me connected to my soul.  

We have embarked upon a new chapter of our epic journey.  One that has us stepping into the future, and simultaneously re-establishing our connection to our history, our legacy, and our roots.  It’s a homecoming, in the truest sense. I’ve been contemplating how to bring this journey into my work life, and into my practice. What I’ve discovered is simple.  A return to relationship and connection.

You see, I’ve spent the past ten years building my dream.  Creating programing that expresses a human approach to YogaStudying and practicing the philosophies of Tantra and Yoga, and interpreting them through the truth of the life that I was living, and that I believe we all live.  One where we recognize and accept challenge, not as failure to thrive, but as the fertilizer for our continued evolution. And I have strived to bring these teachings to YOU.  For the last three years, I’ve traversed tens of thousands of miles, spent countless hours in airplanes, and days upon days away from my children and my family. I’ve focused on bringing our approach to you where you live, in your neighborhood studios, your communities.  I’ve spent time supporting our amazing team of Vira Bhava Yogis in bringing the heart of our approach to you, and traveled to their communities to meet you. Through all of this movement and sharing, I haven’t had the time and ability to connect with you one-on-one. To spend time getting to know you, and understanding your path of practice, and the unique challenges and triumphs you have experienced.

So, we are changing things.  Creating a new platform through which to deliver our unique and very human approach to Yoga and Life in a way that will be mindful of our time and energy, and open up new opportunities to connect and grow.  We have refined our 230 Hour program, and are offering it to any RYT graduate of our 230 Hour program who would like to offer Teacher Trainings in their communities.If you feel ready to teach the teachers and share these practices in a bigger way, then contact us directly for more information about the 230 Hour License Program.

We are also taking our 300 Hour Advanced Studies Training online. This program will consist of 4 modules of live recorded lecture, supplemental materials, mentor support, live online classes, and a community of practitioners all over the country. With this approach, you will have the choice of diving deeper into study without any of the requirements of teacher certification and all of the juice. OR you can pursue your RYT-500 by completing the online modules and joining us for 2 Live and In Person weekends (offered both on the West Coast and the East Coast), and enhanced mentorship and support from our team and from yours truly.  To support you in joining us for this inaugural program, we have reduced the cost of the certification program. You can now join our 300 Hour Advanced Studies program for over $1000 off the regular price. This will only be offered once, and next year the program will return to it’s original cost. If you have been wanting to join us, to deepen your study, to explore the connection to soul, Self and practice through the tools of Vira Bhava Yoga, but your time or budget has kept you from it, we hope that our new approach will allow you to meet that desire, and help you to come back to what the practices of Yoga and Tantra have to offer.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO REGISTER.

We are very excited about this evolution, and though it might seem like a paradox, we are taking our programs online so that we may have more time to connect directly with you!  We will be adding much more content to our website (classes, meditations, talks, etc.), as well as offer more specialized LIVE content, AND we will be returning to the adventure of leading retreats!!
Click here for more information on Upcoming Retreats.

Our goal is to gain more time to develop meaningful relationships with YOU.  We are striving to bring the human connection back to Yoga, and we know that living it is the best opportunity to teach it.  

Lastly, you don’t have to register for a training to dive deeper into relationship and study with me.  I am offering a private client program designed in collaboration with YOU to meet the needs of support and guidance you desire for your practice and life.  If you are interested in working directly with me in this way, check out the Apprenticeship Program link here. Space is limited, but spots open up every month, so apply if you are interested.

I hope that 2019 finds you coming home to yourself as well, uncovering your values, and investing in the soulful work of depth, humanness, and connection. If you’ve been longing to return to your roots of practice and support, Vira Bhava Yoga would love to have you join us. We hope to be connecting with you soon.


Many blessings,

Kelly

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!