yoga training

Following my Dharma Feels Like Giving Birth

Guest Post by VBY Grad Sarah Austin:

As a mother of three I have some familiarity with this process. I have spent all of this time creating a support system, feeling overwhelmed with excitement and fear all the while having a profound sense of connection with the divine universe. The kind of excitement that gives you goose bumps all over and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.  That is what it feels like to be involved in the creation of something that has so much potential that is guiding you closer and closer to living your Dharma.  All the while knowing that after all of the pain, time, new awareness, feelings of defeat and lifestyle shifts you get the most beautiful gift.


I have spent many hours, days, and months looking for my peeps.  Working to surround  myself with the people that challenge me to be my higher self.  That when I start to wonder call me back.  Let’s just say it... they call me out on my shit!  These are the people that help outwardly orient me towards my Dharma.  They are the ones that when you celebrate your victories are more excited than yourself and give lots of love when the going is rough. These people for me are my sangha, family, at Vira Bhava Yoga.


When your Dharma and your people lineup anything can happen.  Having a strong foundation on my mat has helped to provide clarity in the process of creating this 200 HR training. There is a feeling of center that is grounded deep in the roots of my core, the place where my Dharma is seeded.  There is a reassuring feeling of purpose that comes with every move that we make.  Where will the training happen?  Who will come? Will anyone come?  There is an overriding sense of knowing that has a way to calm the nerves. When the spin cycle accidentally gets turned on and my thoughts are spinning out of control and the washing machine is starting to move across the floor because all the clothes moved to one side;  I remember that sometimes  you just have to “ho'oponopono” that shit!  Meaning I love you, I am sorry and please forgive me.  


Remembering that being vulnerable and surrendering to the process is hard. It requires that I call forth the bhav, the essence, of the vira, warrior spirit. It feels so uncomfortable the feeling of having to be vulnerable to ask for help. Not just asking for help with tasks to move the training forward but also in all aspects of life.  Then having the grace to receive that help is even harder.  There is a worldview that we must be perceived to have it all together and under control all the time. When in reality the struggle to try and maintain this image can be soul crushing.  So how can we pause in the moment, recognize that we need help and then empower ourselves enough to ask?  This process is teaching me how to live this in my life.


As I continue on the path towards my Dharma there is an endless unveiling of layers being peeled back.  Some of these layers come with a fast rip.  It could be having to have a conversation that is uncomfortable or it could be resistance to get on my mat.  Some of them have been quite soft and fluffy.  Lingering in a luscious practice or feeling empowered for standing up for what is true to my authentic self.  The layers to the self are abundantly simple and complex. There are some days when all I can connect with is the Annamaya Kosha, the physical body, the most tangible layer to connect with.  Knowing that there is a very interesting conversation happening between all of layers, Koshas, sheaths of the body.  Each informing and shifting continuously.  Allowing me to rise to, to challenge my level of studentship, ownership of knowledge.


Digesting each morsel of experience in all the layers of my being making myself, preparing my self, to be present in the process of manifesting this training.  Knowing that this training is a sankulpa (tangible, powerful TRUTH in action) oriented towards my Dharma. The most beautiful gift of all.


Sarah Austin, RYT- 500, grew up in Asheville, North Carolina She has ventured far and wide on her quest for spiritual growth and returned to the magical mountains of North Carolina bringing Vira Bhava Yoga 200 HR Teacher Training to Brevard Yoga Center starting in October of 2017.


Starting your day with Grace


How do you begin your day?  Slamming the snooze button, racing out of bed to beat the clock, lingering in the yumminess of the dawning light?  How you start your day impacts your entire experience of it.  Ya know the old adage, "got up on the wrong side of the bed?" Starting rough is a hard one to recover from, so here are a few quick suggestions to make your emergence more easeful.

  1. Wake up and give thanks. The minute that the alarm sounds or the light penetrates through your dreams, feel grateful that you get to breathe, see, taste, feel another day. Don't think about the grudges or challenges, don't contemplate the bills or the list, for just one moment be grateful that you are alive, then turn off the alarm and roll out of bed.

  2. Be aware that you are a part of a much bigger process. As you blink your tired eyes open, acknowledge that there are thousands of others in the world doing the same thing. Wearily waking up to look another day right in the eye. You are not alone, you are, in fact, an integral part of a huge waking family of earthlings. All species and genders, all ages and experiences, waking up to participate in life. Just like you.

  3. If you are blessed to have a window to look out of when you first awake, then pause for a moment and look. Take in the fact that the world is an amazing place. Beauty is all around, and unfolding for you in every moment. Whether it's trees, water, highrises, train tracks or interstates, the world outside of your window is nothing short of a miracle. Begin your day in acknowledgement of it.

  4. Admit that you are a miracle. Upon waking, take a deep breath into your body. Be present with the literally hundreds of processes taking place in your body at the moment you breathe. Feel your lungs, your muscles, your bones. Feel your heart beating and the blood rushing through your veins and arteries. Before you start thinking about all of the aches, pains and worries, be present with the miracle of you.

None of these choices take more than a few seconds.  None of them will make you late or behind.  None of them need to be spoken or shared.  All of them have the potential to shape your entire day into an experience of beauty and grace.  Simply by acknowledging the power of Grace in your first waking moments, you begin to shape and form a day that offers you unending positivity.  And, even if a heinous day unfolds, you can carry with you the memory of your waking moments as refuge.

Be warned.  This is a practice.  It's a practice of remembering (smarana) in the deepest sense.  You work to remember every day.  You slow down your reactive response to waking, and you receive a slower rousing, one which invites the flow of beauty into your life.  There will be the mornings, where out of habit, you race out of bed and forget, and at some point in your day, you will remember.  On those days, use the moment of remembering to plant the seeds of grace.  And see what happens.