Bhav Brigade

Looking out at this sunset as 30 students move their bodies to their breath on their mats before me, I’m in total awe. We’re surrounded by water on three sides. The air is cool, but the sun is warm & our bodies are tired, but our hearts are happy. We’re in this beautiful space–a hidden treasure just meters from my house. How did I end up here? Teaching a class of people who, for the most part, I didn’t know and who didn’t know each other 10 weeks ago in my minimal free time outside the hospital. How did I create this? The answer is, I didn’t. But also, I did.

I remember realizing that I probably wouldn’t be able to teach at a yoga studio for a very long time because my schedule is so erratic and out of my control. And also that I really wanted to teach, but in a way where everyone felt welcome & cost wouldn’t be prohibitive, but that still allowed me to support myself.  I also remember thinking, “I want to create this thing that doesn’t yet exist here, but I wouldn’t know how to reach people.” I had this exact conversation with my friend, Jeff, just months ago actually. Outside of Eastern Virginia Medical School, I really hadn’t had the chance to get to know many people in Norfolk with school taking up about a thousand percent of my time. So, I pushed the thought away and didn’t think about it again for a while. And somehow within weeks the Bhav Brigade materialized–a pop-up yoga group led by a collective of my fellow teachers & I, offering free & donation-based classes outdoors and at local landmarks & businesses around Norfolk. Bhav means, rather simplistically, “good energy”–but really it’s something so much richer. It’s a joyful expansive energy, an atmosphere of uplifting fellowship & the radiation of an inner light–the kind of feeling you get when you are surrounded by loving soulful people that makes any place a sacred space. Jeff, Danielle & I–the Bhav Brigade teachers–are all so different, but also, in some ways, the same. We have the same vision but bring different skills and energies to the table and somehow it works–really, really well.

I am so grateful–so, so grateful for Bhav Brigade and my teachers and my students, who are also my teachers. What a gift it is to teach, to feel the energy in a room and to create a space for that powerful potential energy to be siphoned into something greater–something that serves, uplifts, unmasks–something that touches the sore spots on our hearts we didn’t even know were there. Thank you, life. Once again, you’ve created for me something so much greater than I ever could have created for myself.

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6 thoughts on “Bhav Brigade

  1. This sounds very interesting. I would like more info about when and where the group meets, cost, time of meeting and necessary equipment.

    1. Janet, we meet multiple times a week out in the community in Norfolk, no cost, no necessary equipment. All details on our Facebook page (Facebook.com/bhavbrigade).

      1. Jessica, thank you for your reply. Can you supply times and locations please? I live in the Wards Corner and I don’t drive, so I would be using the HRT bus line.
        Thank you.

        1. Absolutely! I teach a class every Wednesday at 7pm on the end of the pier outside The Pagoda in Norfolk (address is 265 W Tazewell St. Norfolk VA). If you’re facing the water and the Pagoda is behind you, we’ll be on the end of the pier to your right. Additionally, another Bhav Brigade teacher teaches a Tuesday class at 7pm at Stockley Gardens. We have a number of other pop-up classes that vary from week to week. Hope you can make it!

  2. I saw your article in Sunday’s Compass Magazine. Along with a gentleman whose last name I can not pronounce.
    To the whole group of Yoga enthusiast. Your article told the exact truth.
    I am from another state, sons ex military men.
    I have been here since 2011.

    I am very adept at picking up the auras around me, and Norfolk does seem to have a problem, with themselves and others.
    Everything your article stated I have experience here in this state.
    You would think when people go to the ocean they would be overwhelmed by this beauty, but its just the opposite. Still here they bite and fight each other.

    They seem to be in a battle with themselves, and want to force you into their negative world.
    I believe people live so close to each other, there is no privacy.
    I could make up a thousand excuses, and they are excuses.

    I would like to become a part of your group, I am African American, I am 67 years young, still play tennis and do at least 30 min on my rebounder. I seek beauty, and serenity. I love people but spend a lot of time alone.
    my number is 2053055869. If I am welcome and not too old please contact me.

    Respectfully,
    Geraldine

    1. You are never, ever too old (or too anything for that matter)–there is no such thing–and you will always be welcome. We have people of all ages from 4 to 60 and beyond and with all abilities in our classes. You’ll be in great company, I promise you. I teach a sunset class every Wednesday on the pier outside of the Pagoda in Norfolk at 7pm. We have many other pop-up classes on a more sporadic basis, but let’s start there if you’re free on Wednesday nights. Come a few minutes early so I can get to know you and your yoga practice. I have a mat you can borrow if you don’t have one. I hope you’ll join us.

      All my love,
      Jessica

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