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.