How yoga changed my life: The Story of Brandon Dawson-Jarvis

How was it like growing up for you?

Growing up was tough, there were more downs than ups and for some reason I thought I had it more difficult than others. I can remember often asking myself “why me?” adopting a victim mentality. This made it difficult to focus on anything positive. However, the more people share their stories, the more you see that we all have our individual struggles and how important the need for resources of all types are, especially mental health.

It's definitely been a positive shift since yoga but difficult to sum up because I feel like I am still discovering who I am. I have been doing my best to form an identity that serves and designs the life I’d like to live. Thus far, I can say that I love serving people, I am enthusiastic about community building and supporting the next generation. I do not see that changing anytime soon.

Ultimately, it has been the reshaping of and upholding of values that are important to me, which are love, forgiveness, peace and compassion.

How has yoga impacted your life?

Yoga has given me a completely different perspective on life altogether. I am able, not only to notice where the gaps and inconsistencies are in terms of who I want to be and who I am being, but also the ability to humble myself in order to make the necessary changes. Prior to yoga this felt impossible, I was a master of making excuses for my behavior and an artist at blaming others and living in victimhood. Yoga has impacted me by showing me that it is all on me and it always has been.

“Yoga has impacted me by showing me that it is all on me and it always has been.”

When did you first hear about the idea of Karma?

I am not entirely sure where I originally adopted my definition of Karma but I do remember thinking that if I acted and did good things, that good things would come back to me. I let go of that definition and would be prepared to argue that it has more to do with your thoughts and beliefs. These are the main ingredients for the construction of your reality and therefore your Karma.

What are the most valuable lessons this journey has taught you?

Become a child again coupled with forgiveness. To a child, nothing is that serious, they just want to spend time with their loved ones and play, enjoy life. Forgiveness is absolutely necessary when you are dealing with humans. Be prepared to forgive and forgive often. Especially yourself, I have to do a lot of self-forgiveness for all the negative things I attracted and by default ended up sharing with others.

What do you think it would take for us to move forward as a collective?

Love. If we understand what love actually is and how to practice it, we would move forwards by leaps and bounds. Many of us are trapped in fear, lack and hatred. We need to love ourselves and love others. At that point, a collective movement can easily happen.

What do you want to get across in your teaching and how do you take those teachings and practice them yourself?

That the practitioner is more powerful than they could ever imagine. That by their thoughts they can create and they do in fact create. Begin that journey within and notice if your thoughts are aligned with your values. Be honest with yourself and understand that you are not stuck. Move out of fear of the unknown and know that you cannot go wrong if you are operating the best way you know how.

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