Benefits of Yoga: How Yoga Saved My Life? (Bhava Ram)
From covering the front lines of the Gulf War and investigating Colombian drug lords to living with freedom fighters in the mountains of Afghanistan, war correspondent Brad Willis was undoubtedly accustomed to risk. But what happens when mortal danger strikes from an unexpected direction? At the pinnacle of his career, a broken back and failed surgery left Willis permanently disabled and condemned to life in a body brace. Then came a diagnosis of terminal stage IV throat cancer. Willis shares how he used the esoteric practices of Yoga to heal his body, mind, and soul. Today, he is cancer free with a fully restored back.
The benefits of Yoga: How Yoga Saved my Life (Bhava Ram)
Skip to your favorite parts by clicking on the time stamps below:
Bhava Rum’s Spiritual Journey
- 1:01 Bhava Ram shares his mission to teach the science of self-directed biological transformation through yoga. He shares the fullness of yoga, which goes beyond just yoga poses (asana), and describes the science that involves diet, exercise, etc.
- 3:06 Bhava Ram shares his tragic story of how he lost his identity as a hard working Type A war correspondent and became addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol. An inspiring journey from darkness to his newest incarnation and mission as a Yoga Warrior.
Self Healing from PSTD
- 6:11 How Bhava Ram’s health crisis triggered his identity lost and how that could be related to PTSD.
- 13:36 Bhava Ram talks about his process of self-healing and how his diet, purging, and fasting helped him lose 80 lbs.
- 16:06 Bhava Ram shares the meditation and mantras he used during his self-directed healing practice that involves repeating the affirmations: “I am forgiveness. I am grateful. I am calm and relax. I am letting go”.
- 16:59 Hear how Bhava Ram learned to listen less to the voices of his ego (type A personality) and turn toward his inner guru. He describes his process of dropping his head to his heart and the connection it has to healing. Find out more on epigenetics here: https://youtu.be/pP2aIiLPY6E
How to let go of Ego
- 20:26 Bhava Ram shares the practices he used to surrender to ego. He suggests that the first thing to remember is forgiveness and reminds us that it’s normal to have doubt, worry, etc. In fact, the translation of guru is dark light, representative of the process of moving from the dark to light.
- 22:13 What could we try when our egos flair up? The first step is to recognize that it is our ego and not our inner guru that is showing up. Once we notice it, Bhava Ram uses the following mantra: “I’m healthy, strong, and relaxed. I’m putting this in the hands of my higher power”. At times, he may ask- “How can I be skillful in action instead of reactive? How can I give up the outcome of that to my higher power so that I’m not controlling the outcome? He describes this process as letting go of our Western ideas that “I’m in charge and outcomes are all about me”. He contrasts this with the Eastern practice, which is about oneness with a higher power and letting go.
- 24:19 Bhava Ram draws analogy of daily habits and practices like brushing our teeth because we are convinced of the benefits, and doing self-directed daily practices like meditation as the path to contentment and sense of self.
Tips for Type A People
- 26:05 In his earlier life, Bhava Ram describes himself as a Type A Person with an ethos of hard work. He discusses how time has allowed him to move into a place of effort and ease (sthira and sukha). Bhava also shares his early morning contemplation period where he says, “Let me live from my heart today and not from my head”.
- 28:24 Bhava Ram talks about how he has released his ego over time and now his main practice is serving others through work with veterans (warriorsforhealing.org). Emmett Miller is his partner in this work. (http://drmiller.com/meetdrmiller/story/)
- 29:35 Bhava Ram shares his plans of expanding his veteran work to serve other helping professions (nurses, first responders) and those who have suffered from domestic violence.
The Importance of Serving Others
- 30:05 Bhava Ram expresses the importance of serving others and how that helps him move from his head to his heart. He suggests we ask ourselves “How can I help others?” versus “What is in it for me?”
30:51 Bhava introduces high level meditative steps for connecting with your inner guru: Find your inner voice by closing your eyes, focus on breath and feel the support of mother earth. Slow the mind down and repeat “I AM” and consciously visualize all your awareness going into your heart and see a golden flame. Allow yourself to slip into pure presence and ask your soul – is this the right thing for me? For more about connecting your heart, mind, and spirit go to:
- 32:36 Bhava Ram discusses his legacy of helping veterans and the ripple effect that healing work has on others. If you help a veteran, it helps his/her family, extended family, and community. Get empowered by offering a self-directed healing.
Dealing with your Darkest Moments
- 34:50 Bhava Ram offers advice to anyone who doubts their ability to transform from darkness or questions if they have the power to crawl out of an abyss. Bhava Ram is living proof that despite the decree that you will NEVER heal from PTSD, you CAN heal even without medication.
38:03 Bhava Ram talks about his profound healing work with the military community in San Diego Coronado and how he has witnessed Yoga’s healing abilities.
39:07 Make sure to check out the event from June 28th at warriorsforhealing.org and make a donation.
Bhava Ram is a former network news war correspondent whose career was abruptly ended due to a broken back and failed surgery. Declared permanently disabled, he was heavily medicated and confined to a body brace. Years later came a diagnosis of stage four cancer and the medical prognosis that survival was not possible.
As a result of his devotion to sharing the miracle of self-healing, Bhava founded Deep Yoga and The Deep Yoga School of Healing Arts with his wife, Laura Plumb. Through their Mastery of Life Programs, home-based at Ginseng Yoga Studio in San Diego, they train Yoga Teachers, Ayurvedic Therapists and Vedic Healers, plus lead inspirational workshops and retreats worldwide and see private clients for wellness counseling. They are graduates of the Kerala Ayurveda Academy and the American Institute of Vedic Studies, and ERYT-500s with the Yoga Alliance.
Bhava Ram serves as faculty for select Yoga Journal Conferences, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, and Awaken Whole Life Center. He offers keynote speeches at major medical & executive conferences and does extensive executive coaching. Booking Bhava