Brahmacharya is the fourth of the yamas and the word, literally translated means dedicated to the Divinity of Life. The word is often used in yogic practice to refer to celibacy or denying pleasure, but this is only a small part of what Brahmacharya represents. The purpose of practicing Brahmacharya is to keep you focused on your purpose in life, the things that instill a feeling of peace and contentment
Historically, Brahamacharya as celibacy w5B4as likely a product of teaching yoga to young men, whose desires can be difficult to harness. Unless you are living the ascetic life of a sadhu, chances are you will indulge in sexual pleasure, food pleasure or any number of possible treats. To bring brahmacharya into your life and yoga practice is to practice moderation in all things, including those things that are pleasurable distractions.
When we become hooked on pleasure, it becomes an addiction and the absence of pleasure feels like loss or dissatisfaction; we become unable to enjoy the simple happiness of life, to observe the quiet broad beauty of our minds - slowing down becomes difficult because the focus becomes the object of addiction. Practicing moderation allows us to enjoy pleasure and remain focused on our greater purpose. . How does this relate to asana practice? Sometimes yoga students push themselves in yoga practice, creating a sense of urgency, correctness (am I doing this pose well?) and anxiety. This can leave a student feeling exhausted at the end of their practice rather than feeling relaxed or refreshed and ready for purposeful action off the mat.
It is important to apply moderation to moderation also, so it is not a burden. It is a beautiful practice. It is about moderating the extremes, not wanting too much and being happy with what you have. The practice of Wanting Wanting Wanting will always leave you feeling unsatisfied.
Brahmachar4BEya can bring out many issues and energies as you begin to observe moderation - our addictions and ego rebel strenuously when they are not in control. When they arise, notice what the issues are, go deeper into your practice and discover your true motivations.
Ask yourself what is your purpose in your yoga practice? What are your goals in yoga and do you allow space in your practice to reach those goals?
JennYou Inspire Me