On this fine day we will look into Brahmacharya: Moderation and Use of Energy, the fourth principle in the Yamas. But lets check back first to what we already know.
-The Yamas are 5 basic ethical principles to live by. Things we can do everyday to improve our happiness and the happiness of the people around us.
-The first principle, Ahimsa, is Non-Violence. It means more than just not being cruel to those around us. It means we should always be considerate of those around us. Those around us and actually every little thing on this earth including ourselves!
-The second principle, Satya, is Truthfulness. Speak your truth with good intentions. Be honest with yourself about how you feel, you are allowed to feel however it is that you do. When we are first honest with ourselves it becomes easier to speak our truth to the world.
-The third principle, Asteya, is Non-Stealing. This means of course to never take something that doesn’t belong to you. But that “something” does not just mean a physical possession. That “something” also means time, moments, energy etc.
Brahmacharya: Proper use of Energy and Moderation seem like completely different things but it works hand-in-hand with the rest of the Yamas.
Brahmacharya is literally translated from Sanskrit to English as celibacy. Way back in the day, Yogis were encouraged to save their sexual energy and use it as a tool to become closer to the Divine. Now a days this concept has become pretty unrealistic, but there is still a way to use our energy constructively on our paths to enlightenment. Moderation! By moderating our intake of pleasurable substances, experiences etc., we can harvest the energy that remains and use it to become closer to your Divine Power. As my sweet dear Grandmother used to say “Everything in moderation”. She was so wise!
I’m sure you’ve noticed how too much of something you enjoy can turn bad. For example how too much fun in the sun will make your skin burn like fire or how too many drinks on Friday night can ruin your entire weekend. The aftermath of these over consumptions uses up our good energy to heal our bodies. And although it is a great thing that our bodies heal themselves, in situations like these our bodies are healing from something that could have been easily prevented if only we would have sat in the shade or gone home at a reasonable hour. When we practice moderation we can store up that good energy and use it to our advantage. We can use that good energy as we choose and not just to try and sooth out aches and pains!
It happens too often that we become victims to our senses. We smell something good and we have to eat it, we see something pretty and we have to have it. By living life this way we become greedy and unhappy. If we always want something we will never truly be satisfied with what we already have, and for most of us what we already have is more than enough to keep us happy and satisfied!
Try to live the purist life possible for you. I’m not saying don’t indulge sometimes; enjoy life! But try to keep your senses in check but appreciating all the great things you already have by living in the moment. By living a mindful and moderate life we as humans can achieve anything we set our minds to.
Next month is the last of the 5 Yama's of Yoga, see you then!
Hi there! My name is Katelyn and I am one of the contributors to the wonderful LIA project blog.
I was born in Saskatoon, SK and was raised on a grain farm not far from the city. Growing up on the flatlands of Canada gave me this constant and overwhelming need to surround myself with everything natural so when I found Yoga after many years of ballet dancing it just made sense. To move my body with intention and be able to listen in on what my body was telling me was exactly what I needed to learn and what I try to convey to my students.
Nowadays I live in one of the most beautiful and nature-filled cities I have yet to discover, Zürich Switzerland. I try not to take any moment for granted because I know that it’s a damn blessing to live in such a lively yet organic city.
In my public and private yoga classes we move dynamically and with intention as I try to integrate Yoga’s basic principles into every class.
I’m honoured to share my writing with you all here and hope that it may help you better understand yoga, yourself and your neighbours.