Brahmacharya – the right use of energy!
LOVE this Yama! Number four on the Yama rundown this one is excellent to consider at this time of year when the winter nights are drawing in and energy is low…
The translation of this Yama is ‘celibacy’ or ‘chastity’, which obvs doesn’t make it the most popular one… ya get me?
Traditionally, ‘Brahmacharya’ encouraged those who practiced yoga to conserve their sexual energy, using that energy in stead to progress further progress along the Yogic path (and not get distracted by Calvin Harris, Ryan Gosling, Andy Samberg, Bradley Cooper… the list goes on…)
I get that, like we all get that, right? The second someone fit shows up at work, no one does any work – it’s all gossip chatter and flirtation – so by focusing your energy on not getting distracted by the opposite (or same) sex, you won’t get distracted and you’ll do the job in hand.
Yeah, sure, but where’s the fun in that?
Can’t answer that, you’re right, where is the fun in not flirting with the new Zac Efron lookalike? It’s simple, there isn’t and a little bit of flirtation can be the right energy if you’re in need of a little attention, you want to feel good about yourself – am I right?
So we now see Brahmacharya as moderation of the senses or, the right use of energy.
It’s about finding peace from within, and not from the recognition of others.
These days being busy is a badge of honour, ‘I was so busy I couldn’t sleep,’ ‘I was so busy I forgot to eat’, ‘I was so busy I haven’t peed in five hours’… and so on. It’s like being busy is better, and if you’re not busy then you’re lazy.
But like, you can be as busy as you want, but are you doing anything worth your while? Are you slaving your ass off as busy as you can be in a job that you hate and makes you miserable? Are you busy running yourself ragged after your kids when they don’t even bat an eyelid about what you are doing? Are you constantly remembering all the birthday and Christmas presents, dates and cards for your husband’s family and friends, when really if you didn’t do it, he wouldn’t even care anyway?
A busy schedule looks impressive but does it serve you? Do you want to be doing all that? Does it make you feel good on the inside?
If the answer is yes – GREAT.
For example – when I teach a yoga class, I take around 1-3 hours planning and writing each one. I then write a blog which takes another 30 minutes to an hour. I add a quote, I take appropriate photos… I spend a lot of time and energy on planning a one hour class… Does it serve me? YOU BET IT DOES! I love yoga – I LOVVVVVE teaching you what I know, and I love self helping myself with furthering my learnings through what I teach.
I like being busy, I am a busy person, business gives me purpose – but only because I busy myself with things I love (see Oprah quote above)… again don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I’m a saint, I’m just saying I am down with a lot of aspects of this Yama because I know if I say I am busy I am busy trying to change the world and make everyone love themselves inside and out a bit more (or at least I hope I am ha!)
But do I need to stop my energy and find peace sometimes? Yep – and that’s where yoga comes in. I was a very different person before yoga. It really does make this Duracell Bunny chill out from time to time – which is quite a big feat for yoga knowing how much energy I have… but then I also find it gives me more energy, to work harder and longer at the things I love – like singing, hand making cards, writing, running people’s social media, trying to improve photography and photoshop skills, choosing outfits and lipsticks and nail varnish colours… it gives me more of an energy for life, you know?
So I guess the point I am making is… think about where you are directing your energy, and think about whether it serves you. In particular in relationships with loved ones – as this the hardest area to keep hold of your own energy – and yes I am talking about your partner and your kids.
Remember you are a human being – you were born you. You are not half of them, you are fully you. Don’t let anyone else’s energy change yours because, like I said last week- yours is enough.