Finding balance and moderation

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Finding balance and moderation

Mar 4, 2021

finding-balance-and-moderation

Photo by Jeppe Hove Jensen on Unsplash

As we continue to investigate our practice off the mat through the lens of the Yamas, the first limb of the 8-Limbed Path of Yoga, we continue to grow and learn about how we can lean into a way of living that is in alignment with our core values and in integrity with our truest self.

The Yamas are primarily concerned with our relationship with the world around us and how we interact with others.  By contemplating each of the 5 ethical principles of right relationship in our daily lives, our thoughts, words, and actions begin to come from a more conscious, aware state, and this allows us to become more authentic towards ourselves and others. To love more, to give more and to cause less harm to ourselves and the collective. It’s an invitation to be a better human. 

Brahmacharya is the next yama in this series. It is nuanced. It is the most misunderstood of the yamas. It is also the most resisted, as it is often translated to mean celibacy. 

Let’s break down the roots of the word Brahmacharya. 

  • Brahma--divine, essential truth, creator
  • Charya--the path

Therefore, some translations have offered the following. To walk with the divine. Merging one’s energy with God. Walking in God-consciousness. 

All of this means that we direct our energy away from our external desires, sensual pleasures, or outside stimulation and instead turn our energy inward to find joy and peace within ourselves. 

It is moderation of the senses. This includes sexual moderation, but is not limited to that. 

Brahmacharya asks us to live in integrity to be honest about the ways we are connecting (sexually and beyond), with whom, and under what circumstance, so that our vital energies are used for the transformation of both self and the collective and not merely for our own sensual pleasures.

When we are practicing Brahmacharya we are less likely to make impulsive decisions. We are less likely to behave in ways that are self-indulgent and more likely to make mindful decisions based on how our behavior impacts not just ourselves, but the collective. 

How can you practice asteya in your daily life:

  • Listen to the messages that your body sends you
  • Set clear boundaries in relationships, work, etc.
  • Seek balance and practice moderation in all areas of your life
  • Honor the boundaries of others in your life
  • Let go of the need to be doing all the time (toxic productivity)
  • Observe the ways in which you use your sexual energy. Disrupt patterns of manipulation and harm by committing to mutually supportive relationships.
  • Mindfulness practices that invite us to look inward rather than to external sources to find joy

 

If you are interested in taking a deeper dive into yoga philosophy, consider joining the next Empowered Yoga Teacher Training™, a trauma-informed, justice-centered program. We invite students on a journey through both the ancient, traditional practices of yoga and modern neuroscience and psychology. Our programs are led by a diverse group of teachers with various yoga backgrounds, identies, and lived experiences.

We have two paths:

  1. 200 Hour Certification for those who are looking to become certified yoga teachers. Includes an in-person intensive. 
  2. Advanced Yoga Studies Program (100% online) is designed for:
    • Anyone committed to living a life of right action and dismatling systems of oppression (from the inside out)
    • Certified yoga teachers looking to integrate a trauma and justice-informed lens into their teaching, including the impact of systemic oppression (100 hours of YA CEUs available)
    • Yoga practitioners who wish to deepen their understanding of yoga beyond the mat through a trauma-informed, justice-centered perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

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Finding balance and moderation
Mar 4, 2021

Finding balance and moderation


When we are practicing Brahmacharya we are less likely to make impulsive decisions. We are less likely to behave in ways that are self-indulgent and more likely to make mindful decisions based on how our behavior impacts not just ourselves, but the collective.