Brahmacharya is the practice of non-excess, moderation, and right use of energy. It’s the practice of experiencing the pleasure, wonder, and the mystery of life without over-indulgence. Brahma is Sanskrit for God or creation. Charya translates to mean “one who is established in”. Brahmacharya can then be translated as “One who is established in the way of God or the creative force.” When you choose to look at yourself and your energy as sacred, the practice of moderation becomes easeful and an act of honoring the divine with yourself and others.
Find ways to practice Brahmacharya that align with your needs. Record your answers to the questions below to guide your monthly Yama practice – Be honest with yourself.
- Where do I spend my energy?
- When does my energy get drained?
- What areas of my life have excess? Where do I over-indulge? (Food? Social media? Work? Socializing? Sex? Sweets? Alcohol? Etc.)
- Why do I move past the feeling of having enough into excess?
- How can I make the best use of my vital energy?
- Where in my life am I skilled at practicing moderation?
- Does your mind move a lot? Identify 3-5 ways you’re able to slow your thoughts down or calm your mind.
Ways to practice Brahmacharya:
- Eat slowly. Use your breath to savor anything you take in.
- Don’t chug beverages or water. Use deep breaths to scan the body and connect with subtle energy shifts as you moderately take the beverage in.
- Notice when you have the impulse to indulge in more. Gently remind yourself, that less is more. *Be sure to eat enough and not restrict foods. Use moderation as a tool to find your healthy balance. That balance is different for everyone.
- Notice what emotions and thoughts rise when you have the impulse to indulge. Notice the same when practicing moderation. Objectively observe and record what you learn.
- Listen to your body
- Be in silence 1x/day for 5-10 minutes
- Schedule times to check social media and email. Place time limit on how long you spend using these tools. Consider removing social media applications from phones and devices.
- Go to bed early
- Schedule 1 day a week where you don’t plan anything for this time. During this time, do what feels right for you and honors your time, energy, and needsNotice when you physically push yourself. How can you use less physical energy to achieve the action or posture?
– written by Gaby Goldberg