Today we explore some of the commonly mis-interpreted concepts in the yoga sutras- Brahmacharya. It is commonly understood as complete celibacy.
Traditionally it was meant to encourage those involved in the practice of yoga to conserve their sexual energy in favor of using that energy towards the progress along the spiritual path. Life before 25 years of age was meant to be dedicated wholly and fully to the spiritual path.
In todays practical world, we can think of Brahmacharya and its application as a recognition of the divine energy being present in ourselves and embracing a respectful exchange of that energy with others. The word brahmacharya can be broken down as ‘acharya’ meaning an instructor or learner or founder in spiritual matters. Brahma is thought of as the creator. Brahman meaning universal consciousness. Therefore, the word brahmachraya could translate to “behavioral patterns that lead us to the supreme or divine power. The correct use of energy and how we direct it.
Think about all the times we direct our energy towards pleasing others and worrying that the outcome of our actions will not reap the desired result. So much of our energy is spent in worrying that we are unable to experience the journey or the process itself. Yoga Teacher Training
In your yoga practice, how do you direct your energy on the mat. Do you listen to you body and practice Ahimsa or non-injury or do you push yourself beyond its limits and leave the class feeling exhausted. In order to have the best of ourselves present, we must listen to our bodies by appropriately conserving and having enough and right energy within us.
In todays life, there seems to be connection between being busy and feeling useful and success. People get a rush when they phones are buzzing all the time at work, and they daily schedule are packed with meetings making them feel useful. However more often than not, less is more. Whether we are busy or not doesn’t matter, whats matter is that what we are doing is proving useful and is worthwhile or not. Are you being effective wishing shortest period of time, or are you working aimlessly for long hours. Practice effective time management so you can utilize your energy in the best way so when you go home, you have energy to spend with family, friends and unwind. Otherwise you tend to burn out and seek long vacations to simple getaway and escape the work pressure.
It goes to show how Brahamcharya can be used in practical ways in our lives today and it not just limited to celibacy. It refers to proper direction of energy so as to lead a more fulfilling life.