Brahmacharya Pratishthayam Virya Labhah – Yoga Sutra 2.38
The fifth teachings in the yamas is Brahmacharya – Moderation.
Moderation, and controlling your own energy.
Most people associate Brahmacharya with celibacy, reserving any sexual activities. Controlling your sexual energy is important, but we humans have other desires which should be kept in moderation. When we control the stimulates from the outside and turn our focus inward, letting go of our desires, our mind is said to be free.
In our modern world, it is becoming harder and harder to control our own energy. It’s too easy to be overloaded with information, sugar, and alcohol. By the time you realize, you might have drunk the entire bottle of wine, eat cake every day, not eat enough nutrients (hello veggies!), watch TV for hours on end, overpack our schedules, and not get enough sleep. When we lose control, we become imbalanced and we can’t be our best selves. In that sort of state, our minds cannot be calm.
At first, it’s super hard to control the stimulates, but we can control them little by little. For example, if every time you walk in front of a cake store, and you can never resist their delicious cakes… Find a different route home. Watch an hour less TV every day. If you only have Sunday mornings free, spend the time to rejuvenate. Meditate, take a walk, have a nice bubble bath. Create time to look inward instead of focusing on what’s going out outside of you. When you’re able to focus inward, your mind will become calmer, and you will feel happiness come from within you. It takes a lot of practice, I know, I’m working on it too! Let’s take one step at a time.
Let me know what’s your one thing you would like to moderate in your life. How would you moderate it? How will it make you feel when you take this stimulant out your life?
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