Friday, June 27, 2008


This is a fantastic piece, republished with permission from the author, Christine over at Yoga Every Day. I had not thought of brahmacharya in quite this way before!

Brahmacharya is one of the Yamas, or Suggestions for a firm foundation for practice. Brahmacharya means conserving your life force. As I was listening to folks discussing our current gas prices and “Energy Independence” on the radio, I realized that this is another application of Brahmacharya.

When we are aware of where and how we expend our life force - our precious time, energy and resources - we can make choices that reflect our deepest values.
Energy Independence begins with not using our life force carelessly. So if we’re sitting in front of the TV it’s because we mean to, and we’ve chosen the images we’re taking in. Or, if we realize mid-activity we are involved in something that doesn’t reflect our deepest truth, knowing we can choose differently any time.

The other part of Energy Independence is choosing the most efficient methods for moving through the world. On the mat this might mean being aware of whether we’re gripping in a pose, and releasing areas of unnecessary effort. A good rule of thumb is not to reach out further or with more vigor than we are reaching in.

In relationships, everyday interactions and helping others, our practice on the mat is really practice for respecting our own life force and the energy of everyone we meet. That’s why, though yoga makes us more flexible, healthier, thinner and happier, we have so many more reasons to find our feet on the mat.

And now, if you feel so inclined, you can do an asana session themed on this yama, from Kelly at SamadhiRUSH!


DAWN said...

Great post, some important things to think about. The link was fun, too!

Lisa said...

Thanks for this! I'm getting certified in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy and we have to pick a different yama or niyama each 6 weeks to work on....I'm working on brahmachariya right now, so this is very timely for me.

I'm going to check out the asana session now... :)

IshaYoga Shop said...

an interesting expansion of brahmacharya. i always thought of it as being celibate, but you have found new meanings to it :)

SAS said...

This is a lovely post. Timely for me. Perfect. I am actually pulling part of it to post in my journal. Thank you!!

Kelly C. said...

thanks for the link, Nadine! it's such a timely topic, i think, and i've truly enjoyed exploring the art of moderation and all of the doors it opens up.

Rajesh said...

Brahmacharya usually means celibate, but you have found new meanings to it.
BPO work from home

shivoham005 said...

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thank you

Ritesh said...

YOGA THERAPY is the science of applying the various techniques of yoga in a
variety of illnesses and conditions, to facilitate optimal health, healing
and awakening. Classes are designed for the individual or group with a
therapeutic focus for a specific health condition e.g. cancer, heart,
prenatal, diabetes, multiple sclerosis.