February 10, 2012
Brahmacharya ~ Conservation of Energy
Our intention for this weeks class was Brahmacharya, as the fourth Yama in the ethical teachings of Yoga. Brahmacharya literally translates as “walking with God”. In class, and/or whenever I mention the word “God”, it does not mean just one thing. This word can represent ones inner Self, the Universe, Cosmos, any Ultimate Reality, Divinity, Higher Power, Truth, something larger than ourselves. Yoga is not a religion, however it can be used as a tool to enhance whatever ones spritiual beliefs or non-beliefs are. Even agnostics, or atheists can practice Yoga, and its ethical teachings.
Practicing Brahmacharya, we can recognize each and every personal action or thought as a sacred, magnificent gift. I had the pleasure of spending some time with Bhagavan Das this past weekend and one thing that he said, really resonated with me, and is connected to this teaching. He said “It is very difficult to be given this life, to be born as a precious human. But, it is very easy to lose it. Death may come at any moment. Do not squander your life away, live every moment in Holy name.”
When we develop a sense of wonder, and awe for every simple function, appreciating this very moment, this very breath…we are practicing Brahmacharya.
Once understood as meaning “celibacy”, this teaching is now better understood as a conservation of energy, or non-excess. We can allow ourselves to be with the pleasure of life, whether it be eating, sleeping, making love, or partaking in any action without allowing it to become excessive, or addictive. Practicing perfect balance, having harmony in all things is understanding this.
Having self-control, simplifying, unloading all of the material things can also give us a sense of freedom. While we eat, do so mindfully so that we stop eating when the body is satiated instead of over-indulging until we are uncomfortable and may regret it later. Eating becomes a sacred, or Holy action of nourishing the body.
When all actions, feelings and thoughts are honored and balanced harmoniously with ones energy, and with God, we understand Brahmacharya.