We’re wrapping up our exploration of the yamas this week with a look at brahmacharya and aparigraha (you can see an overview of Patanjali’s the eight limbs of yoga here). The yama, ethical behaviors for social harmony, allow us to contribute to the health and happiness of the world in which we live.
Brahmacharya is most traditionally translated to mean abstinence or celibacy. But let’s face it, that’s not very practical for most of use practicing yoga today. The intent behind the original translation is self-restraint in the face of pursuing physical pleasures. By doing so, by practicing the right use of energy, we can pursue the essential truth.
We can start to tune in to this wise us of energy on the mat. Do we need an active, powerful practice or a more meditative one? Do we need to modify a pose or test our limits? Rather than taking the actions we always take without thinking, explore what happens when we tune in to the body. By learning to recognize our own energy levels, we can begin to understand that peace and happiness reside within us.