How are you directing your energy?
Is your energy being used to focus on the negative aspects of your life? Can it be put toward better use? Are you overextending yourself? Brahmacharya brings on an awareness of how we use our energy and guides us to use it in more efficient and effective ways.
Brahmacharya is the fourth yama. In a nutshell (if you can really downsize any of the yamas into a nutshell) is the wise use of energy. A lot of our mental energy is directed toward habits that don't serve us, such as worrying and rumination. It's easier for our minds to veer off to the negative and takes more effort to think positively or even just bring ourselves back to center.
What about physical energy? Its inevitable that long days at work and completing home responsibilities will occur. But how often is this happening? Are you pushing yourself too hard? Can you give yourself a break? We hesitate and often feel guilt when taking a break from our hectic lives, but this is necessary to maintain physical and mental health. Brahmacharya is the practice of moderation. We are all familiar with the phrase "everythign in moderation." It's an accepted truth that too much of anything is not good, but why is it so hard for us to follow this? The first step is becoming aware, accepting this flaw with non-judgement, and consciously making an effort to use energy more wisely. This is Brahmacharya.
Winter is a good time to focus on Brahmacharya. As winter approaches, Yin Energy (inward energy) increases and the Yang Energy (upward, light energy) decreases. Animals begin to hibernate, insects go into stasis, plants become dormant...but people?; We rarely slow down. In class this month we will explore Brahmacharya by challenging ourselves to take the time to draw our energy inward. We will bring awareness to our energy use in order to come into better balance.
Yoga Poses for Brahmacharya
Child's Pose- Balasana: Come onto hands and knees with untucked toes. Keeping your hands on the ground slowly lower your hips toward your heels. Rest your arms at your sides. Make sure this pose is comforatble. Bring awareness to your body and breath: Ask yourself, can I breath? Is this hurting me? If so adjust: place a block or blanket under your forehead to eperience a release in your head and neck and shoulders. If your knees are talking to you separate your knees and bring your feet together, you can even try placing a block or blanket between your thighs to sit on. And.. Relax!
Tortoise Variation -Kurmasana: Start in comfortable seated position. Bring your feet into Badakonasana, soles of the feet together. Place forearms under your calves on the ground and hands on the back of your feet as you slowly fold forward and lower your head toward your feet. Try adjusting your legs. Is this more comfortable with feet drawn closer or further from your body? Exhale to soften, release and relax.