Brahmacharya

Too much of anything, even a good thing, is a bad thing.


Yoga offers ancient solutions to ancient problems, because when things go south, the themes are as old as the sun. Grief, loss, disappointment, illness, anger, pain, frustration, loneliness: none of these are unique to the modern world. Your kids may be home from school (like mine) during today’s pandemic, but theres nothing new about the associated challenges of raising our children and the struggles we all feel.


I’ve been doing a series of posts to highlight yogic practices that we can use to navigate difficult times. In previous posts, I looked at ahimsa, satya, and asteya, the first three yamas.


Here, the fourth yama, brahmacharya (“bra-ma-CHA-ria”)....To practice “non-excessiveness and moderation”. How can we do that during times of difficulty?


The yamas are meant to free up energy. A practice of brahmacharya goes a long way. Anything in excess is a drain on our energy. Over-eating, even healthy food, can strain our digestive system, a whole container of ice cream, a whole cake, a bottle of wine, leaving us foggy, sleepy, drowsy and lethargic. And, you may believe:, “everything in moderation, including moderation”, so the occasional indulgence of rich food and drink may be something we look forward to. No judgement-the practice is just to be aware of the energetic costs. Make informed decisions about how we spend our energy so we aren’t left feeling robbed in the end.



This one really gets into our habits, patterns and even addictions. And, as AA says, I am powerless over.....so one of the aspects to this particular practice I love is not trying not to do something. A double negative. But still true. Because that has almost never worked for anyone. But instead to attempt to discover what means more to us? What’s a deeper intention? What is our heart yearning for? To attempt to find that spark of creation within, Brahma. So instead of trying not to drink or eat or spend or sex that feels out of integrity, then we put our focus on creating from that divine, internal spark from within.