As I move through the yamas with a more mindful approach, I am humbled at what there is to learn. Sometimes it seems I never laid eyes on this stuff before.
Brahmacharya is the next yama. And it may be one of the hardest to explain, or I suppose in many ways, to follow. Most traditions acknowledge brahmacharya as celibacy or chastity. The concept I prefer and that resonates with most of the people I’ve talked to about the subject/study is control of the senses.
I’ve been attempting to write most of the day on several projects. At one point earlier, the computer did not do what I asked it to, my train of thought completely derailed and then…I remembered: there was a candy bar in the fridge that would make everything better. Please be assured I’m in no way trying to dumb down the concepts of yoga. This is the best example I have right now because it happened an hour ago. Today my practice was leaving the candy bar, stepping back to re-evaluate my progress and being grateful for what had been accomplished.
Brahmacharya, for me anyway, is the voice in your head that says “is that really a good idea?” It will echo as you peek through your refrigerator. It will pound on your temple as you debate another glass of wine. It will be the sound of your feet hitting the pavement when you go for the run you had planned but you really didn’t want to do. It will be the splash of the water when you go swim instead of taking to the couch, as you really desired. (Notice I didn’t assign these actions good/bad or right/wrong. That’s another discussion that may take a while.)
When we step back to examine this concept, it really becomes about harnessing energy and using it for its highest and best potential. Brahmacharya asks if it’s a good idea. Our practice gives us the answer.