“We have perceptions about our experience, and we judge them: “This is good.” “This is bad.” “This is neutral…” Then we have responses: fear, frustration, anger. We realize that these are just different aspects of the mind. They are not the actual reality.” – Dalai Lama
Brahmacharya is the fourth Yama and as explained by Patanjali’s yoga Sutras, this yogic principle of detaching from the small things in life to connect with the infinite yields enormous strength and energy. The literal translation of brahmacharya is “moving into infinity”; “Brahma” means infinity, the Absolute, or big; “charya” means to move or to walk, to live.
Many times, it is taught as "celibacy" or moderation, but I like to think of it in a wider sense to keep the mind always engaged in thoughts of Brahma or the supreme consciousness.
Dedicated practice of asana, pranayama, and meditation creates a strong foundation for brahmacharya to grow. These practices increase awareness and relax the nervous system, reducing the susceptibility to excitability and arousal and enabling us to better control our responses. These also help to separate your emotions from your thoughts, releasing the control your emotions have over the autonomic nervous system, endocrine glands, and hormonal activities. In this state, our sensual impulses have far less control over us. Meditation also connects us to our true nature of boundless joy and bliss. Remaining in periods of silence on a regular basis can help purify our minds and spirits of any negative impressions.
Culture your senses by refraining from meaningless extravagances that deplete your energy and distract your mind - it may excess drinking alcohol or overeating. When you decrease the amount of energy you spend on sensory indulgences and instead turn the mind inward (pratyahara), you replace your dependencies and transient cravings with the experience of inner joy and peace.
For yogis seeking the highest potential of yoga, Brahmacharya gives us a chance to unleash our creative energy, to remain soaked in the divine presence, to move into infinity or supreme consciousness (brahman), and thus find a way to fulfill the greatest and finest desire of all—the desire to connect with the unchanging reality.
NEW TEACHER ADDITION... ON-DEMAND!
We've added a new teacher to the on-demand squad; a colleague of mine who teaches exquisite flow yoga and will help you elevate your practice with her amazing style of vinyasa. Elinor Cohen, who began her journey with the practice at 18, believes that yoga should feel like a dedicated time of play. You can expect to be mentally and physically challenged in her classes. Elinor’s mission is always to provide a safe, fun, inclusive, and enjoyable practice. When not teaching, Elinor is a full time writer. Come play! We'll be adding sessions of varying durations and intensities to our library of archived classes for you to use anytime. Follow Elinor on Instagram: @elinorraerigby
With the Holidays just around the corner... memberships and giving the gift of yoga is a great present to a family member or loved one. Discounts for gifts, referral offerings are also available. Email Yoga with Victor to lock in your class packs or subscriptions for Holiday Gifts!!!
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