Brahmacharya (BRA-ma-KA-ree-yuh) literally means “on the path of God” in a direct translation from Sanskrit. It is often translated to English as celibacy or continence. I prefer the slightly less literal translation of Godlike, because it reminds me of a song by a German band, but I believe Brahmacharya’s true meaning to be “moderation.” What comes up for you from these various translations?
I took a course on Japanese Religions as part of my incomplete Japanese minor in college, and this particular practice reminds me of the middle path in Buddhism. What does this mean? Without getting too far into Buddhist philosophy (maybe later.. Buddhist and Yoga philosophy are very similar in some areas), the Middle Path of Moderation is a central tenet of Buddhism and major part of the Buddha’s journey to enlightenment. In this part of the story, he examines his experiences with a hedonistic life of luxury as a prince, and a minimalist austere life of a monk with extended fasting. He realizes neither of these lifestyles is healthy or sustainable for a long time, and a Middle Path of eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is more ideal than either extreme.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is making a conscious choice of living in moderation or taking the middle path. Need some ideas? It can be big or small. Look for temptations during the day, and neither indulge nor ignore the craving, but instead make a healthy choice. Like maybe a salad instead of fast food, or fruit instead of candy, or yogurt instead of cake or ice cream. Or have a small serving of exactly what you are craving.. Maybe have just a couple pieces of candy instead of NOMMING the whole bag. Can you tell I LOVE candy 🙂 Or maybe make today the first day taking steps to minimize an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Perhaps get a nicotine gum or patch to stop smoking, or plan a reasonable cut-back schedule with small goals you can reach rather than the cold-turkey approach. If you have been super busy with work and family with our current quarantine situation, ask for help and take 15 minutes minimum to spoil yourself with a bath or workout or even a nap, whatever you need! Or, choose your own way to practice a more balanced lifestyle today that feels right to you.
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Please comment to share your experience if you tried one of our suggestions, or one of your own! Always remember, be kind!