Yoga Challenge: Yamas (Interpersonal Ethics) #4 – Brahmacharya (Moderation)

Daily Yogi branch of Yamas lower limb of yoga - Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha
Yamas – Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha

Happy Day 4 of our 30 Day Yoga Challenge – Brahmacharya

Today we are examining the fourth of the five Yamas – Brahmacharya or Moderation.

1st Limb of Yoga – Yamas #4 – Brahmacharya (Moderation)

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 Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to exercise moderation or take the Middle Path in a way that is meaningful for you today for Brahmaharya Day. Remember – the middle path is about moderation, not denial! Need some ideas?

  • Look for temptations during the day, and neither deny nor fully indulge the craving, but instead make a healthy choice. Like maybe a salad or healthy sandwich instead of fast food, or fruit instead of candy, or yogurt instead of cake or ice cream. Maybe have just a couple pieces of candy instead of NOMMING the whole bag (this one is both inspired by and directed towards me!), or have one very small serving of exactly what you are craving.
  • 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!
  • Take a digital break – plan today to have an evening without phone or social media.
  • Choose your own way to practice a more balanced lifestyle today that feels right to you.

Want more Brahmacharya practices? Check out our Brahmacharya Guide!

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Share your Practice

Please comment to share your experience if you tried one of our suggestions, or one of your own! Always remember, be kind!

5 thoughts on “Yoga Challenge: Yamas (Interpersonal Ethics) #4 – Brahmacharya (Moderation)

  1. I took some time for myself this morning and went for a skate on the beach boardwalk. First skate/workout in a few weeks and it felt great.

  2. My in-laws brought us a dozen donuts yesterday. I really wanted a chocolate one this morning, but since I already ate one yesterday I decided to make a chocolate protein shake instead. Satisfied my chocolate craving, but way more healthy and filling 🙂

  3. My friends wanted to do a Zoom beer lunch but I didn’t do it cuz mid-day beer makes me sleepy and I have a ton of work to do. Wooo self-control!

  4. I tend to cope with stress with retail therapy and know that’s not the smartest thing right now. Instead of making an online purchase I am putting the money in my savings jar instead

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