The practice and discipline of Brahmacharya is one of the central Yamas or recommended practices delineated in Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The Yoga Sutras offer a Yoga practitioner a very detailed, scientific approach to achieving enlightenment. If Pantanjali’s recommendations are followed in a systematic and committed fashion over an extended period of time, the result will be a sense of lightness, bliss, freedom, and a state of boundless joy; at least on a good day!
For many of us who practice Yoga on a regular basis, we do so because we feel physically and emotionally better when we do. In a world that is filled with continually fluctuating experiences of great joy and deep sorrow, this sense of well-being is well worth the effort, even if we don’t live in a state of Nirvasankalpa Samadhi at all times. In fact, many Yoga practitioners choose to become Yoga instructors so that they can share the joy and well-being generated by the practice with others.
By introducing your Yoga students to the concept of energy conservation or Brahamacharya during class, you will offer them a framework within which to determine the intensity level of their own practice. Supporting your students in determining their own level of asana practice is important because we may not always be aware of a particular student’s physical or emotional challenges, especially not on a daily basis. In the context if a Yoga class, supporting your students in the practice of Brahmacharya is critical.
By introducing your students to the concept of Brahamcharya, you will empower them to safely set the pace of their own asana practice. If your students apply the principals of energy conservation during class, they are much more likely to leave class feeling peaceful, refreshed and energized; instead of drained or possibly even injured. For example, if you notice a student attempting a posture that is way beyond his or her currently level of ability, gently offering modifications or alternative poses will ultimately help your student to nurture a true state of well-being.
Off the mat, applying the concept of Brahmacharya to everyday life will free your students of the habit of overextending themselves in a variety of circumstances and will offer them the opportunity to manage their time and energy in such a way that they feel revitalized. According to Pantanjali, practicing Brahmacharya or energy conservation will lead to greater vitality, peace and increased life force energy. This energy can then be funneled into one’s spiritual practices and life goals. Managing one’s own energy wisely will also deeply nurture a sense of happiness, love and well-being that many of us are seeking when we first step on the mat.
© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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