“Devoted to living a balanced and moderate life, the scope of one’s life force becomes boundless” Yoga Sutra 2:38 (Nischala Joy Devi)
“Don’t sweat the small stuff” Richard Carlson
Brahmachayra is the most controversial Yama, often translated as celibacy, or moderation of energy, or chewing on the Divine. We are encouraged to remember that we are part of the whole, but not the centre of the Universe. There are things bigger than ourselves. You might chose to focus on the physical universe, a concept of God, or just an attitude of awe at the unknown. It reminds us to look at where we are spending our energy- are we wasting it on things that don’t matter in the overall scheme of things? We are promised in the Yoga Sutra that if we moderate or contain our energy towards those things that matter least, then we will always have access and vitality towards those things that matter most!
Our home practice this week is another variation of our Salutation sequence. You can salute the Sun, God, the Universe, your parents or anything else that feels right to you.
Start sitting in quiet meditation. Focus for a few minutes on the sounds you can hear around you, without getting involved in what they are. Can you let your awareness wander from sound to sound, letting different sounds come and go without getting attached to the thoughts about what they mean? Can you let yourself be open to the vastness of everything around you?
Warm up the body with any of the seated warm ups that your body needs, a few rounds of cat pose, then a downward facing dog pose to come to standing. Finish the warm ups with a few spinal rolls then come to stand in Tadasana with the hands at the heart to start this Salutation sequence.
1) Prayer Pose
2) Inhale raise the arms and open to the possibility of something larger than yourself
3) Exhale forward and surrender
4) Step or lunge back to downward facing dog pose
5) Inhale forward through plank pose and then into either Upward Dog or Upward puppy (sphinx) pose. Lift your heart upwards
6) Exhale to the floor, arms outstretched into Salutation pose. Honour the vastness of life itself
7) Return to standing by going through these poses in reverse.
A human being is part of the whole, called by us “universe”, a part limited in time and space. (S)he experiences him(her)self, his (her) thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest……a kind of optical illusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few person’s nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Thanks to Vanessa from Adelaide Real Estate Photography for the beautiful picture of some of her and my kids at Brighton Beach practicing Bramachayra in the form of beach cricket and icecream....