On the Mat, Off the Mat

Off the mat / Philosophy

An Introduction to the Yamas in thought and pose – Part 4

The fourth week I discussed the yama of Brahmacharya which is traditionally explained to be celibacy. I feel that this is quite a controversial yama. While I agree that sometimes sexual energy can dissipate focus and muddy intelligence, I feel that most people don’t fully embrace or understand their sexuality. So being cautious to go into a side of this yama which may offend or confuse students, I approached it more from the perspective of life-force energy and correct channelling of this. By consciously choosing how to express our life force and inner self and if we use our energy wisely, we possess all the resources to live fully (relating back to asteya and abundance). The choices we make can have a very different impact on whether we achieve our goals, find our true life path or find happiness. Without going into too much detail about chakras and where this sexual or creative energy is created, I focused on bringing attention to the core, to the lower abdomen. By doing certain poses to engage and work this area, I kept bringing the awareness back to this area in subsequent poses culminating in Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle pose), one of the first standing poses we perform as a twist.

One more yama left, come back soon.