Taozi Tree Yoga

The seeds we water are the seeds that grow.

Sex. Money. Gandhi.

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hanuman

“How did Hanuman become powerful? It is with this weapon of Brahmacharya that he acquired unsurpassable strength and velour.”

Sri Swami Sivananda

Brahmacharya=Don’t have sex.

This is a common misconception. Gaining the strength and vigor to the likes of the monkey god Hanuman is all about restraining our physical (human) urges. Sex is a large part of this, but not the only part. Here starts our discussion on Patanjali’s 4th social restraint BRAHMACHARYA.

It is not all about sex…money, beer, cigarettes, television, the sofa bed, lolly pops, fast cars… high heels. All things that we may lust over. Brahmacharya can be practiced around anything we may be overly attached to in the physical realm. These things all take away our potential energy to achieve the INCREDIBLE.  I personally believe that the things we struggle with most as individuals are the areas that have the greatest capacity to create change. For example, an alcoholic that gives up the drink will see a tremendous change in their life. An over eater who learns to eat right and live healthily will become a different person. You may be thinking, “But I don’t have any of those problems.” Well… think again. Make the road narrower. Just because you may not have any obvious problems doesn’t mean you don’t have unhealthy attachments to the material world. You know what your thing is. Maybe it’s your kindle, Facebook, or your crockpot. I don’t know… but you do. Anything that takes away your capacity to reaching your MAXIMUM potential. I am guilty of falling victim to plenty of material things. Trust me. My point is that Brahmacharya is not only about sex. It is about anything in the physical realm that takes up too much of our energy, ultimately taking away our ability to transcend—

worldly things

The following comes from http://www.yoga108.org

Brahmacharya has two main meanings. In the broad sense it means control of the senses or indriyas. More specifically it refers to celibacy or chastity. Like all traditional spiritual traditions, yoga advocates restraining from indulging in sensual gratification. One of the many reasons is that practicing the higher limbs of ashtanga yoga – dharana, dhyana, samadhi – requires a tremendous amount of energy or prana. This energy is built up through the practices of yoga such as asanas, pranayama and japa but is dissipated during sensual enjoyment. Of all the sensual activities, sex is the one that will be the most depleting to the psychic and nervous system. Most people don’t like to hear this but, like the other yamas, everyone should practice brahmacharya to the best of their ability. It is a fact that the more people gratify their senses, the less energy they have and the less ability they have to meditate on the absolute.
 
The more broad definition of brahmacharya also includes conduct that leads to the realisation of the Self, or Brahman, study of the Vedas and scriptures, and contemplation on Brahman.

Practice of Brahmacharya gives good health, inner strength, peace of mind and long life. It invigorates the mind and nerves. It helps to conserve physical and mental energy. It augments memory, will force and brain power. It bestows tremendous strength, vigour and vitality. Strength and fortitude are obtained… He who is established in Brahmacharya will have lustrous eyes, a sweet voice and a beautiful complexion.

Swami Sivananda

Brachmacharya is considered one of the cornerstones of a serious yoga practice. The conservation of energy that comes from practicing celibacy is converted into Ojas and Tejas (spiritual energy). Eventually yogic powers can also manifest by the perfect practice of brahmacharya. There are many famous yogis and spiritual leaders who were established in this yama. Some of them are Sankara, Jesus, Gandhi, Hanuman, Lakshmana, and Bhishma from the Mahabharata. From their practice of brahmacharya they had incredible amounts of energy, will-power and thought-power to do great works for the world.

Gandhi_smiling_R

Many people mistakenly believe that practicing brahmacharya means suppression of the natural sexual instincts. Suppression is not what is wanted, because anything that is suppressed will eventually be released with redoubled force when an opportunity arises, the will becomes weak or when sadhana slackens.

*** Let me intervene here for a moment if I may. While discussing this subject at Tattvaa Yoga Shala in Rishikesh India and also at Rishikesh Yog Peeth we discovered a disconcerting pattern. Why is it there seems to be so many problems among certain groups of powerful people (priests, rabbis, even yogi brahmins?) It is possible that it is because they are held to the  standard of suppressing their sexuality, the energy becomes distorted and malformed eventually coming out in horrific ways. For some practicing sexual brahmacharya is too spiritually advanced, and for some it isn’t….***

The proper way to practice brahmacharya is to sublimate these natural urges into Ojas by a strong yoga practice that includes meditation, asanas, pranayama, japa, kirtan, satsang, and reading of scriptures or yogic texts. Contrary to some popular ideas and incorrect psychological beliefs, celibacy improves health and all aspects of life when practiced in the proper context.

*PLAY, sing, PRACTICE, LOVE, meditate, READ…*

This is a good begining.

 

Brahmacharya for Householders (Normal People)

Swami Sivananda recommends that for householders moderation should be practiced. He recommends self-control in order to have one or two children who are healthy and strong. He advocates living a more selfless life of charity, goodness and kindness, including worship of God. Marriage should lead the husband and wife upwards in the spiritual path towards a life of spiritual partnership. When this is accomplished, much spiritual progress can be gained.

It is beyond all doubt that a life of Brahmacharya is glorious and marvellous. At the same time, a life of moderation in the household life is equally good and helpful for spiritual growth. Both have their own advantages. You must have great strength to tread the path either way.

Swami Sivananda

lucky

for more on this subject see also:

http://taozitreeyoga.com/2012/12/09/tantric-sex-on-a-saturday-night

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Author: taozirae

Theresa, known as Taozi 桃子(Peach)to her Chinese students, has been teaching yoga since 2008. She has studied many types of yoga with world renowned teachers from all over the planet. China, the United States, Australia, and India. With over 1000 hours of YTT experience she is thrilled to have the opportunity to share the sweetness of her eclectic practice with others. Her life philosophy is that “The seeds we water are the seeds that grow “…wherever we decide to put our energy, our thoughts, and our actions are the areas of our lives that will grow. Life is about learning to water the right seeds!

7 thoughts on “Sex. Money. Gandhi.

  1. This is great. I have been thinking about this yama for a while. It has been interesting to me how people want to automatically say that it is not asking celibacy. I think there are great interpretations, however I do think that for enlightenment it really is asking sexual restraint (as well as restraint over other worldly pleasures). I really enjoyed the blog you linked at the bottom. I did not know that tantra was a second path. I will definitely be looking more into this. thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    • True true… in todays world we like to group ourselves automatically into the “homeowners” category because it gets you off the hook. It’s important to know its not ONLY about celibacy. For most people even thinking about “not having sex” is too much… and thats ok. There are “modifications” to the practice. Like letting go of the television, the beer, the cigarettes (or cream in the coffee..) (thats me 😉 ) For those that know better and have a sinking feeling in their gut they may be capable of more…the whole practice of bramacharya, then it is probably something to take more seriously… ooohhh when the path gets narrower. Thank you for your contribution to this post Jennifer…. 😉

  2. Pingback: Oo-ee-oo-aa-aa-ching-chang yama-yama ding dong! | Taozi Tree Yoga

  3. Very pleased we connected on WordPress today. Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

  4. Thanks for liking my post! This is lovely – I’m going to share it with my fiancé as well. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

  5. Pingback: Beautiful Blogger Award | Back to the Sutra

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