Brahmacharya - do you really need that?
Brahmacharya means 'walking with god’, appreciating the beauty in every sacred moment. The fourth of the five Yamas is about our inclination to look outside of ourselves for happiness; life will be so much better if I have those new shoes or this new car. Realising with our true self, honouring our environment and being brave enough to be honest with ourself, it is said that we have everything we need to be happy and we don't need to seek happiness or fulfilment externally.
How can we begin to apply this into everyday modern life? One very easy example might be a trip to the shops - do I need this or do I want it? There's a big difference. If it's the 'want', perhaps it might be Ego piping up to tell us we're not good enough if we don't have this thing or that thing.
What we have is already enough and we don’t need to look outside of ourselves for happiness. It's especially tough when we are bombarded with advertisements and marketing of material stuff.
It's not just stuff we need to be aware of, also food. Of course, we need to fuel our body with nutrients from our external environment but do we need to eat the whole punnet of cherries because they taste so good or, dare I say it, the whole packet of biscuits?!? Sensory pleasures can be enjoyed, but do we need excess? Do I need it or do I want it?
On the mat, considering Brahmacharya during the physical practice, notice the point where your body can stretch but still find comfort. Sthira Sukhamasanam means a 'pose of comfort and ease'. Can we notice and enjoy where the body is happy? Even harder, can we notice and enjoy where the mind is to be happy?
Let me know where you notice these challenges and if you've found a way of dealing with them.