Brahmacharya is one of the five yamas (restraints) of yoga. As is often the case with yoga there are differing opinions on the meaning of brahmacharya. It is sometimes interpreted as celibacy or moderation in sexual activity. Others interpret it as union with energy that produces life in all forms- we give birth to new human beings, new ideas, thoughts, and dreams. Still others interpret brahmacharya as moderation whether it is in eating, drinking, sex, exercise, or anything else. The old adage of ‘anything in moderation’ applies here. No matter which interpretation you believe to be accurate, moderation is a key concept.
We tend to overthink, overdo, and overeat… all going against the idea of moderation. We can practice brahmacharya by quieting the mind during meditation, by prioritizing relaxation time in our lives, by eating enough but not so much that we feel awful! We can also practice brahmacharya on our yoga mats during asana class. Greater effort doesn’t necessarily mean greater results. Moderate here too, never force a pose; find ease within your posture. Sometimes when we soften around our own efforts, we are actually able to get deeper into a pose. The same can be said for life in general. Soften your efforts and see what you are able to accomplish.