Everything In Moderation



The forth yama (moral observance) in yoga is known as Brahmacharya or "non-excess". This restraint in our practice asks of us to be aware of the right use of energy. Where in your life do you feel excess? Are you overscheduled or too busy? Do you have enough down time or make room in your life for self care? Can you stop and breathe and find a little peace? Do you need some more motivation or movement in your life? We are also reminded to be aware of our energy in certain situations. Do some people's energy drag you down or light you up?

Brahmacharya also invites us to notice the sacredness in all things, including ourselves. We can overdo food, work, sleep, sex and even exercise. Are we fulfilling a need or an excessive desire of the ego? Do we associate an action with emotional satisfaction or an emotional disturbance? We can sometimes acquire addictions to the repetition of the feelings associated with that action. Are we eating food because we're hungry or is there something eating at us?

When we come to the mat and practice, we begin to tune in and listen to what our bodies need. Feeling the sensation in the body and responding appropriately, means we understand the body's language (the sensation) and honor that dialog. We learn where we are directing our energy. Is it harmful or helpful? Honoring ourselves and creating a sacred practice, creates behavior that leads to connection with our higher self. It helps us direct energy away from our external desires and allows us to find peace and happiness within ourselves.

Seeing with the eyes of sacredness shifts how we act as well as how we see. We begin to pause, give thanks and begin to open the heart to wonder. When gratitude and wonder sits in the heart, there is no need for excess. We start to see the abundance in what we already have. It grounds us and centers us. Whereas excess over does us, over extends us and takes us away from ourselves. Seeing everything as sacred firmly roots us and balances us.

Are you keeping your practice sacred? Do your build time in your schedule to "check out" of the daily grind and "check in" with yourself? If not, why? The time is now to make sacredness a priority. Once we start showing up for ourselves, we transform.

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Nikki Estes CAP, E-RYT, YACEP

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yoganikki@gmail.com

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