Brahmacharya: Restraint of the Senses

Last year’s post is a reminder of what emerges when we take leave from habitual sensory and social patterns.  An intentional restraint on processing external stimuli, and the choice to instead pay attention to our inner world, greatly reflects the yoga practice of Brahmacharya- the fourth yama of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.

As living practitioners of yoga, our interpretation of the sutras is what literally brings them to life, otherwise they are simply two dimensional expressions on paper.  And, without a doubt, the yama Brahmacharya has been interpreted many a different ways, with each perspective leading to divergent living experiences.  Yoga International provides a succinct, and relevant to me and this post, definition: “[p]ractically speaking, brahmacharya turns the mind inward, balances the senses, and leads to freedom from dependencies and cravings.” (read more here).

And, reflected in my Camino-in-Writing post of a year ago, it was at this point on my walk that I was gaining good tread towards seeing clearly the shadows of addictive lifestyle patterning that needed to go.  Nothing like a desert to help you face your inner demons.

“It was useful to be in the desert feeling these. These were my feelings, and watching them like the clouds of the Meseta sky, I could see them morph to either take on new shape or shed more light. It was a relief to find this open space, and a gift to be by myself, seeing only me and my shadows.” – Camino-in-Writing 2016


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