Thursday, March 4, 2010

bring on brahmacarya

yama number 4... brahmacarya.  this is to remind us to practice moderation.  after all, sometimes we can definitely indulge in too much of a good thing.  and on the flip side, we can also linger in too much of a bad thing.

i tend to relate this to negative thinking and 'spinning.'  spinning for me is when scary thoughts get out of control.  i wasn't able to get out of the loop so i would say i was 'spinning.'  we indulge in so much negativity by habit.  this also ties back to ahimsa... and not beating ourselves up.  so putting the breaks on too many negative thoughts or scary thoughts is practicing moderation in our thinking habits.

i also practice this when i'm sweating out my stress.  i usually gravitate towards sweaty, heart pounding yoga and workouts to totally alleviate my anxiety.  for some, restorative yoga and meditation helps, but for me i need to be physically challenged in order to completely absorb within myself and reconnect.  so at first, when i discovered this, i would pile on the workouts.  sometimes my total time spent working out would total 2+ hours a day.  i'd hit up a spin class, then fit in some yoga, maybe some weights or go out for a jog to clear my head.  i didn't realize i was doing this until i literally made myself so exhausted that i barely had energy to climb out of bed in the morning.  moderation.  when i was totally stressed and it was really bad, i used to hide in my apartment for days and only emerge to go to work.  i spent all of my time worrying and staying curled up on my couch... again, moderation.  either i wasn't doing enough to regulate my energy or i was doing too much.  it's all a balance.  it's not all or nothing... and i CONSTANTLY remind my students of this. 

look at your life and notice if there's something that you're doing too much of.  maybe you're drinking 4 cups of coffee a day and those jitters are just increasing your anxious episodes.  maybe you're spending too much time not talking about your feelings and staying closed off to people... maybe you're looking for ways to stop thinking about your anxiety and you're throwing yourself into work and sacrificing important family time. 

there's always a place in our lives that could use some moderation.  where do you want to add a little balance in?   

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