This month our practice is brahmacharya, which is often translated as the right use of energy. I have come to think of this practice as walking my talk - of putting my energy and my actions in alignment with my values. It is a call to act in a way that supports my being my best, most loving self in my interactions with others. Which sometimes means saying NO.
It’s relatively easy to believe that I won’t harm others or steal or be deceitful (because I don’t want to!), but much harder to actually not snap at my loved ones when I’m tired or frustrated, or any number of responses that are unkind. How can I more consistently show up as the person I want to be in my relationships and in our world? How can I be balanced, centered, and loving in a world that sometimes feels like its gone mad; where the simplicity of “othering” entices me to blame and take no responsibility for what is happening in the “world out there” out of sheer frustration and exhaustion?
The practice of yoga is a practice of connection. Whether our practice centers around movement, breath, meditation or any combination of those, the reason we are drawn to yoga is to strengthen our connection to the inner and the outer world. Walking our talk begins with our yoga practices and making the choice to pay attention to the embodied experience of when we disconnect. Then being willing to examine our truth and where we are falling short. Which is hard and uncomfortable.
One thing is for certain. For me to be an active participant in the world, I need to be energized in a way that gives me a choice of how to act instead of automatically reacting to the world. The power to use my energy in a way that supports my values and allows me to walk my talk means that I need to prioritize self care. I need to be sure that my reservoir is full by getting enough sleep, good and nourishing food, and filling some of my time every day doing something that brings me joy. Even during difficult times, we can find joy in our lives when we simply look and take some time to notice, to feel, to heal.
At Unfold we have a large variety of classes, including opportunities for deep rest which supports self healing. Consider joining one of the Yin yoga, Restorative yoga, Yoga Nidra or Meditation classes. (Check out Nidra on a new day, with new teacher Raegan!) These practices help to fill us up again so that we are ready to face the challenge of being connected in a challenging world.