Brahmacharya: Chapter 4 of Yamas and Niyamas for “Normal” People
WAIT, COME BACK!!!!! This is not the time to swear off yoga and head to more sinful pastures. Bear with me here.
So here’s the thing: Brahmacharya has several different interpretations, one of which is abstinence.
But that’s not all; another interpretation is the idea that you don’t waste your seed, so to speak. (Are you going to make me say it? This is a family show, guys!) What I mean is, if you are aware that there are 100 fields and 100 rows in each field, maybe you shouldn’t visit each and every field with your wild oats. Maybe you should be more selective about the fields and rows you choose.
And along those lines, I think one interpretation of Brahmacharya is that you are not violating that principle if you and your partner are sharing that time together as a way of honoring God with your monogamy and faithfulness to each other.
But truly, I do not think the focus of Brahmacharya is supposed to be sex. The point is that you should not be so addicted to the things that your flesh wants (e.g., sex, food, shoes, iPhones) that you take your focus off of God. For example, one translation of Yoga Sutra 2.38 (the Sutra from which this yama originates) says this about Brahmacharya: “When walking in the awareness of the highest reality is firmly established, then a great strength, capacity, or vitality is acquired.”
In English? You are strongest when you put all of your focus on God (or your Higher Power of choice).
So, Alex, are you saying that you can’t think about God and sex at the same time? Umm…Simultaneously? That’s between you and your Higher Power, I suppose. Don’t get me wrong; I am absolutely not suggesting that people who like sex can’t have a strong relationship with God. At the same time, while I truly believe that God is omnipresent, I don’t think that means He’s encouraging you to meet Him in the strip club, or the bedroom, or backseat of the car parked in a dark field, or whatever. You know.
What I’m saying is, focus on God, not……um….sex.