The Fourth Yama- Brahmacharya


Brahma- God, creation

Charya- To follow



Wu Wei (chinese, literally “non-doing”) is an important concept of Taoism and means natural action, or in other words, action that does not involve struggle or excessive effort.



Moderation. Restraint in many forms.  Utilizing our life force for our highest purpose.


The fourth yama is typically translated to moderation, but the translation that resonates most deeply with me is that of the right use of energy.  Traditionally speaking, this yama translates to celibacy and was meant to encourage yogi(ni)s to preserve their sexual energy in favor of utilizing that energy to aid their progression down the eightfold path.  In the previous yama, Asteya, we focused on eliminating desires so as to not lead to stealing or coveting. This approach, trying to eliminate desire- especially external desire, is very applicable to Brahmacharya.

Brahmacharya brings to light where we use our energy, and by following this yama, we start to become aware of where our energy is being used incorrectly. One sided relationships. Toxic indulgences: food, libations, bad habits, working too much or not enough.  Negative attachments.  What can you release to expend your energy more wisely and utilize your life force for its highest potential?  Indulgence leads to imbalance which leaves us feeling depleted or off-center. When Brahmacharya becomes stable, then great power and energy will be attained.

This week, I challenge you to pay attention to where you spend your energy. Take notice of which of these activities or interactions raise you up and give you energy as well as which of these drag you down and deplete your energy. After you begin to take notice, then take action. Do at least one thing a day that truly raises your vibration- that gives you joy, makes you smile or laugh, replenishes your life force. And try to eliminate or lessen indulgence(s) into that which makes you feel the opposite. Find balance both on and off of your yoga mat, then share your light with those around you.