January: Brahmacharya – Nonexcess
January feels like the perfect time to explore Brahmacharya. This Yama invites us into an awareness of the sacredness of all of life. It’s a call to leave greed and excess behind and walk in this world with a sense of awe, practicing nonexcess and attending to each moment as holy.
Brahmacharya has been interpreted by many to mean celibacy or abstinence. While this can be part of the Yama, the depth of Brahmacharya extends much broader. Ultimately we are reminded to enter each day and each action with a sense of holiness rather than indulgence. Through this practice and awareness, we are meant to move closer to our higher self, towards our divine, and towards the rhythm of the universe.
This month, take time to find the “perfect limit” of what you are engaging in. Know the moment of “just enough” and notice if you try to move past that place into a point of excess. As Deborah Adele says, “We have to be able to discernment between what the body needs in the moment and the story our mind is telling us.”
Over the course of January, think about these weekly focuses:
- Week 1: Examine your beliefs, values, habits, and actions around sexuality, and also any areas you may tend towards excess.
- Week 2: Try to live the week in nonexcess. Eat, work and sleep to the point of increased energy but before lethargy sets in. Just know what is enough and stop there.
- Week 3: This week, notice if you can’t feel a stronger connection to your spirit and your ability to see the divine in all things.
- Week 4: Write down 2 or 3 practices that connect you to your passion and your sacredness. Think about how to cultivate those practices to live in the sacredness of life.