This is the second of my blog posts looking at how we can take the lessons from yoga and apply them to our modern lives. Last week we explored the idea of ahimsa or non-violence, and how our night-time scrolling habits might be considered an act of violence against ourselves.
Hopefully you accepted my challenge and decided to put your devices to bed early, giving your eyes (and brain) a chance to wind down naturally. If you missed last week’s blog post, check it out here.
This week we are skipping onto another of the Yamas, namely bramacharya. This one translates as consciously directing your energy. It’s not getting caught up in gossip, arguing and entering into those dull conversations with energy vampires, that we all end up regretting afterwards (you know who I mean!)
Brahmacharya is used during our physical yoga practise to help us remain focused – either on the gaze (drishti) or on our breath. Where our attention goes our intention flows. If I step on my mat and my mind is scattered with lists and guilt over whatever else I should be doing, my yoga practise fails to connect with me in the way I need it to. I end up feeling frustrated, annoyed and disheartened.
Through yoga I have learned that I need to approach whatever I’m working on with a single pointed focus. This is the only way for me to complete tasks to the best of my ability and not generate those feelings of overwhelm. Basically, this is a form of mindfulness as I try to stay in the present moment and it’s conserving my energy by only directing it towards what I’m currently working on.
How does this sound to you? Are you one of the many people who describe yourself as being great at multi-tasking? Or are you more of a ‘let’s finish one thing properly before we move onto the next’ type of person?
Each day our energies are drawn by a large number of shiny objects around us, all vying for our attention. Hoping onto social media for 2-minutes because half an hour lost down the rabbit hole of content. Maybe our mind races to comparison mode where we look at the perfectly curated images and compare them with the stack of dishes we didn’t get to yesterday.
This concept of brahmacharya suggests that we don’t enter mindlessly into these energy traps, we have a choice. We can choose not to get involved in the latest water-cooler gossip (thanks, but no thanks, Karen!) by redirecting the conversation to something a little bit more neutral. We can break that worry-cycle through pausing to focus on the breath for a few minutes. And we can wear a safety net when we travel down the social media rabbit hole – setting daily limits on apps is a great start.
Perhaps you’ll be more aware the next time you reach for your phone to entertain you for a few minutes. Brahmacharya is knowing how events and people draw our energy and making wiser choices for ourselves. This is the ultimate form of self-care, and it is essential for creating a more harmonious work/life balance.
Give it a try and let me know how you get on.