The fourth yama is Brahmacarya. Nicolai Bachman defines this as the practice of conserving vital energy, especially sexual energy, in order to channel it in more productive directions toward supreme truth. Taken literally, this means celibacy or controlling our sexual desires. However, it also means controlling our sensory organs in order to find harmony and balance. In other words, being selective about where we put our energy and being mindful not to indulge into our temptations.
Setting Boundaries In a Relationship
New relationships are exciting, especially when the feeling is mutual. We want to spend every waking minute with that person. When my ex and I started dating, we would spend full weekends together doing anything and everything daytrips, errands and just chilling on the couch with a movie. We even though we went on yoga dates together. It was fun and fulfilling but also exhausting. Looking back, that is when I started to disconnect from my personal yoga practice. I had been doing a good job of waking up to meditate in the morning, packing my lunch, and preparing myself for the work day. When we started spending week nights together, I would end up skipping my meditation and sleeping in a little bit later. I started to feel rushed and unprepared, but I loved this as well. Spending this kind of time together is not sustainable for the long run. We need to maintain an appropriate amount of space between our partner so that we do not lose ourselves. When life got busy over the past month, we broke down. I started to get anxious, comparing our dynamic now to what it was when we first started dating and he couldn’t fulfill my needs.
Setting Boundaries with Parents
I’m Armenian and culturally family is very important. If you’ve seen the movie, my Big Fat Greek Wedding, that pretty much sums up my family dynamic. My mom is a typical Armenian mom, warm, hospitable, and loving, and calls, texts, emails throughout the day. My life coach is also Armenian so when I voiced that my lack of confidence could be attributed to needing space, she understood, and my homework assignment was to talk to my mom. But the week went on and I didn’t have the conversation. My sisters gave me some feedback as I contemplated how I would go about the conversation. They said that I rely on my parents too much and that I can also grow independently. I didn’t have the conversation, instead I’ve been observing my interactions with my parents. Sometimes my mom will offer to let me stay over if I’m there for dinner, so I don’t need to make the 40-minute drive back to my place. I’m trying not to but that will be a process. I have been more mindful of what I “take” from them in terms of help, like when my mom offers to let me bring my laundry home and do it for me. It’s a learning process but I do feel like she is treating me a bit more as an adult and pulling back.
It may sound strange that in my post on truth I was complaining that I need more time with my family, but I also need time and space to take care of myself as well. When I am able to follow my morning routine, I move through the day with ease, I am organized and less distracted. When I am able to say no to my parents helping me, I feel more capable that I can do something myself and less resentful that they are taking my confidence from me.