Moderation In All Things- Brahmacharya

The fourth jewel, brahmacharya, literally means “walking with God” and invites us into an awarness of the sacredness of all of life.
— The Yamas & Niyamas, Deborah Adele


Yoga Sutras of Patanjali describes this yama as celibacy.  Celibacy is practiced as a way to bring strength.  In my yoga teacher training we were asked to look at this yama in a broader sense with a meaning of non-excess.  

Brahmacharya is about walking through life knowing that something outside of yourself is not given power to control you, like food, alcohol, or maybe drugs and so many more things.  I love how Deborah Adele explains it as "walking with God".  I personally feel my body is a temple of God and I should treat it as such.  Yoga has taught me to feel sacred and mindful of all things.  When we are in touch with this deep respect of ourselves, well then we are less inclined to want to live in excess.

Yoga philosophy teaches us to pause and have this wonderful inquisitive way about ourselves. Taking a look into your lives and evaluating what things may be controlling you.  Addiction is not living from a place of moderation, obviously.  Can you walk away from the second or third glass of wine?  Do you binge eat junk food when your depressed?  Has social media taken over your life?  These are good questions to ask yourself.  I'm always checking in within myself on these things, because I do love my wine and social media. 


Applying this yama to your life


  • Walk each step as though it is a sacred one

  • Live in moderation

  • "Witness" the impulses of the mind

  • Practice knowing when enough is enough

The quote below is a great way to look at food with brahmacharya in mind.

Good diet (sattvic diet) calms the mind. Passionate diet (rajasic diet) excites the mind. Ignorant diet (tamasic diet) makes the mind dull and lethargic. Mark the difference in nature between a tiger which lives on flesh and a cow which lives on grass. Food exercises important influence on the mind. One should try one’s best to eat good diet (sattvic diet) only. Also, even good diet (sattvic diet) becomes passionate diet (rajasic diet) if it is eaten too quickly, without chewing it properly. And even good and passionate diets (sattvic and rajasic diets) become ignorant diets (tamasic diet) if they are taken in excess quantity.