Brahmacharya “right use of energy” is traditionally in the yogic philosophy referring to the conservation of sexual energy.  But this teaching can also be applied to how we use energy in other aspects of our lives. September has already sped by with autumn upon us and into the return to routine and scheduled work for many of us.  I’m going into this season with the reminder of balancing work and play, effort and ease. A recent hike up Elk View proved just the right amount of challenge. We reaped the rewards as we rested at the peak of our efforts sitting quietly at the top taking in the gorgeous expansive view.   Resting after working our legs and bodies felt delicious and satisfying. We were grateful for our snacks that tasted extra delicious. When we use our efforts efficiently, we can rest after and drink from the ease with a full heart. And in turn when we rest well, we have the energy and stamina for the effort needed to work.  Brahmacharya teaches us that the proper use of our energy reaps the highest rewards. We know that when we overextend ourselves body and mind, we are left empty and depleted. Calibrating this balance is an ever-challenging task. I’m taking on a fuller work schedule this school year that will demand more energy toward my job outside of teaching yoga.  I have had many conversations with other mothers who are looking ahead with some trepidation as we leave the summer days behind. We know there will be much that will be asked of us. I am trying to go into this transition mindfully with the intention of keeping my awareness on how I expend my energy. I will remind myself to put the to do list aside and be alone and quiet.  Take in the changing landscape of fall on walks and hikes. Meet friends and foster relationships that are nourishing. Exchange some Netflix hours for activities that help me tune into my innate creativity. And keep returning to my mat…

On the mat, challenging the body into various shapes is a practice of using our energy in a way that best serves us.  But how well do we serve our bodies on the mat and move in accordance with what feels right versus what we want to look like?  Especially in mixed level classes, where options may be given to take a pose into a different shape. The temptation to want to take it to the most advanced stage conflicts with what the body is prepared to do.  We know when we have practiced skillfully. When your muscles have been stretched and juiced and challenges have been met with an efficiency of energy, it feels good, it feels right. When we find the balance of effort and ease, we go into Savasana and fully integrate, sitting atop the mountain we have climbed.  We are filled and ready to go back into the world a little lighter. This fall return to your practice on the mat and cultivate right use of energy.

 

Studio B Yoga

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