This month I’ll be focusing on the concept of “brahmacharya.” In many of the yogic texts, this word refers to the moderation and discipline of one’s sexual energy. But when looking at it more broadly, it allows us to pay attention to how we use all of our vital energy.
Nature operates in cycles: night and day, the changing of the seasons, the moon, etc. These cycles help us to pay attention to our own personal rhythms such as when to sleep, eat, work, play, and exercise. But in our modern age, we are no longer dependent on Nature’s cycles to tell us when to do much of anything, and as a result, many of us feel out of balance.
Here are a five tips to get you back on track to a life of balance and moderation:
1) Get Adequate Rest: Seven (for most men) to eight (for most women) hours of sleep is usually a enough sleep to repair and restore your being. A lot less makes for a frayed nervous system, and a lot more can lead to health problems as well. If you’re often sleep deprived, even sitting for a few minutes with your legs up the wall can have a HUGE positive impact.
2) Exercise: Move your body! But not so much that it takes a toll on your health. Every “body” requires different amounts of physical activity. A good rule of thumb is to move your buns at least 30 minutes, five days a week. Whether you enjoy walking, running, swimming, lifting weights, dancing practicing yoga, having a solo kitchen dance party…The options are endless! But always remember, exercise should energize, not drain you.
3) Nutrition: Channel your inner Goldilocks for this one…not too much, not too little. If you overstuff yourself at every meal and cram lots of snacks in between, then see if you can scale back by one snack, or only fill your plate 3/4 of its usual abundance at mealtime, and notice how you feel. Likewise, if you only drink one green juice for the entire day, and wonder why you feel faint and anxious, try aiming for a few small protein-packed meals throughout the day.
4) Enjoy Your Work: Even if you HATE your job, or get seriously annoyed with your co-workers, see if there’s something, anything about your work that you DO enjoy. Do you make a positive difference in someone’s life or day? Does it earn you a paycheck so that you can survive? Focusing on the positive is proven to help put you in a better mood. And like attracts like. If you’re in a good mood, then who knows what kind of amazing opportunities may come your way.
5) Find Time to Relax: This one seems impossible for many of us. But the benefits of taking even 15 minutes per day to do something relaxing (read, journal, sit outside and listen to the birds, spend time connecting with your friends and family, meditate and clear your mind…whatever tickles your fancy) can have a HUGE impact on your health and well-being.We are all allotted the same 24-hours in a day.
If we can take the time to listen to our natural rhythms, and perhaps pay close attention to Nature’s rhythms too, then we are much more likely to have happier, healthier, more balanced lives.