the five yamas | brahmacharya
posted: September 20, 2013
The artwork above is part of our shopper series exploring the yamas and is in stores now. To introduce you to the concept of Brahmacharya a little more, we asked Sandy Wei, dynamo EA to our VP of Planning & Allocations and Director of Merchandise, how she practises it.
If it weren’t for Brahmacharya, I’d be eating greasy Church’s Chicken while refusing to do much else except play with puppies and take selfies with said chicken and puppies. Brahmacharya has been the most impactful yama in my everyday life. It reminds me to practice moderation and non-excess, thereby consciously creating a better balance in mind and body.
All my life I have denied when enough was enough. Whether it was spending all evening on social media, or seeing my boyfriend for the fifth day in a row, or mentally preparing myself for the third round at the buffet, I’ve always had a hard time telling myself when to stop. And eventually, I hit rock bottom.
It was when I finally called it quits on an unhealthy relationship that I began to implement moderation in my life. I also realized how much I was also being unhealthy to myself. I was abusing my body by my own will, especially with food. Even before the breakup I always ate a lot—when I was sad, happy or bored. I took advantage of this because I knew I could get away with few obvious physical consequences, but I was seriously poisoning myself inside with the unnecessary excess of harmful foods. I was treating my body like it was a separate entity from me, just an object my mind happened to be housed in. It dawned on me that I had left an emotionally abusive relationship only to abuse myself.
I took this powerful opportunity to take action. I changed my diet, I applied portion size control and I took on my first 30-day challenge at the gym, where I began the process of learning to love to sweat. As a result, I learned to respect my body and my mind in more ways than I thought possible. Subsequently, I slowly gained balance in my life which, to my surprise, opened me up to new adventures and discoveries.
Brahmacharya makes us think twice and listen to what our mind and body deserves. If you catch me at the grocery store staring at a bag of chips it’s because that’s the new me battling with myself, making choices and practicing Brahmacharya.