Tag Archive for: connection

The experiment related to Brahmacharaya and it’s application to my life as a married person.  This yama was chosen randomly, as the group size was the smallest and therefore, most appealing to me personally.  In recognizing that the concept of Brahmacharaya is essentially explained by Pantanjali  as abstinence of sexual behavior with the intention to redirect creative energies toward higher spiritual purposes, I recognized that this would require some modification in my married situation.  As my husband is also in the same group, we collaborated on this project and in this experiment. 

Pantanjali ‘s description of Bramacharaya is chastity and continence, which is traditionally interpreted as celibacy, but is also described as moderation or control of the senses.  After careful consideration of how these concepts may be applied to married couples, my husband and I decided that we would embark upon the experiment with regard to the purity of intention and sense of moderation which occurs from neither over-indulgence nor abstinence in sexuality.  Furthermore, considering that some of Pantanjali’s concepts, such as Bramacharaya, are contextualized for his social and cultural time in history, we maintained that this yama can be applied within the context of our own relationship, by practicing intentional “mindful and lovingness” towards one another within our relationship.   B.K. Iyengar, also interpreted that Bramacharaya need not necessarily consist of abstinence in the physical manner.  He indicated within his writings that one can practice Bramacharaya within a marriage by being mindful and loving in the relationship.

Sitting in a gas station, my husband and I began a discussion of our sexual practices — the frequency, quality, spiritual aspects and satisfaction of these practices.  I realized that this conversation was very “large” and almost too intense to have in one setting.  We realized that this would be one of many conversations on this topic, and that there were many aspects of our relationship which affect our sexuality – one being our spiritual life.  I began to realize that by strengthening my own spiritual practices, I would have more insight and intentionality to my intimate connection to my husband on a physical, spiritual, psychological and emotional level. The location of our first discussion of such an intimate topic — a gas station, I realized was indicative of how busy we are and how little time we devote to our personal lives together,  particularly the spiritual and sexual connection we have.

I began to realize how disheveled our bedroom was, and began to desire to clean it up as well as  apply some intentional “love” to the beautification of our surroundings.  In many ways our bedroom is beautiful, but was somewhat ignored and in some ways, I realized that was a metaphor for our own lives as two people who are always doing, always giving, always there for others — but we were neglecting our own loving and intimate space, both within our home (bedroom) as well as within our interpersonal relationship.  I kept asking myself how we could integrate the divine into our lives without it seeming weird.  I know it isn’t weird, really, but it’s not something I regularly thought about.  Starting to point out these connections, initially, it seemed that my husband was focusing on my pointing out the deficiencies in our relationship, rather than seeing the “energy drains”.  I literally took him through the house and pointed out how we are losing emotional energy — I think he saw it as potentially more work.  I realized that I was tapping into a third eye of sorts and was very focused on finding the truth about what I needed to do/change or think about our situation.