In searching in the “yogi lifestyle” most of the questions which are elevated surround the apparently nebulous subjects of sex and medicines (talking about both alcohol and recreational drugs) as well as their relationships to yoga. Though extended pieces could be easily written on every subject individually and every individual yoga specialist has their own individual view, exactly what does yoga itself say about sex, drugs, and yoga?
Let’s start with sex. Lots of people think that to become a yogi way to be celibate. Despite the fact that some yogis do practice celibacy, many yogis also marry and also have families, neither path being less yogic compared to other.
Generally there’s two pathways or directions the modern yogi takes. One to be the renunciate, meaning, the yogi decides to renounce the comforts and possessions of common existence to pursue simplicity and austerity as a way of dedicating themselves fully towards the spiritual path and link with the Divine. Another path is called those of the householder. The householder maintains yogic practices, but remains apart of society and cultivates an occupation, a marital relationship, a household, etc. while trying to balance worldly pursuits using the quest for the Divine. Often the renunciate is anticipated to renounce the action of sex because they are likely to renounce any distracting temptation or attachment to worldly pleasures. The householder, contrarily, is anticipated to become productive on the planet, including procreation. To become a yogi, therefore, doesn’t always imply that celibacy is needed.
People cite the yogic idea of brahmacharya because the necessary practice of celibacy for yogis. Brahmacharya is really a Sanskrit word that’s converted in a number of ways, including: “celibacy” and “chastity”. Though brahmacharya can imply this stuff, this highly complex concept could be construed in lots of ways. Part one from the word, “Brahma” literally means Brahman, a Sanskrit word that is representative of the God phenomenon. The 2nd area of the word, “charya”, means following or occupying a person’s self with. Therefore brahmacharya could be directly read as “dedicating yourself to Brahman”. This act functions as a way, no finish.
Though brahmacharya can imply various things in various Indian philosophies, in yoga could it be referred to as an essential important Patanjali’s ancient eight limbed Ashtanga yoga system. The very first limb, or step, that Patanjali describes within the second chapter from the Yoga Sutras because the first important yoga may be the yamas, that are general guidelines for cultivating personal growth and adding positively to society. The 4th yama is brahmacharya, which Patanjali describes in sutra 2.38 as brahmacharya pratisthayam virya labhah, or, “when walking within the understanding of the
greatest reality (brahmacharya) is firmly established, a great strength, capacity, or vitality (virya) is acquired.” The concept here doesn’t always imply abstaining from sex, though it will take that form, but instead it asks us to direct all of our energy towards spiritual pursuit and therefore transmute our sexual energy into devotion to God. Whenever we recall dissipated energy and refocus it in direction of spiritual growth and devotion, then we retain a condition of vitality and strength. As Yogi Sunil Sharma of Tattvaa Yogashala in India describes in a single of his lectures, brahmacharya is really a favorable lifestyle for realising greater truth by restraining from multiplying our wants to waste energy elsewhere and rather retain energy for spiritual development.
Thus for that renunciate yogi brahmacharya can represent celibacy and finish redirection of sexual energy to quest for the divine. For that householder yogi, brahmacharya is practiced typically as remaining faithful and loving inside a monogamous relationship and also to not permit sexual temptation to draw attention away from us in the studies and practices of yoga. For that householder yogi brahmacharya then becomes using the action of sex morally, responsibly and compassionately and allowing our sexuality to become wider a part of our yoga practice.
It’s broadly assumed that to become a yogi way to refrain from using stimulants (i.e. drugs, alcohol, marijuana). However, when we browse around for the most part yogis we all know today we may find that almost all individuals who “do yoga” also relish a glass of vino with dinner, some pot before going to sleep, or even the periodic acidity trip. However, if the system of yoga at its core essence would be to still the fluctuations from the mind and also to bring us in union with this divine nature, how can mind altering substances affect this method?
There are lots of modern practitioners of yoga using mind altering substances for example psychedelics and marijuana to soothe the brain waves and to connect with the greater subtle layers of reality. A number of these drugs and substances do be capable to calm the brain and also to connect us to much deeper layers of ourselves and reality, but, could they be an finish by themselves and eventually would they be the sustainable means?
Shamanistic traditions of South Usa use psychedelics for example ayahuasca and peyote to achieve similar states that may be familiar with advanced practices of yoga pranayama and meditation. Many parallels happen to be attracted between Yoga and Shamanism by notable contemporary yoga teachers, for example Gregor Maehle and Danny Paradise the final outcome because Shamanism and Yoga both share exactly the same objective of union using the divine reality though their traditions will have some systematic variations. But could psychedelics, a part of some Shamanistic spiritual pathways, be advantageous to individuals around the Yogic path?
Patanjali vaguely mentions within the Yoga Sutras “herbs” that bring spiritual encounters. In sutra 4.1 he states janma osadhi mantra tapah samadhi jah siddhyayah, or “the subtler attainments include birth or are achieved through herbs, mantra, austerities or concentration.” This sutra is frequently reported by substance using yoga practitioners as validation that using mind altering substances is really apart of the road to spiritual attainment. As spiritual pathways throughout history used plant based elixirs to transcend the barrier between your conscious and unconscious mind, it seems sensible that here Patanjali does reference the spiritual utilization of magical herbs. However you should observe that non-attachment is really a key proponent of Patanjali’s yoga system and therefore using herbal elixirs for spiritual encounters ought to be used only like a supplemental means with the yoga practices, simply to the capability that it’s useful, without becoming dependent, and definitely less an finish by itself. Just like any area of the yoga practices, once we become connected to the take action becomes harmful over time instead of advantageous. So that as with anything within our lives, when something no more serves our greater interests we ought to let it fall away.