Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Incorporate brahmacharya (maintenance of vitality) into your yoga practice with an asana, mantra, and mudra to help bring into focus the subtle and not-so-subtle ways the yama plays out in your life.
Brahmacharya translates as the concept of celibacy or, applied to a more modern lifestyle, it is the art of continency, sustaining energy, and not depleting your vitality. To incorporate brahmacharya into your own life and practice, start with the pose, mudra (hand-and-finger gesture), and mantra (a sacred utterance repeated continuously) below. Do this practice on its own, add more poses with the accompanying 10-minute video sequence, or link all of the yamas and niyamas together, one pose as a time, forming a sequence.
Brahmacharya Yoga Practice
Hold the pose, with its mudra, for 3–5 breaths, mindfully chanting, aloud or internally, its accompanying mantra.
Asana: Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Come onto your knees with your toes touching and relax your belly on your thighs. The restorative and insular nature of Child’s Pose summons the parasympathetic nervous system to facilitate relaxation and renewal.
Mudra: Prana Mudra
Extend your arms forward and bring your thumb, ring, and pinky fingers on each hand to touch while lengthening the index and middle fingers. This gesture of Prana Mudra elicits the vitality that resides within our prana, or life force.
Mantra Meditation: Om somaye namaha
Chanting the mantra Om somaye namaha calls upon the rejuvenating nectar (soma) that drips from the moon in Hindu mythology and washes away stress that causes you to feel depleted.
Watch the video
To tie it all together, or to deepen your work around brahmacharya, try this restorative 10-minute practice with Coral Brown.