Intention: Homeostasis (Yama: Brahmacharya.)
Homeostasis is defined as "
"(https://www.yourdictionary.com/homeostasis.) With the COVID-19 pandemic, and the world responding by changing it's usual day to day hum to a "slowing down," or closer to a "complete halt," it would be safe to say that most of us have had to adjust to at least some changes in our environment. The response has been varied, but is almost always emotional. Emotionality is often the result of fear, or a feeling of not being "internally stable." How does this relate to yoga practice? The physical asanas of yoga were designed, essentially, for homeostasis. Yoga was initially a still, meditation practice until some practitioners figured out that the body and mind are more stable and quiet after the body moved in certain poses prior to the meditation. When examining the poses more in depth, we can find the that asanas themselves are a movement to try to reach "homeostasis" between the breath, mind and body. If I move my leg and arm this way, I must engage these muscles to keep balance in the pose, and breath helps me to stay focused and respond to what is happening right now, in this moment. And isn't that how our daily challenges play out? I have to change the way I do "this," so I remain stable if I respond by doing "that." When we respond out of fear, and maybe react emotionally, (after all, we are human,) again, we are invited not to berate ourselves or others, but to quietly recalibrate and nonjudgmentally aim to head back to balance and center. The Yama Brahmacharya, according to Ekhart Tolle, "Is meant to help you maintain (and grow) your own energy by keeping it to yourself. If we are able to direct our energy towards something positive each day – rather than directing our energy towards our often negative thoughts – we’ll not only be able to boost our immune system, but we’ll also actively be making the right use of our energy!" (https://www.ekhartyoga.com/articles/philosophy/the-yamas-brahmacharya-right-use-of-energy.) This does not mean we sit still, staring into space waiting for everything to "stop." No, it is quite the contrary. Brahmacharya invites us to live our lives in the midst of the chaos, and use our own centering practices, including yoga, to keep ourselves as centered and positively responsive as possible. It means to spend our time of great, worldly metamorphosis finding peace with ourselves so that we can contribute to the peace of the world. Let go of the illusion of control outside ourselves. Let go of believing that the one yelling the loudest wins (and if you yelled, apologize and move on.) Embrace inner stability, and seek homeostasis.