Recently I made a move to Costa Rica. I am single and definitely feeling like I'm nearing my sexual peak. Not to mention, everyone in this surf town is absolutely stunning. Tanned and in shape, many residents here practice yoga and pride themselves on healthy eating.
I'll admit that it's pretty easy to want to fall for every single person that strolls down the beach. But in the past few years however, I've been practicing celibacy — a form of Brahmacharya.
As one of the disciplines set forth by Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Brahman refers to the Divine and Charya means to follow. Brahmacharya falls under the first limb of yoga — the five Yamas (restraints) — and can be defined as bringing ourselves closer to a higher, more spiritual place. Many religions use abstinence as a means of not distracting oneself from the spiritual path, similar to following the eight limbed path to yoga.
But what does Brahmacharya mean to us single people who may get hot and bothered amidst a sea of hotties and bikinis? How can we practice Brahmacharya to sublimate our sexuality in away that brings us closer to a divine experience?
If we look at our sexuality as an incredibly powerful energy, then we are able to recognize and harness that energy. We can direct it where appropriate, and use sex to not only connect with a partner but further to feel more connected to the universe as a whole. Sex and sharing our raw sexual passions with others can be really fun and beautiful when it is with the right person, at the right time.
But until we find that person, is celibacy worth it? Here are three ways to become more mindful of our sexual adventures and save ourselves for that someone special:
1. Enjoy other forms of touch and play.
Sometimes what we really miss is human contact, giggles and rolling around with another person. But we often confuse this for loneliness or horniness. Getting a massage, or taking up an AcroYoga practice, are great ways to experience playful or sensual touch which might just satisfy that urge to put out.
2. Get out more!
The desire for intimacy can sometimes come out of complacency. Boredom and sitting around in your normal routine can tend to make the mind stir. Take a walk outside. Find a way to get out into nature, go for a swim in the nearest lake or river, plan a ski trip or go for a walk in the park. Communing with nature is a great way to feel more connected to the earth and far more centered. Often the most spiritual experiences arise from siting quietly outside.
3. Harness your creativity.
Sexual energy is a powerful one. Often it is a creative and visceral energy. But rather than trying to repress these sexual urges, try to sublimate them with something else instead. Use your hands and paint, sculpt, build and translate this passion into something tangible and beautiful.
When we replace the urge to have sex with constructive activities that feed our soul, we actually make ourselves more desirable to others. Happiness is palpable. Grounded people are the ones who everyone wants to be with.
And then getting out more might put you in the right situation to meet the person you're supposed to be with. Celebrate your sexuality, but reserve it for someone great.
Photo by Peter L. Aldrich