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Brahmacharya: Morality of the Yoga Business

Brahmacharya ब्रह्मचर्य is a Yama, or ethical guideline and frequently translated as 'chastity.' Although with all Sanskrit words there's so much more to it's meaning, I see it as more about managing our urges for excess.

Isn't that an odd quality to talk about in business Rosie? No! Brachmacharya represents a virtuous lifestyle that also includes simple living, meditation and other behaviours. It's essential in a moral and ethical Yoga business.


My tips for living and working in a way that frees us from the bonds of excess:

  • Consider how you dress when you teach. I choose to dress modestly, wear appropriate clothing that provides cover. Lots of skin on show can be distracting on many levels. Check before you teach; move around loads to see if something slips, check you can’t see your underwear through your leggings.

  • Use social media as a positive platform; You’re a role model now. Why do the crop top shots on social media? (It's a real bug bear of mine) However if you feel great, liberated from negative thoughts on self image and want to post a picture of yourself in a crop top, then that's an act of service, rather than perpetuating an 'ideal Yoga body' which excludes people.'

  • Reflect on your relationships with teachers and know your boundaries. Are your teachers exhibiting behviours which are inappropriate? Keep yourself safe and awake to the unfortunate reality that some teachers can misuse their position.

Lest any doubts remain, contemporary Yoga is morally lax… consider that seldom do Western Yoga teachers ask their students to wear modest outfits to class to avoid a sexy fashion parade and appropriate behaviour between students. Over the years not a few of these teachers have been found flirting during class or after class, and some of the best known teachers have become notorious for their affairs with students.


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Photo by Jonathan Jones.

Thank you, Rosie Pose x

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