Birthdays & Brahmacharya in Bustling Bangkok

Bangkok – a bustling city famous for it’s food, The Hangover and “professional sexual services”. On my first visit to Bangkok 10 years ago, I must admit I was rather overwhelmed by it’s chaotic and somewhat dark nature, but this time I was fortunate enough to spend my 28th birthday seeing a different side of the city. My day started on a farm 3 hours east of the capital. I was woken by the sounds of roosters and crickets, and started my day with a peaceful Yoga practice and a view worth bragging about (check out the picture on the left). In the past few years my birthday has been a day of reflection, an ‘Annual General Meeting’ of self-enquiry and things that I would like to work on. As I sat and meditated upon this, there was definitely a recurring issue arising – Brahmacharya.

Brahmacharya is commonly (mis)translated as ‘celibacy’ or ‘chastity’ but it can also be interpreted as the ‘right use of energy’. It is a component of the ethical framework in which Yoga is based upon, known as the Yamas and Niyamas. Perhaps it was the fact I was in one of the sex capitals of the world that initially sparked this train of thought but it became clear to me that I spend a lot of my energy lettings things bother me. There aren’t many things that do bother me but when they do, I let them completely take over.

So how does one redirect their energy? Especially when you’ve let it completely take over… A psychologist once said to me to leave a hair tie on my wrist and flick it when I start to feel something bothering me (as the body is averse to pain) but I needed something a little more drastic. I contemplated tattooing a symbol on my arm to remind me to chill out and I’ve tried screaming in my pillow in an attempt to get it out. But there are only 2 things that work for me – singing angry girl music and dancing until I can’t feel my legs. I just need to remember to do it when I recognise I’ve been triggered… So if you see some strange girl belting out Alanis Morrisette or dancing profusely on the street, it may just be me redirecting energy. The truth is, we all need to find our own way to redirect our energy. Yes it will be difficult, but look it as a welcome challenge to making your relationships and your life just that little bit easier.

After a long day of driving, my day finished with a few glasses of bubbly on the 48th floor of the Marriott hotel right in the centre of Bangkok. If you only have 1 day in Bangkok, this is the first place you need to head to. The 360 view gives you a whole new perspective on the city and is absolutely breath-taking. The breeze blowing in your hair, the fresh air (anyone who has been to Bangkok will know what I’m talking about) and the sheer size of the city is mind-blowing yet humbling. Another year older and hopefully another year wiser!

Next stop – Chiang Mai. I can’t wait to visit the elephants and eat lots of organic food! With only one week left of my Asian adventures, keep up do date with my travels by visiting the Nourish Yoga blog. Thank you to ZenFlow for giving me the opportunity to see a different side of Bangkok. In other news, I’m starting a Monday night class in Richmond, Melbourne on the 24th of August at 6:30pm. Contact Nourish Yoga to register your interest or for more information. Looking forward to seeing you all very soon on the mat!