The first niyama is saucha or purity. We've all heard the old adage "cleanliness is next to godliness," but creating purity in our life is more that being sure we've showered. Maintain an orderly space around us can bring clarity of thought and respect for our belongings. Bringing mindfulness to our consumption habits: making choices to avoid toxic foods or purchase environmentally friendly products are also forms of bringing purity into our lives. Nourishing our body and soul by surrounding ourselves with order and eating & drinking mindfully helps to heighten the good in our lives and connect us to our source.


Last year, I made some choices (for many reasons) that have connected me to saucha. I used to loved my morning cup of joe & my evening class of wine (I do live in Sonoma County after all!), but made the choice that those were habits that weren't serving me anymore. And honestly, I do sense more purity in my life and I don't miss them at all. I am experiencing clarity of my intention and connecting more with my true goals. Maybe it's giving up those "toxic" habits....maybe not, but it is something to think about.


Aadil Palkhivala has said that saucha is about separating our energies and allowing each energy to be distinct; therefore, honoring our personal energy as being unique. One way I like to bring that idea into my yoga classes is to honor that the space outside our yoga practice is different from the space on the mat. I ask my students to let go of where they came from and where they will be going when they leave class and find awareness in this space of the inner practice of yoga. Aadil also suggests that the way we treat our yoga mat is a represents the way we treat the world. Asking that your students respect each other's mats by not stepping on them creates order and honors each individuals energy & space (it also keeps things more sanitary!). Also bringing awareness to the way the mats are arranged for class can create a sense of order. Nice, neat rows opens the energy of the space for a more pure experience. Encouraging students to put their props away in a neat fashion also brings a heightened awareness to saucha.


Any thoughts on sharing saucha when you teach? Or in your daily life?

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Comment by Kamala Marshall on January 23, 2011 at 7:50am

Two weeks ago, I gave coffee the boot!  I was thinking more along the lines of ahimsa (because of the violence it wreaks on the mind/dukha like qualities), but really appreciate the re-inforcement on saucha. 


As time goes by, I am really enjoying the sense of pratyhara that this has fostered.....meaning i am not dependant on a stimulent from the outside world....and my life (on and off the mat) are so much more even keel, more sustained energy, and way more peaceful....kicking it was miserable, head aches/kidney aches for a week solid, so I know I made the right decision.


Thanks for the post~

Comment by Heather Johnston on January 22, 2011 at 1:43pm

Hi Katherine:

I like what you say about Saucha, "Separating our energies and allowing each energy to be distinct," for two reasons. It'd be an interesting thing to experience in meditation - to see the energies of our bodies in different planes, or to be able to see our energies separated into pure vibrations. And secondly how do these vibrations act as they pass through the body and meet with other people and situations.


A time comes to mind, of working in an office where the tension was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife. To be able to meditate and see these energies, bring them to contentment so that we could all experience a more pure environment (especially in difficult times). How good could that be?


Thanks for sharing! You gave my brain a bit of a work out this morning. :-)


Comment by Jean Di Carlo-Wagner,MA,E-RYT500 on January 20, 2011 at 1:58pm
Thank you, Katherine. Now I know why I go into the studio early and straighten the environment. I like the fringe edge of the blankets to the wall, and all the mats rolled evenly and together.  We share a space with many teachers, many students and a variety of classes;  it's a challenge, sometimes, to enter a room and find it disheveled and unkempt. I would say that I might be a little OCD, but a kinder way to consider myself is practicing saucha. Blessings, Jean

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