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?