March: Living Saucha
“Only when we clean the window do we really get to see inside and out”.
March 20th is the First Day of Spring! In the spirit of Spring Cleaning, we are dedicating this month to the niyama “Saucha.”
Yoga as a practice purifies our system and by extension, our lives. This process of clearing out, on all levels, allows Prana (the life force) or energy to flow freely within us.
This is what Saucha is all about. Saucha is commonly translated to mean “purity” or “cleanliness.” It is the act of clearing out space and eliminating the unnecessary “stuff” from our lives. On a basic physical level it applies to how we clean ourselves and our bodies - the way we shower, brush our teeth, wash our hair, wear clean clothes and eat life-supporting, nourishing foods that move cleanly through our systems. Done daily, and with reverence, these simple practices will lay a strong foundation to our lives. We’ll feel better about ourselves.
On a deeper level, saucha shows up in our lives in other ways.
Saucha is translated to our physical space as well as your body. This means de-cluttering our living areas around us that can start to clutter our minds. De-cluttering is an emotional journey. It’s not easy to surrender your possessions, but it’s important to recognize (and be honest about) why you are holding onto certain things and if they are benefiting you or bogging you down.
When your physical environment is simplified and organized, you will have more mental and emotional space available to create and grow. When your kitchen reflects the same care and order you desire in your personal life, the time you spend there and the meals you produce there will become capable of nourishing you in new ways.
Here are some ways you can practice Saucha today:
Commit to a cleanse. Eliminate alcohol, caffeine, gluten, sugar, dairy, and meat. Try removing one of these, or all of them for a day or week or longer, just see what happens and how you feel. Starting smaller can make it easier to eliminate and keep these things out of your diet. And removing one at a time will give you the opportunity to see how each of these things affects your system.
Clean your tongue first thing in the AM. Any health food store in the toothpaste area will have a tongue cleaner. This is a v-shaped instrument that you scrape your tongue with first thing in the morning before you drink water or brush your teeth. This allows you to pull all the toxins off of our tongue and freshens your breath. It’s good for overall oral health too.
Keep Mother Earth clean. Pick up trash when you see it on the street, use as many “green” products as possible. Honor our earth, and its cleanliness as well.
Eat the trinity root foods everyday. These are onions, garlic, and ginger. These are excellent sources of nutrients for the body. Stay posted as we’ll be sharing delicious recipes and elaborating on the health benefits in the near future.
Keep your living space clean and organized. Clutter clogs the mind and can overwhelm the senses. Create serenity in your life by living in a neat environment.