Exploring Ahimsa — the first Yama — has truly been a deep inner journey that has brought back emotions and memories for me.Rediscovering the power and intensity of the Philosophy of Yoga is always amazing.I’m grateful for this connection I’ve made with you.
Is the time to keep going with the journey towards Niyamas.
First of all, Niyamas are observances that we are expected to follow as Yogis… but they pertain more to our personal care, or inner state.
This as opposed to the Yamas, which are more about how we conduct ourselves in the external world. This month we’re going to explore and go deeper into another aspect of Yoga, the first Niyama also known as…
Saucha means Purity. It is the Niyama (duties) of purification, of inner and outer cleansing.From a western point of view, we always create a separation between body, mind, and spirit. And usually, we tend to take more care of our body… neglecting the “hygiene” of our mind and spirit.
But Saucha has the ability to expose us to this relationship, which is indivisible.
By approaching this Niyama we begin to understand that when we take care of ourselves we are acting on our whole system: Body-Mind-Spirit.
(Even when we do simple things brush our teeth.)
It’s not about what we do… but HOW we do these things.
With which attitude do we brush our teeth? Do we do it while thinking about what’s next?
Or do we do it in complete presence, in the here and now, taking care of the body as if it were a temple?
This is the attitude that can transform an act of bodily cleansing into an energetic and spiritual cleansing.
It’s not just about feeling fresh and smelling good… it’s about waking up the five senses and being present, aware that you are taking good care of yourself.
And here we’re coming to the second crucial point of this incredible Niyama…
If we’re unable to take in the information that the world sends us, we lock ourselves up in armor.
This attitude can lead to uneasiness and eventually disease……
because that’s how strong the bond between body and mind is.
Saucha then holds the secret to keep together our inner world and the Universe.
It makes us able to not only receive but also to give. It allows our inner self to blossom and open up.
“As we purify ourselves from the heaviness and clutter of toxins, distractions, and scatteredness, we gain clarity to meet each moment with integrity and freshness. We become more pure in our relationship with each moment” (Deborah Adele)
This Niyama gets to the heart of Yoga, which aims at the perception of unity between body and mind… between the individual and the surroundings.
Asana, pranayama, and meditation without a doubt help us in this multidimensional cleansing process.
That’s why next month (August) we’re going deeper on how to cultivate Saucha in every aspect of our self-practice.
But this week, I’d like you to reflect on this Niyama in your daily life.
Ask yourself these questions:
What am I intoxicating myself with?
What thought, action, attachment, relationship, situation, food, or habit is preventing me from shining in all my purity and lightness?
What is preventing me from perceiving the beauty within me and around me?
Once you have answered these questions take a moment and choose an action — the first one that comes to your mind — to trigger the Saucha process.
It can be something really trivial…
Like drinking water and lemon in the morning, for example…
Or being more conscious of the actions you take to care for yourself.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and share in your journey!Also, if you haven’t joined our wonderful online community yet — or if you haven’t popped in for a while — click here to visit the Facebook group and say hello.
You’ll find lots of inspiration to start building your own self-practice with our Yoga deck… but also support and inspiration from other like-minded people that are on a journey of self-discovery.
That’s all for now.
We’ll meet here again next week with a new suggestion to deepen Saucha together.