The Niyamas: Sauca by: Lena Schmidt
The yogic journey, as defined by Patanjali (the ancient sage said to have authored the Yoga Sutras, a foundational text of yoga) is an eight-fold path. The eight limbs act as guidelines for how to live a healthy and meaningful life, tuned into ones own purpose and spiritual nature. The eight limbs are yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. Over the next few weeks we’ll be diving deeper into each of the 8 Limbs here in this blog and in the Thursday, 9:00am, Yoga 1 class at the North Park studio. Enjoy your journey!
The second limb of the eight-fold path is the Niyamas, or attitudes and behaviors towards ourselves. The Niyamas are basically the moral “do’s.” The 5 Niyamas are Sauca, Santosha, Tapas, Svadyaya, and Isvarapranidhana. The first of the Niyamas is Sauca. Sauca is cleanliness, order, or purity.
We can practice Sauca in yoga by:
*Cleaning your body (maintain personal hygiene, if not for yourself, out of respect for those practicing near you ☺)
*Cleaning your mat, clothes, and props
*Organizing your props (place blocks where they are accessible during practice, move blankets out of the way when they’re not in use)
*Clearly executing the asanas
*Honoring yoga etiquette and the traditions of the space (for example: remove your shoes before entering the yoga room, avoid wearing heavy scents, keep your voice quiet inside and just outside the practice space)
*Clearing your mind of mental clutter
We can practice Sauca in life by:
*Cleaning your living space
*Speaking with clarity and care
*Maintaining a clean diet that makes you feel healthy
*Maintaining clear boundaries with the people in your life
Practice tips: It’s been shown that outer order can help create inner calm…and cleaning can actually be very meditative! Try a total Sauca de-clutter session: clean the most important areas in your home, clean your body in a warm bath or shower, and meditate on a mantra to clear the mind.