Saucha: The First Niyama Saucha: The First Niyama

13 Nov , 2018

Saucha is a Sanskrit word that translates as 'purity' or 'cleanliness'. It's the first Niyama of five from Patanjali's Yoga Sutra philosophy.

Hello, Niyama community! Francesca here. I want to introduce you to saucha - now you know what it means (see above) I'm going to explain in a little more detail how you can incorporate its teachings into your journey towards conscious living. I've also added some yogi tips for anyone who wants to intensify their yoga practice in this area.

First of all, let's discuss saucha of the mind. To immerse yourself in the discipline of saucha helps you to clear impure thoughts or negative vibrations in your body that might be holding you back from something you want to do. A good example is your job. Maybe you're tired of what you're doing and want to pursue a new career but you have the fear of not enjoying the new said-career path, or worry you won't be good at it, or it might mean you need to take a pay cut to start off and you have bills to pay. There are a million concerns your busy mind will probably remind you of when you're mid-fantasy of marching up to your nasty boss, throwing your letter of resignation at her and confessing you're off to start a new career as a cat behaviour consultant. 

But what if cat behaviour consultancy is the profession that you were made for? What if it brought you actual job satisfaction and a decent wage? You will never know unless you try but those pesky impure thoughts will override your decision-making every time if you allow them. Maybe it's not even as drastic as starting a new job. Perhaps you just keep procrastinating on a task you need to get done or a fun project you want to start. You'll probably find the mind will always come up with other less important or meaningful chores for you to do instead of tackling the things you MUST DO. Distraction is an extension of impure thinking and a very clever technique that the mind uses to trick you.

Yogi Tip: ever feel like just showing up on the bloody mat is half the battle? Stop scrolling (you'll get text-neck), start unrolling (your mat has feelings and gets hurt when you don't use him). Use your saucha teachings to make sure to schedule in time to practice.

Secondly, let's turn our attention to saucha for the body. This subject is a little less intense! But applies more to the cleansing of the physical body by practicing pranayama breathwork, being honest with yourself and kind to yourself about the nutrition you put in your body and being mindful about the products you use on your skin. I'm sure I don't need to sit here and tell you that sugar is bad for you, so in the interest of not losing your attention I won't comment on diet today although it's a topic that will probably get its own blog post another day!

I'd recommend doing your own homework about what's in your skincare. Just because the ingredients are technically legal doesn't mean they can't cause you any harm, it's just that it's a complicated topic and a lot of the effects might only be noticed over a long period of time - by which time it's tricky to say what the real cause is. But I'll tell you something, the research I did and continue to do made me realise that it's not worth the risk, when there are plenty of products out there that are more natural and filled with goodness, don't cause damage to the environment and are animal-friendly.

Yogi Tip: is pranayama an active part of your practice? OK you might have mastered breathwork during your vinyasa flow, but try to deepen this further with a little separate mrigi mudhra (sealing one side of the nose then the other), kumbhaka (breath retention) or simhasama (lions breath - always fun!) All of these practices are incredible for detoxifying the lungs, and ultimately helping you achieve more saucha.

Thirdly, I'll bet you didn't realise that saucha - or lack thereof - can affect your home environment and surroundings. Think about it, when you clean the bathroom, tidy up the bedroom or have a good wardrobe clear out, you always feel much better for it, right? Consider going deeper into your housekeeping. Ask yourself why you're hanging on to so much clutter? Does it really bring you pleasure or is it actually a bit of a nuisance every time you move house and have to pack it all up and find space for it again. Even if you're not moving anytime soon, could you get rid of it and use the space for something more useful? Try the KonMari method - ask yourself of each and every item - "does this spark joy?" and if not then apply the idea of saucha and either throw it or donate it. 

Yogi Tip: a simple one - when was the last time you cleaned you mat? OMG I bet you ran out of that fancy yoga mat spray you bought in Bali like, months ago and you know a spritz of Cif just won't cut it so you've been neglecting this cleansing ritual. It's ok we all do it. But cleaning your mat is very good saucha, for obvious reasons. 

I could blab on for a lot longer but don't worry, I'm almost finished.

OK, so you get the idea. If any of this resonates, perhaps a good healthy dose of saucha is right for you.

By now you might already be familiar with our Niyama Wellness Yoga Balms. If not - to summarise quickly - they are 5 balms based on the 5 Niyamas (Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya and Ishvara Pranidhana) Each is a special blend of essential oils designed to complement the 5 ideologies. And don't worry if you're not a yogi, this is a little pot of relaxing gold that can be applied on or off the mat for a moment of calm and tranquility anytime.

Our saucha yoga balm is made with lavender, cedarwood and neroli. Apply to pulse points, breathe deeply and enjoy the fresh scent. You might even want to say a mantra, such as "My body is my temple. I will keep it clean and pure for my soul to reside in". Or, whatever else you might feel sounds right for you!

Lastly, a little point on the wonders of lavender for saucha. Lavender aids with sleep. Sleep is something I've been talking about a lot lately! I've just finsihed  listening to Matthew Walker's "Why We Sleep" audiobook on Audible and it's been a fascinating - and admittedly frightening - rollercoaster! How much the body depends on sleep to not only repair, but to ease mental health issues, reduce your risk of heart disease and even prevent degenerative diseases such as dementia, is unreal.

There are many small steps you can take to help get more sleep - starting with actively changing your bedtime hours and getting to bed earlier, taking a hot bath or shower before bed, taking a break from screens in the evening and drinking a small cup of night-time tea (small, because you don't want to interrupt your sleep with the urge to pee!) but we've personally found that a little dab of Niyama Wellness saucha yoga balm on our pulse points helps with that final drift into slumber.

Good luck with your saucha journey. In the words of LCD Soundsystem, Dance Yrself Clean!

We're always here to help so please send us an email or get in touch on social media for a chat. 

Thanks, Francesca x

 

Saucha is a Sanskrit word that translates as 'purity' or 'cleanliness'. It's the first Niyama of five from Patanjali's Yoga Sutra philosophy.

Hello, Niyama community! Francesca here. I want to introduce you to saucha - now you know what it means (see above) I'm going to explain in a little more detail how you can incorporate its teachings into your journey towards conscious living. I've also added some yogi tips for anyone who wants to intensify their yoga practice in this area.

First of all, let's discuss saucha of the mind. To immerse yourself in the discipline of saucha helps you to clear impure thoughts or negative vibrations in your body that might be holding you back from something you want to do. A good example is your job. Maybe you're tired of what you're doing and want to pursue a new career but you have the fear of not enjoying the new said-career path, or worry you won't be good at it, or it might mean you need to take a pay cut to start off and you have bills to pay. There are a million concerns your busy mind will probably remind you of when you're mid-fantasy of marching up to your nasty boss, throwing your letter of resignation at her and confessing you're off to start a new career as a cat behaviour consultant. 

But what if cat behaviour consultancy is the profession that you were made for? What if it brought you actual job satisfaction and a decent wage? You will never know unless you try but those pesky impure thoughts will override your decision-making every time if you allow them. Maybe it's not even as drastic as starting a new job. Perhaps you just keep procrastinating on a task you need to get done or a fun project you want to start. You'll probably find the mind will always come up with other less important or meaningful chores for you to do instead of tackling the things you MUST DO. Distraction is an extension of impure thinking and a very clever technique that the mind uses to trick you.

Yogi Tip: ever feel like just showing up on the bloody mat is half the battle? Stop scrolling (you'll get text-neck), start unrolling (your mat has feelings and gets hurt when you don't use him). Use your saucha teachings to make sure to schedule in time to practice.

Secondly, let's turn our attention to saucha for the body. This subject is a little less intense! But applies more to the cleansing of the physical body by practicing pranayama breathwork, being honest with yourself and kind to yourself about the nutrition you put in your body and being mindful about the products you use on your skin. I'm sure I don't need to sit here and tell you that sugar is bad for you, so in the interest of not losing your attention I won't comment on diet today although it's a topic that will probably get its own blog post another day!

I'd recommend doing your own homework about what's in your skincare. Just because the ingredients are technically legal doesn't mean they can't cause you any harm, it's just that it's a complicated topic and a lot of the effects might only be noticed over a long period of time - by which time it's tricky to say what the real cause is. But I'll tell you something, the research I did and continue to do made me realise that it's not worth the risk, when there are plenty of products out there that are more natural and filled with goodness, don't cause damage to the environment and are animal-friendly.

Yogi Tip: is pranayama an active part of your practice? OK you might have mastered breathwork during your vinyasa flow, but try to deepen this further with a little separate mrigi mudhra (sealing one side of the nose then the other), kumbhaka (breath retention) or simhasama (lions breath - always fun!) All of these practices are incredible for detoxifying the lungs, and ultimately helping you achieve more saucha.

Thirdly, I'll bet you didn't realise that saucha - or lack thereof - can affect your home environment and surroundings. Think about it, when you clean the bathroom, tidy up the bedroom or have a good wardrobe clear out, you always feel much better for it, right? Consider going deeper into your housekeeping. Ask yourself why you're hanging on to so much clutter? Does it really bring you pleasure or is it actually a bit of a nuisance every time you move house and have to pack it all up and find space for it again. Even if you're not moving anytime soon, could you get rid of it and use the space for something more useful? Try the KonMari method - ask yourself of each and every item - "does this spark joy?" and if not then apply the idea of saucha and either throw it or donate it. 

Yogi Tip: a simple one - when was the last time you cleaned you mat? OMG I bet you ran out of that fancy yoga mat spray you bought in Bali like, months ago and you know a spritz of Cif just won't cut it so you've been neglecting this cleansing ritual. It's ok we all do it. But cleaning your mat is very good saucha, for obvious reasons. 

I could blab on for a lot longer but don't worry, I'm almost finished.

OK, so you get the idea. If any of this resonates, perhaps a good healthy dose of saucha is right for you.

By now you might already be familiar with our Niyama Wellness Yoga Balms. If not - to summarise quickly - they are 5 balms based on the 5 Niyamas (Saucha, Santosha, Tapas, Svadhyaya and Ishvara Pranidhana) Each is a special blend of essential oils designed to complement the 5 ideologies. And don't worry if you're not a yogi, this is a little pot of relaxing gold that can be applied on or off the mat for a moment of calm and tranquility anytime.

Our saucha yoga balm is made with lavender, cedarwood and neroli. Apply to pulse points, breathe deeply and enjoy the fresh scent. You might even want to say a mantra, such as "My body is my temple. I will keep it clean and pure for my soul to reside in". Or, whatever else you might feel sounds right for you!

Lastly, a little point on the wonders of lavender for saucha. Lavender aids with sleep. Sleep is something I've been talking about a lot lately! I've just finsihed  listening to Matthew Walker's "Why We Sleep" audiobook on Audible and it's been a fascinating - and admittedly frightening - rollercoaster! How much the body depends on sleep to not only repair, but to ease mental health issues, reduce your risk of heart disease and even prevent degenerative diseases such as dementia, is unreal.

There are many small steps you can take to help get more sleep - starting with actively changing your bedtime hours and getting to bed earlier, taking a hot bath or shower before bed, taking a break from screens in the evening and drinking a small cup of night-time tea (small, because you don't want to interrupt your sleep with the urge to pee!) but we've personally found that a little dab of Niyama Wellness saucha yoga balm on our pulse points helps with that final drift into slumber.

Good luck with your saucha journey. In the words of LCD Soundsystem, Dance Yrself Clean!

We're always here to help so please send us an email or get in touch on social media for a chat. 

Thanks, Francesca x

 

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