This month we shift from exploring the Yamas to exploring the Niyamas. The Yamas and Niyamas aim to release any blocks to the flow of energy and well-being in our lives. The Yamas guide us in living with ourselves and others. The Niyamas are all about YOU and are a perfect way to transition into the New Year.
Saucha, the first Niyama, is often defined as purity or cleanliness. This includes keeping our body and our environment clean. Think bathing, eating healthy food, moving your body. Keeping a neat home, uncluttered office and clean car are also part of practicing Saucha. Purifying our thoughts and minds also falls under this Niyama.
Consider when something is weighing on your mind or when you have too much to do. Don’t you feel cluttered or heavy? When we start to let go, slow down and say “no”, we become lighter and more clear.
There is also an “in relation” component to Saucha. As we “clean out” our minds, bodies and spaces, we make room for greater integrity and connection in our relationships. We can be more in the moment or present with ourselves, our time, our intention, our day, our work, our friends, family and acquaintances.
Consider this, when we judge, criticize, control, pretend, manipulate, check-out, or expect things to be different than they are, we aren’t in the moment and experiencing and allowing tlife to be as it is. Of course, this part of the practice isn’t easy. I struggle with it all the time. That is why it is called a practice. But, that’s the point, we can become better human beings by practicing Saucha.
If you want to give this a try, start with yourself. Can you let go of your expectations of yourself? Can you let go of self-judgement and criticism? Can you let go of the lists you create for self-improvement?
- Can you just be with and like yourself?
- Can you be with your thoughts and feelings?
- Can you be with who you are right in this moment?
Maybe this New Years, your resolution should be – “can you leave yourself alone?”
Ways to work with Saucha:
- Keep yourself and your environments clean and uncluttered
- Regularly choose healthy, nourishing food
- Drink water
- Try fasting of some sort
- Move your body
- Practice breathing
- Slow down
- Do one thing at a time
- Practice integrity
Here’s to feeling lighter, spacious and expansive in 2022!