“As we begin to lose the heaviness of waste and clutter, we begin to feel lighter, more spacious and expansive. Our bodies become more alive, our minds become more clear, our hearts more compassionate.” – Deborah Adele, Yamas and Niyamas
As we welcome summer, let’s begin our exploration of Niyamas, or observances. The first Niyama we will study is Saucha, or purity. Saucha invites us to explore where in our lives there’s a need for purification. A dictionary definition of purification is the removal of contaminants from something and yoga is a system of purification for the body, mind, and spirit.
We accumulate impurities, or contaminants, in the body from daily living – the food we eat, clothing we wear, and the air we breathe. It’s a normal part of living. The body has natural systems, like digestion and the cardiovascular system, that remove impurities with the goal of creating homeostasis. To facilitate optimal function of the body, we can practice physical asana or get regular exercise, get deep restful sleep, drink clean water, and choose nourishing foods that provide us with clean, sustaining energy.
“Cleansing doesn’t have to be earth shattering to begin to work its magic. It might take the form of increased physical exercise, or increased water intake, a day of fasting on fruit and juice, or perhaps a day of cleaning out closets. Maybe we will choose to spend a day purifying our tongue so that we speak nothing of harm or untruth for the entire day. Whatever form purifying takes, it always begins with an intention to ‘lighten’ the load we are carrying.” – Deborah Adele
The practice of Saucha leads one towards clarity. For the month of July, we invite you to choose a simple practice that will support the gentle purification of body and mind.
Not sure where to start? Ask our teachers before or after class – we’re happy to support you along the journey!
– Gaby Goldberg