Patanjali, creator of the Yoga Sutra, wrote about how the practice contains 8 “limbs”: the Yamas and the Niyamas. The yamas are guidelines for how to operate in society, while the niyamas show how to elevate our inner being.
Suacha is the second Niyama. It means cleanliness or purity. I believe this is a time more than ever for for Saucha. The corona virus or COVID-19 AND the presidential election is a LOUD call — an awakening for Saucha — and we are all interpreting it in our own unique ways.
This does not just mean this is a time for washing our hands and de-germing our houses, nor does it mean we start making plans to move out of the country if our chosen elect is not voted in. Saucha is also a time to watch the unclean thoughts that enter into our mind–fear, worries, competition, anger and more.
More than anything this is a time for a deep, soul cleansing. This is a time to ask ourselves what is bringing clutter into our hearts and minds. Is it the media? The gossiping and negativity? Perhaps it is the barrage of opinions that run rampart on our social media. The division we witness is evident as an apparent onslaught of emotions that clog the veins that lead to our spiritual self. And in turn, we have become hardened, angry, tarnished souls with little compassion for each other.
This is a pivotal time in our own responsibility to ask ourselves hard questions.
What is seeking to be released or cleansed from the very essence of our beings? What mental and emotional patterns are no longer serving us? What is seeking to be cleansed on a micro (individual) and macro (global) level? How can we get curious about this deeper meaning? How do we allow this cleansing to happen from a place of love and grace?
Here are some tips to allow Saucha to become part of you:
- To cleanse the mind, meditate and pray for 10–20 minutes
- To purify the body, Practice yoga for 30+ minutes few times a week
- Sweat out those toxins–go for a hike, ride your bicycle, MOVE
- Doodle in a journal and let your creative side process your feelings
- Clean your entire home at least once a week
- Burn incense, lay your crystals out in the moon
- Acknowledge all your emotions, positive and negative write them down, then tear the paper and release it.
- Trust your intuition, it will guide you on what are the best Suacha practices for YOU
Saucha is not a one time thing. When life starts to resemble a new normal–in whatever shape that is,–keep your practices up. Saucha, like Yoga, is a way of being. And remember, this is not a time to undermine the stress, anxiety, loss, emotional and physical pain people (and possibly all living beings) are experiencing. Be tender with yourself and with others.