Posts Tagged ‘saucha’

Saucha: Purity and Cleanliness (Niyama)

November 16, 2009

Niyama – Personal Observances

The first niyama is saucha, cleanliness of body, heart, mind and environment. Saucha has both an inner and an outer aspect. Outer cleanliness simply means keeping ourselves, our bodies clean. Inner cleanliness has to do with the clarity of our mind. Saucha is cleansing the mind of its disturbing emotions like hatred, passion, anger, lust, greed, and pride.  Practicing Saucha, we are forthright, open and clear in our actions and interactions.

Things you can try to practice Saucha

Notice what you take in as food, through all channels, mouth, ears, eyes and mind

Include plenty of fresh, unprocessed foods and pure water in your diet

Try letting go of some toxic people in your life

Try a day with out perfume or cologne

Clean your work area of clutter

Affirmation for Saucha

My heart is pure

My mind is clear

My environment is neat and clean

I eat consciously

I am an immaculate being

Journal Writing Exercises:

What are some of your habits that violate Saucha?  How can you overcome these habits?

Look at the condition of your car, desk, closets, you home, what improvements can  you make?

What thoughts do you have that are impure, or negative?  How can you transform these thoughts?

How can you simplify your life?

Yoga Posture for Saucha: Seated Ardha Matsyendrasana or the half spinal twist.

This posture is like squeezing out a washcloth, releasing the old, and then making space for the new to enter our body.

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The Eight Limbs of Raja Yoga

September 25, 2009

Compiled by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, the Eight Limbs are a progressive series of steps or disciplines which purify the body and mind, to enlightenment.

1. Yamas- Restraints
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The five Yamas are:

Ahimsa: nonviolence, non-harming

Satya: truthfulness

Asteya: nonstealing

Brahmacharya: Moderation

Aparigraha: Non-attachment, Non-possessiveness

2. Niyama– Observances
Self-discipline and spiritual observances.

The five Niyamas are:

Saucha: cleanliness, Purity

Santosa: contentment

Tapas: dicipline, austerity

Svadhyaya: study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self

Isvara pranidhana: surrender to God, awareness of the divine

3. Asana– evolution of your personal practice
Asanas, the postures practiced in yoga.

View Asana Posts HERE

4. Pranayama– Breathing
Breath control

View Pranayama Posts HERE

5. Pratyahara– Drawing senses inward (prepares us for dharana)
Withdrawal or sensory transcendence, the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli.

6. Dharana– concentration (prepares us for Dhyana)
dealing with the distractions of the mind itself.

7. Dhyana- Meditation or contemplation (leads to Samadhi)
The uninterrupted flow of concentration.

View Meditation Posts HERE

8. Samadhi– Superconsciousness
One with everything

See all the 8 Limbs of Yoga Posts HERE

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