11 Apr Niyama: Śauca (शौच)
By Lucia Yess
The first niyama in Patanjali’s text is Śauca, also spelled Saucha or Shaucha. It represent purity and cleanliness. When you hear those two words what comes to mind?
Perhaps a shower, brushing your teeth, honest thoughts and words. Of course this is shaucha but what if we start with a clean head and heart?
The shaucha niyama class focused on the mental and spiritual pureness while practicing twists and lengthening poses for a physical cleanse. This yoga class addressed the pureness of the complete self. Our thoughts, body, and spirit are made of pure light. This light doesn’t fade but for many of us we feel it gets clouded by our stresses, anxiety, and fear.
Throughout the vinyasa class, we challenged ourselves to go back to our truest, purest self. From this place we set an intention to clean out what is not serving us and let it go. It helped us rid ourselves of ideas, thoughts, chatter, and doubt. These aspects of our brain are natural but they take us away from being our purest and cleanest self.
Shaucha is the practice of cleanliness and purity. How can we do these acts if we don’t have a clear mind and heart? That’s why we looked at this niyama a little differently and held cleansing poses, like eagle and revolved warrior, to allow our bodies to rinse and revitalize.