Saucha is one attitude included in the Niyamas, the self observances “recommended” by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras.
Nurturing these niyamas can help us live in harmony with our inner self and others.
Within the Niyamas, there are five attitudes to cultivate so that we can work towards emotional stability:
– shauca or purity (more on that topic in the following text),
– santosha or contentment
– tapas or a strong desire to commit to self-transformation (being eager to sweat to purify our inner thoughts and our body for instance!)
– svadhyaya (being eager to know who we are deep inside, reflecting on ourselves)
– Ishvara – pranidhana (surrendering to the universe, trusting life)
All these behaviors and attitude patterns are linked somehow. Observing at least one of them helps us observing another one.
Saucha can be translated as purification or cleanliness.
We can consider the physical aspect of purification :
- keeping the body clean inside by eating healthy. We should all become more aware of what we put in our body : Can we really call a coke a drink? Why is this cookie made of more than 50 ingredients (most of them being preservatives, additives and crappy sweeteners)?? Just start by paying attention to the ingredients listed in the food you eat. Avoid eating too many ingredients you cannot pronounce… That’s already a good start!
- keeping the body clean out as well by taking showers and taking care of oneself (“pampering”, keeping the body fit and strong). It’s the same thing here: The things you put on your body matter! So many cosmetic products are made with hazardous ingredients. Here are some clean and easy tips : What about using pure coconut oil as a body moisturiser or maybe this more sophisticated DIY body cream recipe? Is your face dry? Try this natural honey and aloe vera mask or this DIY carrot and calendula mask. Do you need a body scrub: Mix together powdered coffee, sea salt, coconut or sesame oil and an essential oil… hellooo rejuvenated skin!
Believe me … it matters. We rarely nurture our health until a disease comes and slams us in the face!
But we should also consider the cleanliness of our mind.
Let’s strive and work on developing our own positive state of mind:
- Be kind to yourself and to others. Kind words often lead to a peaceful mind. Small displays of caring goes a long way: So do not hesitate to send a card to your mum, to call a friend, to give a back massage to your partner, to keep the door open for a stranger, to help an old lady go up the stairs, etc.
- Be optimistic. Stay positive. It’s said that people who have confidence in life and in themselves can really act on their own potential. They dream big and do believe that anything is possible. And you know what… they are often up to magical stuff! I know I have to work on that one… but I’m sure it’s really worth it! What could we achieve if we knew we could not fail?
- Be patient an enjoy the ride. No need to rush!
- Strive to keep an equanimous mind.
A third aspect of Saucha that can be regarded is the cleanliness of our surroundings.
Keeping our home clean and free of clutter. Cluttered surroundings often offer too many distractions! And this often leads to a cluttered mind.
Buying buying buying… vs decluttering… mmm… this is tricky in our consumer society. We should maybe start small: Next time you want to buy a white T-Shirt, ask yourself ‘Do I really need this fifteenth white tee-shirt?’. If the response is ‘well… not really… but…’, do not even bother listening to your ‘but’, just move along and forget about this T-shirt.
Turn off your phone at night. Turn off the wifi when you sleep. Do not charge your phone next to your head. Minimise the exposition to all the waves created by electronic devices. I am even considering investing in an Himalayan Salt lamp for its air purifying properties and as its negative ions are said to neutralise the positive ions created by devices such as TV, phones, computers, etc. (NB : Please notice that I wrote “invest in”… and not “buy”… ahah!).
Try to disconnect from social media (Facebook, Emails, Instagram, etc) from time to time: You will be able to connect with your inner self, tune in with your creativity and better connect with the people next to you as well.
And well… also… be aware of the people you surround yourself with. Don’t let toxic people drag you down. Wait wait! It does not mean that you should disregard friends asking for help or going through a difficult time in your life! No. It means that you should not let anyone tell you that you are worthless. You should not let anyone push you into doing things you do not want to do. Don’t let anyone destroy yourself.
Nurture honest and healthy relationships with your family, friends and partner.
To sum up: stay heathy, stay simple and stay happy!