In our last post 5 best yoga detox poses, we discussed a way of detoxing our body through yoga asanas. We introduced some great poses that you can do to help your body getting rid of all the toxins that accumulated over time. As cleansing is seen as an essential part in yoga, we are going to talk about Saucha in this post. Saucha is seen as one of the main elements that a yogic lifestyle involves. It is the first of the Niyamas: personal observances. Niyamas are part of the eight branches that Patanjali outlines in his Yoga Sutras as being the essential steps towards samadhi or spiritual fulfillment. Read more on Patanjalis eight limbs of Yoga.
Translated, saucha means purity or cleanliness of our body and our mind. To reach that cleanliness in a holistic way, we are going to introduce to you some of the best ways to practice saucha in your life.
5 best ways to practice Saucha
Saucha through cleanliness at home
Holding onto things and having a mess at home also often represents a state of mind, that is confused and disorganized. Whereas a clean home not only means having everything bright and shiny, but also to be mindful with possessions, carefully choosing what you need and what you don’t need.
Great habits of a regular saucha practice at home is making your bed every morning, allowing natural light to enter your home, having things organized and creating a zen-like space that is making you feel comfortable, cozy and at home.
Purification of the mind
Purification of the mind means being mindful with where we place our energy at. But also being conscious with what we feed our mind with. Keep in mind: ‘Where focus goes, your energy flows’. Thus said, especially social media and television nowadays easily leads to distraction. Distraction like this can be like food for our mind with no nutritional value.
Where focus goes, energy flows.
Also, carefully choosing the people we surround ourselves with – as some say: ‘we are the average of the 5 people we spend most time with’. Choosing what and who we want to spend our time with can be challenging and needs discipline. Sometimes it is also just not possible due to external factors that we can not really influence. Yet, saucha for your mind saves us energy for a more effective use of our creative potential.
Helpful tools are using affirmations, meditation, practicing gratitude and cultivating pure thoughts with good intentions.
Purifying through a healthy diet
What you put into your body is who you become, right? Maybe not that easy, but what we eat and drink every day is how we will feel like, how much energy we have, and how healthy we are.
Purification through food doesn’t need a juice cleanse or detox week. It can be practiced daily by eating mostly organic, unprocessed and clean food containing lots of greens and vegetables loaded with nutrients. Also, try avoiding processed food as it often contains preservatives, pesticides and additives. As a consequence, our bodies have to work harder to get rid of those toxins.
Developing a habit to enjoy that intake of fresh, colorful food which nourishes your body, mind and soul helps. At the same time enjoying life and not stressing too much about eating 100 % ‘perfect’ and clean. Your body will forgive you an occasional cheat day.
Some healthy routines that keeps your body glowing and your energy flowing:
- Drinking warm lemon water in the morning
- Flush your body with enough water every day
- Occasional juice or water fasting. If you want to give yourself a reset, feel stable enough and are not dealing with eating disorders at that time
- Avoiding alcohol and cigarettes
Eliminating environmental toxins
In our western society, we are flooded with toxins. Those toxins are either surrounding us externally, or that we intake through our diet, respiratory system, skin or even mentally. Practicing saucha, can have a massive impact on your overall health and well-being.
Environmental toxins are chemicals and substances that cause disease and disrupt sensitive systems in our bodies. But where to look for when the goal is to eliminate environmental toxins? Well, we could all stress ourselves being surrounded by so many environmental toxins like air pollution, plastic, BPA, pesticides, aluminium, electromagnetic pollution and chemicals in our skin products.
And it is fair enough to say that those things should be taken seriously. What we can do is being more mindful with what we put on our bodies using organically certified skin care or natural cosmetics without chemical additives, equip our home with plants, avoiding to buy plastic material and packaging. To allow our bodies times off from electronic devices to reduce electromagnetic pollution and to buy more at local farmers markets or organic grocery stores.
Saucha in your yoga practice
Lastly, our yoga practice can be a great way to practice saucha. Start your practice with a clean body. This shows a sign of respect and self-care not only for yourself, but also for the other students around you. Make it a ritual of cleaning your mat after the practice and organize the space around you in a clean and zen-style way.
Physically, practicing saucha can be done by various means through mudras, mantras, pranayama (e.g. Kriyas), and of course the practice of physical movement. Read on for the best Detox Yoga Poses to cleanse your body.