This month we move from the Limb of yoga the Yamas: often termed “the don’ts” to the second of the eight limbs the Niyamas: often termed “the dos.”
The Niyamas are often looked as ideals to live up to, and are nice to incorporate into our lives both on and off the mat.
The first of the Niyamas is Saucha or purity.
In our month to Energize, purity is a great place to start. One of the interpretations of purity and purifying is to cleanse the body to make space for energy and new movement.
In reading ancient yoga texts, yogis have participated in some extreme measures in attempts at purity, ranging from swelling lengths of cotton, to running string through the sinus passages. I try not to be too judgmental, as I have tried the master cleanse. 🙁
Through yoga, on the mat, Saucha can be attained in a number of ways. Sometimes through a powerful class, where we develop the purifying heat (Agni).
Other days our Saucha presents itself in a restorative class through twists and inversions, both of which help to purify the body at a cellular level.
This cleansing can bring us a feeling of lightness and energy, allowing us the opportunity to bring in that which we desire.
Saucha also has a deeply relational quality. Many yogis discuss the idea of Saucha in terms of releasing judgment, and developing the ability to have more pure interactions with one another.
We will discuss this aspect of purity later when we discuss surrender 🙂
Spring is a beautiful time to move through and purify to build that energy for the coming months, or for the rest of our lives!