The Art and Practice of Saucha

Why the blankets hang in the sun.

It’s because of saucha.

Saucha is cleanliness, the first of the niyamas or observances of yoga. Many people think yoga is asana (poses,) but in fact, yoga is so much more!

Yoga is the yoking of the mind, body and spirit into balance. Not an easy task in this fast-paced world we live in.  To attain that  balance which in the end means well being and being in touch with our highest consciousness, we follow an 8 fold path of yoga.

The Eight-fold Path

1. Yamas (restraints-nonviolence, truthfulness, non stealing, sexual responsibility, non greediness)
2. Niyamas (observances-cleanliness, contentment, perseverance, self-study, the power of surrender to that which is divine.)
3. Asanas (poses)
4. Pranayama (control of breath)
5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)
6. Dhana (concentration)
7. Dhyana (meditation)
8, Samadhi (self-realization)

On a practical level, saucha is cleanliness of body, props and the space we occupy. For instance in yoga class, we come to class without any strong body odors including perfumes. We take our shoes off at the door respecting the place where we practice. We do not step on another’s mat or speak out of turn. We put our props away neatly and in order. All these practices serve to create a sense of awareness of ourselves in our surroundings, to create a clear way, minimizing any interference on our path.

A deeper meaning of saucha has to do with keeping energies clear. By sitting in neat lines or complete circles, by keeping our props fresh and tidy , by maintaining a clean body and  cultivating wholesome thoughts, by consuming healthy foods,  by viewing beautiful scenes and objects, we allow the universe’s energy or prana to flow in an orderly fashion (vastu) around us supporting, us in the best possible way to reach that place of who we are and why we’re on earth.

This has been the long way of telling you, the studio is closed for two weeks for  saucha.

Blankets, bolster and eye pillow covers, floors, windows and mirrors are all being cleaned.  It will be our pleasure to welcome you September 13th for a clean start to a new year of yoga!

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