Feeling Stuck? It’s Time to Lighten Your Load
Through simplicity and continual refinement (Saucha), the body, thoughts, and emotions become clear reflections of the Self within. Saucha reveals our joyful nature, and the yearning for knowing the Self blossoms.”
Yoga Sutras 2.40-2.41
The yogic philosophy of the niyamas encourages us to turn inward and observe guidelines or duties that help make us happier, healthier and more enlightened individuals. These key principles raise our consciousness and keep our integrity on and off the mat. The first of the niyamas is "saucha" or self-purification.
Have you ever felt heavy, stuck or weighed down by food, thoughts or emotions? Saucha can take on many forms to lighten our load. Purification improves digestion, clears the mind and releases old stories that hold us back from being in our own personal power.
We can start by practicing this concept on the mat.
When we connect to the breath, it can become a filter. Inviting energy and vitality into the body on the inhale and releasing anything heavy or stagnant on the exhale. We oxygenate our bodies with each new breath. When our mind rides with the breath, we become present and begin to let go of our thoughts or "citta vritti", bringing us into the purity of the moment, just as it is. We are able show up as we are. Not as we think we "should" be or what we used to be. Purity means to acknowledge the truth as it is in the present moment. This brings integrity to our practice, creating a solid foundation from which to grow upon.
Suacha means that we take care of our body on and off the mat. Eating a healthy diet, being adequately hydrated, having a regular exercise routine, a consistent yoga practice and daily self care habits set us up for good health.
Saucha ties into the 5th yama, aparigraha, the practice letting go. Emotionally, if we aren't processing and holding on to things from the past like anger and resentment, it's time to find forgiveness and feel freedom from experience that has drained our personal power. Otherwise we continue to respond with the same reactionary behavior of past experiences rather than the truth of the present moment.
Being pure in the moment is having our head and heart in the same place. It means letting go of multitasking. We think we are accomplishing more, but nothing to the best of our ability. We end up cheating ourselves of the peace we find in the simplicity of doing one thing fully.
The practice of saucha, or purity, helps us to lose the heaviness of waste and clutter, we begin to feel lighter, more spacious and expansive. Our bodies become more alive, our minds become more clear and our hearts more compassionate.
How can you begin to purge and feel a greater sense of lightness?