What Does Saucha Mean In Yoga? & 5 Ways to Practice Saucha at Home

What Does Saucha Mean In Yoga? & 5 Ways to Practice Saucha at Home

What Does Saucha Mean In Yoga? & 5 Ways to Practice Saucha at Home

 

Have you ever encountered the phrase “tidy space equals a tidy mind”? Well, that phrase also applies to our yoga practice, especially when we consider Saucha. Saucha is the first niyama (personal observation) of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, a guide in yogic wisdom. Saucha in Sanskrit is often translated to mean “cleanliness” or “purity”. And there are so many ways we can practice Saucha in our daily lives at home, even if we’re not stepping onto our yoga mat. By practicing Saucha off the yoga mat, we can create greater concentration and awareness once we come to our practice on the yoga mat. So, let’s look at a few ways you can practice Saucha at home and stay connected to the practice of yoga, even when you’re doing the washing up. 

1. Clean your Yoga Mat and Yoga Props

When we step onto our yoga mat with bare feet and hands, it’s our time to connect with ourselves and our practice so we deserve to have a clean canvas on which to create. And our yoga mat can be a breeding ground for germs if we don’t keep it clean. Therefore, for best practice, try to wipe down your yoga mat after each use. The act of wiping your mat can also symbolise a continuation of your yoga through Saucha and self-care. Try to make it a habit so that each time you step onto your yoga mat, you can greet your practice fresh and renewed. 

A few ways in which you can clean your yoga mat are: 

  • A cloth and an eco-friendly anti-bacterial spray (available at your local shops)
  • A cloth and your own blend of white vinegar, tea tree oil, baking soda and water
  • A cloth and a specifically designed yoga mat cleaner (available from a variety of yoga shops)

Using one of these methods to give your yoga mat a wipe down should help keep bacteria and grime that can build up over time at bay.

Also, if you use any yoga props, such as yoga blocks, use the same method outlined above to wipe down your blocks and keep them dirt-free. 

For those that have a lot of props for restorative yoga, it’s a good idea to look at cleaning those, too, every now and then. So if you use a meditation cushion, a yoga bolster, or an eye pillow, check out the cleaning instructions and set aside some time to clean and give your props some love. 

You might also want to give your yoga mat a bit of an energetic cleansing as each time we step onto our yoga mats, we bring new energy. You can do this by lighting some sage or palo santo and slowly passing it above your yoga mat in a practice of Saucha. Maybe set an intention during this ritual and send gratitude to your yoga mat for its support. 

2. Housework 

Sometimes (or a lot of the time, perhaps), housework can seem like a boring chore that you keep putting off. But, what if we reframed the idea to consider it as part of our yoga practice? As mentioned above, tidying our space can help us tidy our mind and improve our concentration and awareness, so, if you’re someone who practices from home a lot, think about the space you practice in. How can I keep my practice space as clean and tidy as possible? This can really help our focus when we practice so that when we’re in a warrior 2 our mind doesn’t then wander to things like “Oh I really must tidy those books away after practice.” 

My advice would be to take a look around your space before you roll out your yoga mat and see how you could make that space tidier, cleaner and just generally a nicer space for you to practice in. Some things you might want to do is sweep or vacuum the area first or maybe you want to tidy some things away or maybe rearrange so that from your yoga mat you have a nice view out of your window or looking at some plants, candles or crystals. Perhaps it would help to get the washing up out of the way first and then roll out your yoga mat. 

Keeping Saucha in mind, it might inspire you to also declutter/clean that space you’ve been neglecting. Perhaps you need to get rid of old clothes, clean the bathroom or go through some clutter that has been building up. Maybe think of one area of your home you could dedicate a bit more time to and give it a bit of a spruce.

3. Self-Care

Practicing self-care as Saucha can take many different forms. This can mean washing ourselves with a nice soap, taking a relaxing bath, washing your feet, having a massage, putting some oils in your diffuser, journalling etc. A whole other article could be dedicated to this form of Saucha so we won’t spend too long here but I would invite you to think of one thing you might do today or this week to practice self-care and feel a bit more connected to Saucha. Here are 25 easy self-care day ideas to help get you self-care inspired. If you’d like to share what that thing was, leave a comment below :)

4. Cooking with Saucha 

Food is such an integral part of our health, nourishment and keeping our bodies clean and able. This doesn’t mean you need to start a detox diet or juice cleanse. However, you might focus your practice of Saucha in the kitchen by cooking up a nourishing meal full of veggies and nutrients. Maybe this is your chance to explore ayurvedic practices and ayurvedic cooking.

5. Movement

Last but not least, one of the ways we can practice Saucha and cleanse and detoxify the body is through movement. This doesn’t have to be through a yoga practice. This might mean taking a stroll in nature (something that always makes me feel rejuvenated) or putting on your favourite song or playlist and dancing like no one’s watching! Be silly, fun and playful. Saucha doesn’t have to be serious. Sometimes a good shake and boogie can be the most cleansing thing in the world! 

Saucha is an ancient yogic principle that invites us to consider how we can clean and purify both externally and internally. Practicing this from home can mean many different things and take on different forms for different people. I invite you to consider where you might dedicate more of your yoga practice to Saucha off the yoga mat. Do you need to clear out your wardrobe, give the floor a clean, cook up a storm, dance around the house or maybe dedicate some time to self-care? Try out a few things and notice where you feel closer to the practice and the idea of Saucha. 

Let us know what worked for you by commenting below! 

 

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This blog post was brought to you by Rachel Dean.
Rachel is a yoga teacher and writer currently based in Northern Mexico.
"An adventurer, wildflower, cat lover and sunset chaser.
Yoga is a creative expression of our soul <3"
@sunnyrachelyoga


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