Niyamas – Sauca – Cleanliness

Niyamas are the basis for a healthy relationship with ourselves. In yoga, we place ourselves in a relationship to something, focusing our mind and body to the art of ‘purification’ through Yoga practice in order to produce a positive effect the pursuit of the state of Yoga. 

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika text warns the student, “Graha Niyama” to not take these Niyamas to extremes as it reinforces unhealthy motivations and self-abuse. This guides the student to bespoke the practice and walk the ‘middle path’. 

The first Niyama is Sauca which is the caring for ourselves and our environment, making it clean and tidy. It literally means cleanliness, Sauca is to shine, gleam, to be clean. Sauca usually refers to the exterior inhabitance, but it also applies to the internal as well, equally nourishing the healthy and unhealthy parts of ourselves. Sometimes we have to trick ourselves to do this as we don’t give ourselves the same attention as if we were caring for a family member, a friend or a beloved pet. We tend to treat them better than we treat ourselves.

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Published on April 22, 2024