Saucha, or cleanliness, is the first of the five Niyamas, the personal observances laid out by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras to guide yogis along the spiritual path. In the practice of Yoga, we observe cleanliness of body, mind, spirit, and surroundings. We will spend more time in our homes this year as the colder season sets in and indoor gatherings are limited. We can take this opportunity to enjoy more time for quiet practices like yoga, meditation, and introspection.
Taking some time for Saucha prior to engaging in your practice, either on your own or with an online class, can be gratifying and pleasant, and can help you focus. Even if you don’t have a room or space that is a dedicated to your practice and nothing else, you can make a shared space a sanctuary by tidying up, removing dirt brought in by daily activities, and creating some visual simplicity so that you will not be distracted. Bathing or even just changing clothes and washing your face and mouth can help remove distractions and energies from the day behind you. The time spent on Saucha for your space and body allows the mind and spiritual intention to be directed toward your practice.