It is normal that during spring (and also between seasons) we feel like cleaning the house, we try to create new spaces, we take out clothes from our closet, we prefer to eat lighter, etc. This is why this spring we invite you to synchronize with nature, to listen to yourself and to give you what you need.
Saucha, is a Sanskrit term that means purity, cleanliness and clarity, it is the first recommendation of behaviour to Yogis for themselves (Niyama). It has a multidimensional connotation: physical, energetic, emotional and mental.
Both in Yoga and in Ayurveda (its sister science), human beings are considered as a complete being, also composed of an infinite essence and Karma. This means that walking the path of Yoga does not only imply achieving physical well-being. Our body must be at the service of the BEING, we must take care of it so that it does not become an obstacle, but we should not make it an object of worship either.
In Hatha Yoga, a series of cleansing techniques (shatkarmas or Kriyas) are prescribed to all practitioners, suitable for any change of season. They are considered as important as the asana and pranayama practices. The purpose chased is to purge our physical body (annamaya kosha) and to access the subtle bodies. Classic Hatha Yoga texts (Hatha Pradipika and Gheranda Samhita) describe these techniques that include:
– Nasal cleansing (neti)
– Digestive tract cleansing (dhauti)
– Abdominal massage (nauli)
– Colon cleansing (bhasti)
– Frontal lobes purification (kapalabhati)
– Gaze focus and cleanliness (trataka)
How to do this «cleansing«, this Saucha, along with our daily Yoga practice? We invite you to explore all this available knowledge with some suggestions.
Saucha in your environment
When your home is cluttered, your mind feels foggy too. However, when we are in a clean environment, with light surfaces, without more possessions than necessary, after getting rid of objects stored for years… we can experience a feeling of greater space, making easier to feel free and with mind clarity. Practicing Yoga on a clean mat, taking care of the simplicity of our environment, in addition to clearing your mind, also shows respect towards to you and this discipline.
Saucha in your mind
Samskaras (those habits that you have acquired throughout your life) can both serve you or be obstacles to progress on the path of Yoga. To become aware of them, we need to generate observation and silence moments, to achieve mental cleansing, allowing new healthy habits. This helps us to move towards a more conscious and happier life. I suggest you read Patanjali. This Master describes some techniques for this purification of your thoughts (Samyama).
Saucha in your diet
Eating organic is considered a «cleaner» practice. If foods have preservatives and additives, your body needs to do extra work to remove those chemicals. A loving and non-violent diet (ahimsa) is good for you and for the planet, and will help you feel in harmony, both internally and externally.
Saucha in your body
As we said at the beginning, this time of year is the best to do a detox or fast. You must choose the duration of it according to your needs and the capacity of your body. Remember that for prolonged fasts (more than 3 days) it is always necessary to have a previous advice of a specialist.
You can try a monodiet: a classic Ayurvedic fast based on kitchari or a semi-fast based on fruit and vegetable juices. In my personal experience, I have verified that in times of fasting or mono-diet, our senses get sharpened, our vision purer, more «luminous», smell is also improved and our mind focuses better. In fasts you can drink infusions during the day, helping not to fall into «temptations». Tulsi infusions are perfect for this.
It is recommended, also in spring, to perform an Ayurvedic massage, which helps to eliminate the toxins accumulated during the winter. It is a good time to clean our nose with nasal burbot in the morning (if you suffer from spring allergies, you can do more continuous cleanings).
Practicing Kapalabhati is more than recommended, as it will help you eliminate lung congestion and also allowing a feeling of mental lightness. Asanas practice oriented to the digestive and circulatory system, together with the daily practice of Nauli are ideal and simple to do in this period.
Before concluding, I once again emphasize the importance of carrying out all these practices knowing our state of health and trends, and following the advice of a qualified naturopathic professional and/or yoga teacher.
… «a purified body and a calm mind become a worthy abode for the soul…»
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Nora Ávila – Chandra Ibiza
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