Although many yoga students learn asana practice first, the ocean of Yoga has many teachings to offer. Pantajali's classical Eightfold Path places yama and niyama before asana; more teachings are categorized within these limbs as well (yogi's love their lists!).
These offerings may not be a common theme in a typical yoga class, yet it is important to understand the information and apply it to our practice.
The niyamas include 5 observances: Saucha (cleanliness of thought, mind and body), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (spiritual effort), Svādhyāya (self-study), and Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to God). Today we will touch on the first niyama, Saucha.
As yogis we understand the importance of clean thoughts and intentions; our limiting words and judgements are a nasty byproduct of the ego. Committing to cleaning up your thoughts, words and actions cleans up your energy, your life. With less clutter we can flow through life with greater ease and clarity. With this cleanliness everything becomes easier.
Purity IS health! We can think of this quite literally, finding that perfect cleanse, keeping our homes clean, and caring for ourselves properly.
When we step onto our mats alongside perhaps 40 or 50 other sweaty yogis, saucha is incredibly important to maintain the respect and comfortability of the room. Honour yourself and your fellow yogi by keeping your props tidy, your mat lined up, and above all your personal hygiene tended to. Just as we expect a fragrance-free studio space, we ask that you come with an awareness of your personal saucha. Obviously things are going to get sweaty, that's the point!! But ensuring that you are coming in decently showered and such will keep the space enjoyable for all.
Friendly etiquette reminder and philosophy lesson wrapped into one! Thank you and namaste.