“Hydration Happiness” is a holistic approach to well-being that recognizes the harmony of physical and mental health with optimal hydration. It’s HOT and we need to drink a little more. Homeostasis & drinking often and mindfully will reward us with improved energy, mood, and overall Wellbeing.
Drink Water Mindfully
Practice mindful drinking by paying attention to your body’s signals and sipping water throughout the day. Establish daily water intake goals based on your thirst, activity level, and climate (HOT). Apps or reminders can help you stay on track. Stay hydrated!
Hydration contributes to skin elasticity, preventing dryness and promoting a vibrant, youthful complexion. Experiment with herbal teas, infused water, or electrolyte drinks to make your hydration routine enjoyable and personalized. Remember to drink your water, your skin will thank you now & later.
Enhanced Cognitive Function
Hydration is essential for maintaining concentration, alertness, and cognitive function. It can positively impact memory and overall brain performance. Being well-hydrated helps the body manage stress more effectively, reducing the physical and mental toll of stressful situations. Stay hydrated to stay present!
Enhanced Physical Wellbeing
Our bodies simply function and perform better when properly hydrated. Optimal hydration helps maintain optimal bodily functions, including circulation and nutrient transportation, leading to increased energy levels. Keep sipping your 2L a day, ideally away from meals to enhance digestion.
Celebrations and Salutations to to our beloved Yoga community, November is a perfect time to delve into the profound benefits of standing postures – sometimes overlooked or overdone in Yoga practice.Standing postures strengthen our physical bodies – legs, core, spine – and are protective postures. They also create a harmonious balance of breath, mind, and emotions.
We feel the wobbles, we notice when our mind wanders away from the practice, we notice when we feel grounded and the balance is simple, and we notice when nothing! will balance. And we practice acceptance. And we PRACTICE.
All standing postures require balance, not only the one-legged varieties! Try placing your right heel in front of your left toes, like you were on a tightrope. Feel the challenge to your balance. Then close your eyes. Thanks, Di M, you taught me this years ago.
Balancing on TWO feet. It’s a thing!
What to notice when you’re balancing on two feet (any orientation, even standing in a queue!) Inquiry questions: Is most weight on balls or heels? Left or right foot? And bring back to balance with your awareness. I’m standing as I’m typing this, and way more weight is on balls and left foot! Bringing it back.
Are my knees soft? Is there a gentle natural curve in my lower back? Is my belly firm yet soft?Is my crown reaching for the sky and feet reaching to centre of the earth? Is my breathing relaxed and balanced inhale & exhales?
Some balancing standing postures to practise, 5 min each. Tadasana:
1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose): Simply Standing.
The simplicity of Tadasana is deceptive, as it forms the foundation for many standing poses. By grounding the feet and lengthening the spine, this pose promotes a sense of stability and calm. Tadasana engages the entire body, from the toes to the crown of the head, aligning the energy centers and creating a harmonious flow of vitality. Arms can be by your sides or above your head. Through the stillness of Mountain Pose, you practise centring yourself, creating a balance that resonates both physically and mentally. Extra challenge – close your eyes and work through the steps above.
Tree pose, traditional Balance
2. Vrikshasana (Tree Pose):
Vrikshasana embodies the essence of balance, requiring practitioners to stand on one leg while maintaining a steady gaze. This posture not only strengthens your legs, and core & spine, but also cultivates concentration and focus.As the body sways, like a tree in the woods, the mind learns to explore equilibrium, teaching us to adapt, breath and stay grounded in the face of life’s challenges. The Tree Pose brings balance physically, instilling a deep sense of emotional and mental stability. Extra challenges – change foot position, raise arms.
Last week we explored Utthita Trikonasana, extended Triangle Pose. This week, we’ll explore the revolved version (standing, balancing extended twist).This posture is a dynamic standing posture that engages the entire body. It stretches the legs, opens the chest, and extends the spine, relieving back pain as we twist. Legs are straight and you’ll need to take a smaller gap between your feet. Use blocks for support and keep moving your shoulders to right angles to your hips.
Extra challenges – stretch the mat with your feet then contract and feel the difference, strength and balance. Your revolved triangle encourages a delicate dance between strength and flexibility, exploring balance physically, mentally and emotionally. As the body twists and reaches in opposite directions, you may experience a profound release of tension, and a calm balanced state of being.
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, standing postures serve as anchors, allowingus to find stability amidst the chaos and wonders of daily life. Keep Standing!
Who is dreaming of a quiet, peaceful retreat in Nature with no chores, being looked after with great food, Yoga and Meditation?
I love Retreats, getting away from life’s minutiae with incredible people and experiences with the opportunities to breathe, reflect and go within for incredble transformations, particularly when we open our Beginners’ minds. And wonder….
Retreats in nature, with guidance from exceptional teachers, possess a transformative power. In the heart of the serene Mountainscape of Springbrook, away from the demands of daily life, we can become a canvas for our own self-discovery.
The magic of the Mountain, whispering trees, the Quiet! and the soothing melody of flowing water bring a sense of Peace, and invite introspection and contemplation. And Rest. Our Retreats allow real slowing down amid nature’s embrace allows us to reconnect with our inner voice, unlocking hidden potentials and deepening self-awareness. In these moments of stillness, profound realizations can take root, fostering personal growth and healing.
Accompanied by the wisdom of our amazing teachers, Centenary Yoga retreats are sacred spaces, offering transformative insights and guiding transformational journeys. The combination of nature’s tranquility, reflective contemplation, and the wisdom of exceptional teachers creates a powerful alchemy, inquiring & reshaping perspectives, nurturing resilience, and illuminating the path toward self-discovery and inner peace.
2024 Springbrook Retreat Dates: Feb 15th – 18th (Thurs – Sunday) FULLY BOOKED waitlist open June 14th – 16th (Fri-Sun) NEW DATES, will be open for bookings next week. Sept 18th – 22nd (Wed – Sun) Bookings open. 5 day retreat with 3 day option, $200 deposit. https://centenaryyoga.com.au/product/5-day-retreat-offering-at-springbrook-q-sept-2024/ Bali Retreat? I’m looking into booking our first international retreat July 2024. Watch this space!
In our Yoga practise and in our lives, the concept of the Beginner’s Mind is a useful tool to consider. We know the tedium of listening to someone who ‘knows everything’, Yes, they can be earnest in their willingness to help, yet how joyful can it be to discover things for ourselves; the joy of wonder and the art of embracing the unknown. Rooted in Zen Buddhism, the Beginner’s Mind encourages us to approach life with fresh eyes, unburdened by preconceived notions (how difficult it that!) and to revel in the joy of discovery. This approach not only enriches our Yoga practice but infuses vitality into our lives. “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind, there are few.” (Shunryu Suzuki) Consider the beauty of a mind unshackled by expertise, where every pose, every breath becomes an opportunity to explore, learn, and develop in unconsidered ways. ‘And by taking this approach… you’ll start observing yourself and your life in a diffent manner, much like a primary school student with a project. You have a project. And you’re it.'( quote from my book,The Real Me). Incorporating the Beginner’s Mind into Yoga can be as simple as embracing two fundamental asanas: Child’s Pose (Balasana) and Mountain Pose (Tadasana). In Child’s Pose, we can reconnect with the sense of security and curiosity akin to a child exploring the world. Here, the body surrenders, and the mind & back-body opens, allowing a deep sense of wonder & release to permeate the practice. Performing Mountain Pose, we can stand tall and grounded, embodying the essence of a beginner ready to take a first step, ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery with a sense of awe and excitement. The practice of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing) offers a profound way to explore the Beginner’s Mind. This breathing technique balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain, promoting mental clarity and emotional balance. Through this pranayama, allow & experience a sense of newfound wonder in the simplicity of breath, connecting deeply with the present moment. “The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes.” (Pema Chödrön) I love this.This wisdom reminds us that the Beginner’s Mind isn’t just about the self; it’s about extending the same curiosity and empathy to others, fostering deep and meaningful connections.In embracing the Beginner’s Mind through Yoga and life, we embark on a transformative journey where joy becomes meaning, and end, and a constant companion in each moment. Can we let go of what we think we know and approach every experience with wonder ?
Last month we considered how choosing discomfort can assist our quest for Balance. Winter can be uncomfortable! Finding Balance in Winter: Nurturing Mind and Body Brisbane Winter has arrived in force and, it’s essential to pay attention to our well-being and keep seeking balance and re-balance in our lives. The colder temperatures and shorter days can affect our bodies in unique ways, requiring us to adapt and find harmony within ourselves. Let’s explore how our bodies respond to the cooler weather and shorter days, and intentionally build practises for nurturing our well-being during the winter season. The Body’s Response to Cooler Weather During winter, our bodies respond to the drop in temperature in several ways. Firstly, our blood vessels constrict to conserve heat and maintain core body temperature. This can lead to decreased blood circulation, making us feel colder. Additionally, our metabolic rate may increase slightly as our bodies work harder to generate warmth. And, of course, cooler weather can cause muscles to tighten, leading to stiffness and reduced flexibility To counter these effects, it is crucial to engage in activities that promote warmth and flexibility, such as Yoga! “In winter’s embrace, our bodies seek warmth and harmony. Embrace the season with practices that nurture your soul and body.” Shorter Days The reduced daylight hours during winter can affect our mood and energy levels. Many people experience a dip in serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation, due to limited exposure to natural sunlight. This can lead to feelings of fatigue, low motivation, and even seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Sound familiar? To counteract these effects, it is essential to prioritize self-care activities that uplift the spirit and boost overall well-being. Yoga, the overdue massage (in a warm room!) connecting with friends and getting into Nature. “Winter is the perfect time to turn inward, explore the depths of your being, and reconnect with your inner sanctuary.” Get into Yoga Practicing Yoga during winter can be an excellent way to maintain physical and mental well-being. The flowing movements and focussed breathing during Yoga practises help increase blood circulation, warm the body, and enhance flexibility. Additionally, the camerderie, mindfulness and relaxation techniques incorporated at Centenary Yoga can reduce stress and uplift the spirit. Prioritize Self-Care Rituals Engaging in self-care rituals is vital during the winter season and these may be quite different to your Summer self care. Taking warm baths infused with essential oils (Cleopatra’s bath: add 1/4 cup milk to diffuse the oils and treat your skin), practicing meditation, if only for 5 quiet minutes per day, and enjoying an extra cup of warming herbal tea can provide a sense of comfort and relaxation. Listen to your body’s needs and make time for activities that nourish your soul. Connect with Nature Outdoors? in Winter? Please do, it’s crucial to spend time in nature whenever possible. Bundle up warmly and take a brisk walk at Rocks Riverside park or Toohey Forest. The fresh air and natural surroundings can uplift your mood, boost circulation. Your connection to the natural world is omnipresent, get out an experience it! Finding balance in winter is a journey of self-care and mindfulness. By understanding how our bodies respond to cooler weather and shorter days, we can make conscious choices to support our well-being. Embracing indoor yoga, prioritizing self-care rituals, and connecting with nature are all ways to nurture our bodies and minds during the winter season. As we navigate through the colder months, let us remember to embrace the beauty of winter and find inner harmony amidst its challenges. Discomforts are simply reminders from our bodies to choose actions which bring us to Rebalance. Finding Balance in our Yoga practice and life is a continuous journey and part of our human condition. Yes, it requires us to keep an open mind, a willingness to expand our comfort zones, and a commitment to self-care. At Centenary Yoga, we know that navigating Winter is an essential part of this rebalancing process. Let us embrace the discomfort, prioritize self-care, and consciously create a Balanced and fulfilling life. Each and every moment. Thanks for reading! Namaste 🙂
Balance Yoga Mudras – Anjali Mudra ‘I salute the divinity in you’ Mudras are a set of subtle physical movements or positions that can change one’s mood, attitude, or perspective, and which help increase concentration and alertness. A mudra can be a simple hand position or it can encompass the entire body. Mudra means “seal” or “closure” in Sanskrit. The science of Mudras, a part of Yoga is based on the fundamental principles of life, namely the five Elements: the five Pranas and the three Doshas (more on Sui We use these gestures often in meditation but also in asana and breathing practice to direct the flow of energy within the body by using the hands. Our fingers have more nerve endings than any other body part. They are ‘sense-’ itive and our prana/energy channels (nadis) are generally considered to correspond with our physical nerves. When we place our hands in yoga mudras, we stimulate different areas of the brain and create a specific energy circuit in the body. Some of you may be familiar with Anjali Mudra (palms together in front of your chest) as prayer pose or Namaste pose. Anjali mudra is a powerful gesture of wholeness, peace and respect. This mudra is found in the practice of many religions and represents devotion to a Higher Power, deep listening within, behaving with sincerity & respect. On a physical level, Anjali mudra unites the left and right sides of the brain and body. The many nerve endings/nadis in your right hand activate the left side of the brain which is linked to analytical skills, and your left hand stimulates the right hemisphere of the brain which is the creative & intuitive side of your brain. ‘When you touch your hands together both sides of the brain are stimulated simultaneously, which is said to integrate the brain to function as a whole and enhance our concentration and assimilation.’ (Vrndavan Dasi). The mind experiences positive thoughts, your breath slows and calms & opportunities for intuition arise. Anjali is a deeply balancing Mudra. How do we perform this mudra? Every Surya Namaskar starts with the practitioner bringing their hands in Anjali Mudra. However, there are ways to practice this mudra for most benefit First, sit in a comfortable position. You can sit on a chair, cushion, or in a sukhasana (easy cross legged pose). Keep your spine relaxed and lengthened. You can even tuck your slightly chin in to lengthen back of neck. Then, slowly bring your hands together in front of your heart chakra, the Anahata chakra. When you do this, your awareness is being directed to your heart, letting energy flow from other points of your body to the heart center. When correctly performed, your palms are not completely flat; allow space between the knuckles at the base of your fingers. This will also allow space between all knuckles. Fingertips are connected as are heels of you hands and outer edges of your thumbs and palms. This allows less tension in your hands and shoulders and a more open gesture to the Divine within us. It is not necessary to close your eyes. If you do so, you can be even more aware of the energy flowing to the center of your chest. Relax after taking a few deep breaths and relax your hands to your lap. Every time you bring your hands together, feel the two different aspects of your energy coming together in balance and harmony. You can also use this posture to bring more energy to your heart. Touch the thumbs to the sternum of your chest lightly. Arch your shoulder blades a little to open up the chest more. The elbows can be in line with your fingers. This change will take a little effort but the experience of balance would be greatly heightened. If holding for extended time, elbows may relax; let your body guide you. When do we perform Anjali Mudra ? In our yoga classes, we often embrace this mudra at the end of a class as a humble thanks and way of recognising our teacher and classmates & the light within ourselves and each of us. We centre our mind and body. Anjali mudra is also adopted in Mountain Pose and at the beginning/end of Sun Salutations but it may also be of assistance in standing Balancing poses like Tree Pose, pyramid pose, lunging twists and Yogi Squats (Malasana). When used in variations of Anjaneyasana (high lunge) and Warrior Poses, this mudra can add to the grounding, calming effect of these strong balance poses. In any yoga pose this mudra may gently remind us of our inward Balance & journey, as well as the spiritual purpose of our lives. The mudra can be practised during class, home practise, prayer and simply anytime to bring you back to Balance. How long to hold the Mudra? From 30 seconds to 30 minutes, as works with your intention and practise. Notice sensations, calmness, intuitions, improvements in concentration and memory and feelings of Balance. We are offering to the Divine, to the Divine within others and to the Divine within ourselves. Namaste, Sarah Thanks to Art of Living.org for material used to dot-point how to perform the mudra
‘Mentally and emotionally, working on our balance helps us develop a keener focus as well as the ability to keep an even keel despite the inevitable wobbles that arise in life.’ (Rachel Land)
Centenary Yoga’s theme for 2023 is Balance and through our practise and Newsletters, we will explore balance in detail.
*Send through any Balance related questions at any time and chat with your teachers about balance.*
In 2023 we’ll explore balance postures and using Yoga as a tool to bring more Balance into your life.
Think Tree Pose.
You will practise balance postures in each and every class. Every standing posture (even the two legged ones) are an opportunity to work on our balance. Balance poses offer tangible benefits: physically, balancing helps us access our core: the deep postural muscles that coordinate the separate parts of our bodies into an integrated whole. Tree Pose (vrksasana) is a common pose to practise and improve your balance.
We can all do it!
We can all currently balance, to some point or other, so balance in our practise is very accessible to everyone. We can all improve our balance, so it’s a skill we can practise. And feeling more physically balanced improves our confidence which feeds into our emotional and mental balance. And because balance is a learned skill, to maintain or improve it, we must challenge it!
Setting an intention
Balance is a simple intention to set for life, and for any practise. Sometimes teachers will invite you to set an intention for class. In those first few minutes as you are settling and breathing, and in your final relaxation, you might like to use the intention “I am balanced.” A simple intention focuses your physical practise & reaches into your subconscious and invites change. Balance reminds me to self-care.
Connecting with our feet
Again, think Tree pose. In our standing balance poses, we connect with our feet. As we culturally stuff our feet into shoes for much of the day, connecting to our feet, let alone balancing on one foot, can be instructive and challenging. Balances are grounding postures and keep us very much in the present moment with breath and body sensations: swaying, wobbling, focussing and sometimes toppling. And feeling parts of our feet that are usually ignored or unfamiliar. (Four corners of feet?? more next Newsletter)
Our feet are the foundation of standing balance. Each foot is made up of 26 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance and mobility. During our standing balances we explore these
Pro-prio-ception is the sensory awareness of our body in space. Can you touch your nose with your eyes closed? Lift your leg into tree pose without looking at it? Proprioception includes the awareness of posture, weight, movement, and limb position in relation to our environment and according to the other parts of our body.
Let’s start by improving proprioception (or sensory awareness) in our feet. Can you distribute your weight between the balls of our feet and our heels? Smoothly? Right now, can you spread your toes, feel and lift your arches?
or can go a long way toward helping us stand stronger—both on the mat and off it.Small practises such as these bring awareness back into your body and your posture and help strengthen your balance, both on the mat and in life.
Next Newsletter: Does Age affect our balance and Dr Michael Mosley’s scale to test your balance.
We live: we move. Movement is so simple, yet vital for life.
Our bodies are designed to move so without movement we cannot live our vital, interactive and best life! Movement gives us great circulation, mental wellbeing and coordination, whilst improving our learning skills. Quite simply, without movement we deteriorate. We have to move our bodies; its an imperative.
Sitting is the new smoking. So what about NEAT?
Research has linked a sedentary lifestyle with back pain, obesity, reduction in bone density, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer and depression. Compared to our agrarian ancestors who may have sat 3-4h per day, in modern western society, you might sit for up to 10-13 hours per day. Really. Estimate: how long do you sit? driving? working? Relaxing? What's your magic number? Likely somewhere between 4 and 13 hours.
How do we challenge our sedentary lifestyle for health and wellbeing? If you sit alot, take more breaks and when you do, Get Up! Simply standing makes a difference. Take a walk during or after lunch during your break. Ride the stairs instead of the lift, and maybe walk to a further bus stop or train station on route to and from work. Walk to your colleague in the office instead of sending an email. Walk to the local shops for grocery top up, instead of driving. And, of course, regular Yoga. Take more opportunities to move, today.
These simple activities increase your NEAT, an acronym for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Non-exercise? Hmm, you might think. How does this work? Quite simply, NEAT is the movement you do and energy you expend whilst engage in normal daily activities which do not include planned gym sport and cardio sessions.
In the last 10 years, science has supported that NEAT is an important way to boost your metabolism via your BMR (basal metabolic rate). This is the amount of energy your body burns through staying alive (breathing, moving, body temp, heart beating, thinking, even fidgeting!) And the higher your BMR, the more energy you naturally use/burn and the more vital & healthier your mind body will be.
Your BMR is not set in stone; it will be individual to you, but will also depend on your age, fitness level, diet, lifestyle, genetics and weight. NEAT can account for as little as 15% of energy expenditure in the very sedentary and up to 50% in very active individuals. Yes 50%!
This is great news for those of us who maybe have an injury or don't like hot & sweaty exercise! If you think you have a ‘slow metabolism’, yes, you may be right. However, you may not be as active as you need to be for your body type, and you can improve your metabolism, health and wellbeing by increasing your NEAT through Yoga and some of the simple suggestions above. Move More.
Yoga increases your BMR and your NEAT without being a cardio workout. Your body moves consistently through the practise and Yoga safely takes you beyond your usual range of movement for strength, flexibility and pain management. The breathing and pranayama aspect of Yoga also stimulates your metabolic rate.
So whether you commit to Yoga as part of your exercise regime or as regular habitual movement; move frequently and regularly, breathe and Get into Yoga!
You can also use a class from your 10 class pass; text or email teacher to use this option. We will be adding a 10 Class Online pass ($160) to the website soon.
Check your Tech:
Download the Zoom app on any device (available on Google Play or the App Store)
Tech: Wifi/4G – good internet connection
· Computer/laptop (ideal), iPad or other device (phones may be difficult due to small screen size)
The Zoom app (download Zoom for laptop/computer, download Zoom for Apple, download Zoom for Android
3. Ace your Space:
IF you can, choose a quiet comfortable space free of distraction. Set up near your modem for good connection.
Set up your mat and have 2 cushions or a bolster, 2 thin blankets and 2-3 blocks (or you can use books). Tell any family you’re available only if it’s an emergency! Explain gently to pets and close the door unless you have a pup or kitty relaxed around your yoga.
play play: If you’re new to Online Yoga, Set up your device and click on the link plenty of time before class. You will see yourself only (as the teacher won’t have logged in yet) so you so make any adjustments to lighting and position. You will also see how to mute and un-mute yourself. The mute button can be found to the bottom left of the screen. You can also turn on and off your video. Play around with the settings, then end the meeting with yourself. You will use the same link to join the class later. First time is the hardest!
10 Minutes Before Class Begins
Ensure you are wearing something comfortable.
Check your email for the link and click on it.
As the ‘Meeting’ starts, ensure your camera and microphone are allowed access. You may be the first person in the meeting. Stay there… others will be there soon.
Once we have said our hellos, please ‘mute’ your microphone when time to start class. You can always unmute if you have a question.
502 Network Error: This is often to do with your internet connection. Close and start again. If you have an alternative Web Browers (Safari, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox) try an alternative one of these.
We can’t hear you when speaking: Ensure your microphone is not muted. This button can be found on the bottom Left hand of the screen.
You can’t hear me: ensure your speaker is turned up (speaker symbol bottom right of screen)
All participants are the same size and you want to see your teacher: top right change from gallery view to speaker view
Privacy and Confidentiality
There is to be no videoing or recording of the virtual classroom. Permission is not granted for private or public reproduction of content.
Code of Conduct
Students should be mindful that a Zoom Meeting Room has students and staff connecting from various locations. For the comfort of everyone, please be mindful of:
Language and Noise – At times, students will be required to un-mute their microphones. Please ensure that whatever is heard by the group is free of profanities and free from extra background noise (no television or private conversations).
·Environment – Please ensure that your home environment that is in view of the class is appropriate for all participants.
·Respect – As per our usual classes in our yoga studio, it’s expected that all students, staff and anyone present is respectful, encouraging and kind.
Reporting an Issue
If at any time you have an issue please contact Sarah on 0468334636 or sarah @centenaryyoga.com.au
The first Niyama, Saucha,
translates as “purity”. This can be a scary thought – who amongst can
claim to be pure? Would we even want to? Where’s the fun in being
“pure”? Worse yet, incredibly horrible acts have been committed in
efforts to remove perceived moral impurities (the Spanish inquisition,
Hitler’s purges, ISIS, etc). However, the problem here lies not in
“Saucha”, but in its translation.
It may be better to think of Saucha as ‘…cleanliness of body, mind,
spirit and surroundings’ (Newlyn). Saucha is all about making healthy
choices: the food we eat – avoid preservatives, additives and
pesticides; what we drink – avoid or reduce caffeine and alcohol; wash
our bodies regularly; launder our clothes; clean our homes; a cleaner
environment – reduce pollution. These are all actions that remove
impurities from our lives.
In yoga, the practice of asana (postural exercises) and pranayama
(breathing exercises) tones our bodies, improves oxygen transfer in our
blood and stimulates our lymphatic and nervous systems. This purifies
our physical bodies. It helps our Prana (life force) to flow more
Meditation is an important part of yoga and this helps clear our
minds. Saucha starts with our thoughts. Negative thoughts or actions
towards others or towards ourselves are impurities of the mind. We
clean these impurities of the mind through being more mindful of our
feelings, words and actions. Guidance is provided by the other Yamas
and Niyamas, particularly Satya – truthfulness, honesty and integrity;
and Ahimsa – kindness.
Sullivan explains that ‘…saucha emphasizes the purity we find in our
hearts’ and we should ‘… cultivate devotion toward and sincere
appreciation for others, the habitual practice of gratitude, and the
offering of loving affection.’