Lately, without even trying, I have been giving a new appreciation and understanding of saucha, or cleanliness, within my practice and life. Saucha is one of the Niyamas, which is the second limb of yoga. (The Niyamas are restraints on our selves, or essentially Self Care to live by, including saucha (cleanliness), santosha (contentment), tapas (burning enthusiasm or zeal), svadhyaya (self-inquiry/study), and Isvara pranidhana (surrender to the all knowing).)
Saucha usually is taught as physical cleanliness. Often yogis will point to different cleaning techniques for the body including, but not limited to, scraping the tongue, daily showers, nedi pots, etc. Sometimes it will also bleed out into breathing techniques that help clean the blood, or poses that will revive and strengthen different organs.
However saucha is traditionally taught to help remove energy blockages to help quicken spiritual realization. Although physical cleanliness is important, so to is the cleanliness of every other bodily system.
In yoga there are many different bodies that encase the mind, which encases the soul. These include the physical body, the emotional body, and the energetic body. The energetic body is most often identified with the chakras and the Kundalini. However there are also the Ha, or sun/male energy, and the Tha, or moon/female energy, that twist up the main Kundalini center and criss cross at each of the seven major chakras meeting at the throat to eventually leave out the crown. Then there are thousands of different channels coming out of each. After adding in all the nadis in a picture the energetic system looks a lot like the circulatory system.
At the end of last week I went to see a friend of mind for a Shamanic session. Little did I know, there had been a long time entity (a darker energy that leaches off of your energy and drains you) attached to me that had seemingly been with me my whole life. Although at one point I had invited this entity to share this space with me, and had made a contract, at this point in my life it was no longer serving me. It was time to let go.
After the healing, I felt like my aura and whole energy field was gold sparkles and rainbows. In fact I had never experienced a truly cleansed and beautiful feeling such as this in all my life. Even with all my detoxing, cleaning, and energy work, I had never truly felt this light before.
Afterwards my friend had given me some ‘homework’ or energy work I needed to do in order to stay clean and free of negative energies clinging on to me once more. I had not truly appreciated the freedom and weightlessness of being removed of an energy that was essentially living off my energy, until a week into using these techniques.
One such homework assignment was to take two baths within the week using Epsom salt and either lavender or eucalyptus oil. It was during my second such bath that all pent up energy truly fell off. I had daily been clearing off other people’s energy, grounding, and working with protective shields; but it was during this second bath that I truly felt that empty clean feeling. I could feel each nadi pulsing with energy, my aura felt gold, and I felt light but so grounded; it was as if I had a tourniquet tied to my left shoulder, cutting off all the blood to my left arm, was finally taken off and life was rushing back into the neglected limb.
After this, my daily cleaning off the energies and grounding took on new meaning. It did not matter if I ate light foods or heavy foods, I was in a constant state of fasting high – where you feel completely pure. It is something close to being reborn, or having all the bad blood sucked out of you and in turn being infused with pure light.
When I then sat down to meditate it hit me, this, this is what is meant by Saucha. This is what the yogis have always meant by cleanliness. Sure I could scrub and scrub my body away of all the dirt; but emotional, mental, and spiritual trauma, those wounds ran deep – those could not just physically be scrubbed away.
In conjunction with my other studies, I have began a path of truly understanding Saucha. I not only do daily cleanings of my body; but now I also do so of my energy, mind, and heart. I take time out of each day to delve deep into those energies, emotions, and thoughts no longer serving me; and work to remove them. I work to create the cleanest and purest environment for my spirit.
I highly encourage anyone looking to further their practice of yoga or any other spiritual path to look into working within cleaning each and every case of their soul. It is an invigorating process to work with spiritual healers, and as each piece gets chipped away, room is created for wholeness.
Practice in Peace and Love ❤