Sunday, January 23, 2011

2nd Week of 10 Week Program: Yoga Sutra - Saucha (cleanliness)

In classical yoga, Patanjali placed yama and niyama before asana on the eightfold path. But most modern students learn asana first, without reference to the other essential limbs on the tree of yoga. If you teach hatha yoga, it can be difficult to ground the teaching in classical philosophy. Here we offer ways to seamlessly incorporate the five niyamas into an asana class.

Saucha (Cleanliness)
The most common translation of saucha is "cleanliness."

From the inside out, I encourage you to cleanse your internal organs with wellness products such as the Ultra Body cleanse.

But saucha, at its root, is concerned with keeping different energies distinct. Saucha ensures and protects the sanctity of the energy around us. We can teach saucha through focusing on the grossest physical concerns (such as asking students to come to class without strong body odors, and to wipe off sweat-drenched mats) as well as more subtle energetic issues.

There are several ways to incorporate the teachings of saucha. The first is to teach students put away their mats, props, and blankets in an orderly manner, with all the edges aligned, so that no one else will have to arrange them. This practice will help students cultivate an awareness of their surroundings.

Be mindful of other students' mats and to refrain from stepping on them as they cross the room to get props or go to the wall. Not only is this a hygienic practice, it also teaches the importance of keeping the energy of their own practice distinct from the energy of others. In asana practice, the mat represents the world-the way we treat our mat reflects the way we treat our world. As we teach our students to handle their mats with care, we are helping them learn the essence of respect for all things.

When you sit in straight lines or circles, the energies around you flow in an orderly fashion, and this keeps the energy of the room clean. If the mats are not arranged in an orderly way, one student's energy interferes with the energy of another. When students are positioned neatly, a synergistic effect takes place-the effect of one student's work and energy helps the rest of the class do the pose. Likewise, the energy of the collective group helps each individual do the pose.

Chanting om again at the end of class seals the energy of the practice before moving back out into the world. Such a separation of energies is, once again, saucha.

The Breath Is The King Of The Mind

Here is my interpretation of the Deep Diaphamatic Breathing


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