Shaucha - First Niyama: The Yoga Practice of Cleanliness

Image: canvas

"When there is both internal and external cleanliness, it approaches piety."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

The area we encompass on this bodily world and the area we create in our psychological world (by way of ideas and experiences) is the place our lifespan is spent. What do you suppose is a very powerful factor to reside fortunately on this room? It is the room itself; the cleanliness of this room!

Based on this concept of ​​cleanliness, yoga encompasses a holistic system that prepares the premise for an individual's self-development. This system consists of 5 workout routines that we all know as "Niyama – the second link of yoga".

What is Shaucha?

Shaucha is the yogic observe of cleanliness of our outer and inside world by way of bodily, psychological and day by day actions of our life. It actually refers back to the purity of thoughts, physique and spirit.

Before yoga workout routines develop into be just right for you, it is best to be sure that the medium of yoga is totally clear and clear. Physically, this medium may very well be your yoga room, clothes, mat, or different equipment that you simply use. In the thoughts, cleanliness refers to purity in your ideas. Shaucha goals on the purity of those media.

The time period Saucha has a particular that means within the yogic custom. The compilation work of the sage Patanjalis, the Yoga Sutras, explains the self-discipline of Raja Yoga by way of an eight-part system, the eight limbs of yoga.

Shaucha is the primary of the second limbs (Niyama) of Ashtanga Yoga.

Shaucha as the primary niyama

The thought of ​​Niyama is to situation our thoughts and physique in a manner that enhances the philosophies of yoga. Niyama, or obedience, is in some ways a behavioral extension of the ethical code of yama.

The Yamas kind the fundamental ethical compass for the philosophy of yoga, which is integrated into our lives by way of the acts of Niyama. For instance, poisonous impurities (of all varieties, elemental, emotional, or mental) may be dangerous to our thoughts and physique, others and the surroundings. In such instances, the observe of Shaucha can set up purity and thus observe the non-injurious worth of Yama.

Shaucha as the primary Niyama varieties the premise for all Niyamas. And Saucha will provoke a sequence means of observance that can set off all the Niyamas in flip. 5 Niyamas are Shaucha (cleanliness), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (thrift), Swadhyaya (self-study) and Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion to the Almighty).

Cleanliness of the thoughts and physique promotes complacency or santosha. A wholesome thoughts and physique is a cheerful thoughts and physique. A complacent thoughts could have a larger means to attain self-discipline. Also, a disciplined thoughts will likely be extra targeted on studying. And lastly, a discovered thoughts will see the worth of devotion.

Shaucha in day by day life

Shaucha in daily lifeImage: canvas

Shaucha as Niyama refers to numerous yoga and way of life practices that set up religious purity by preserving the physique, thoughts and spirit pure.

To perceive the true that means of shaucha, we have to consider the several types of shaucha:

  • Shaucha of the physique
  • Shaucha of the thoughts
  • Shaucha of power
  • Shaucha's speech
  • Shaucha in vitamin
  • Shaucha on Mat
  • Shaucha at residence
  • Shaucha of the surroundings

1. Shaucha of the physique

Shaucha of the physique is worried with preserving our physique clear each in and out. The physique cleaning course of talked about within the Hatha Yoga system Shatkarma is a conventional Shaucha observe.

While life hygiene habits equivalent to bathing, brushing, flossing, washing palms and the like help exterior cleansing. Shatkarma helps with the interior cleaning of the organs and tracts.

The Shatkarma Kriya lets you cleanse your abdomen and respiratory tract, your belly organs and your rectum tract. Shaucha of the physique, each the floor and the organs and techniques, will preserve you bodily wholesome.

2. Shaucha of the thoughts

Shaucha of the thoughts refers to mental purity. Spiritual impurities may cause hurt in two methods. The one that has the poisonous ideas in thoughts suffers from psychological regression and biochemical deficiencies that have an effect on the physiology of the physique. In addition, poisonous ideas can set off behaviors which are dangerous to others and the surroundings.

The finest manner for shaucha of the thoughts is to meditate, get sufficient relaxation, and have interaction in psychological therapies when wanted. A disciplined way of life and day by day routine additionally assist scale back psychological toxicity.

3. Shaucha of power

Prana or life power is seen as important to our existence. The life drive, which is also known as important air, is essential for motion and motion on a mobile degree.

Blocked power portals and contamination result in illnesses and problems. Shaucha of Energy promotes a wholesome circulation of power that normalizes the functioning of the physique techniques. Energy and chakra cleaning meditation methods are efficient methods to cleanse the power.

4. Shaucha's speech

Our phrases may also be polluted with defilements. Words that trigger hurt to others and the surroundings are thought of defilements in language. Often the impurities of thoughts and power manifest in speech. Saucha's yogic practices warn practitioners to concentrate to their language.

The Saucha of language may be practiced by way of meditative processes that enhance consciousness and consciousness. Awareness provides you aware management over language formation that helps you filter impurities out of your speech stream.

5. Shaucha in weight loss program

The yogic philosophy categorizes our existence into 5 completely different shells, PanchaKoshas. The outer shell, our bodily physique, known as the nourishing shell (Annamaya Kosha). This is as a result of our bodily physique is actually made up of the meals we eat. When impurities are present in our weight loss program, they ultimately develop into part of our bodily existence. Hence, you will need to keep wholesome.

For this, the yogis comply with a sattvik weight loss program or a yogic weight loss program. A sattvik weight loss program is nutritionally full and simply digestible. It attaches nice significance to fruits and recent greens, complete grain merchandise, milk and ghee, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, candy fruits, medicinal herbs, pure sweeteners equivalent to honey and cold-pressed oils.

6. Shaucha on mat

Saucha may also be noticed by way of the yoga asana. Before beginning the observe, clear your physique totally. Wear recent, clear garments when you observe and be sure that your yoga mat is commonly maintained and cleaned. You must also clear and tidy up the room the place you observe yoga.

Practicing in an open area normally helps Shaucha observe. Compliance with cleanliness in your asana observe will guarantee posture perfection and robust advantages.

7. Shaucha at residence

Your house is the place you reside. Keeping it clear shouldn’t be solely your ethical obligation but additionally a profit. It is commonly believed that the state and association of our environment have the power to affect our inside power. Even the traditional Chinese conventional observe, Feng Shui, is predicated on this concept.

Shaucha of the abode during which we reside is essential to psychological and bodily wellbeing. Keep the constructs and furnishings clear from dust and disinfected from germs. Tidying up our belongings, commonly cleansing our garments and varied inside materials are some fundamental Saucha practices for the house.

A clear surroundings has quite a lot of results on our existence. A clear and sterile residence primarily prevents the event of an unsanitary ecosystem. Otherwise it will harbor a large number of illnesses. And secondly, a clear surroundings is rapidly perceived by our senses in an effort to create a sense of well-being.

8. Shaucha of the surroundings

Mahatma Gandhi, the person we all know for India's independence, mentioned himself that "sanitary hygiene is more important than independence". Our existence is influenced not solely by our residence, but additionally by the surroundings during which we reside. An surroundings stuffed with poisonous components will pollute our lives, trigger quite a lot of illnesses, and suffocate us to demise.

So Saucha might be a very powerful type of cleanliness for the surroundings. After all, what good is it to cleanse the physique if the air you breathe is polluted and the meals you eat is polluted?

Few practices from Saucha for Environment intention to boost environmental consciousness, concentrate on particular person waste disposal, develop neighborhood waste administration and recycling techniques, develop life with a low ecological footprint, use environmentally pleasant merchandise, and the like.

Personal advantages of Saucha

The observe of Shaucha has a holistic that means, each on a private and social degree. The yogic tradition revolves primarily across the widespread good and connects Saucha with the well-being of all creations. However, the private advantages of shaucha are simply as promising:

  • Shaucha drastically reduces your probabilities of growing microbial infections.
  • It improves your digestion and immunity
  • With higher functioning physique organs and techniques, it improves your general bodily well being.
  • A nice feeling for the senses.
  • Reduce readability of thought and stress.
  • Improved focus.
  • Develop self-discipline.
  • Be effectively acquired and appreciated by others and in society.
  • Be successfully articulated.
  • Improved bodily and psychological situation to observe different yoga limbs

Shatkarma observe for Shaucha

The Shatkarma practices or Shatkriya have given the very best significance in Hatha Yoga. Technically talking, 6 Shatkarma practices induce inside bodily cleaning, however in actuality they have an effect on our whole thoughts, physique and power.

  • Dhauti – abdomen cleaning on an empty abdomen. At Dhauti, the practitioner drinks 1-1.5 liters of water, then sticks two fingers down the throat and pukes the water from the abdomen together with the remaining impurities.
  • Basti – colon cleaning much like a yogic enema. Water is drawn from the anus and into the colon by contracting the associating muscle tissues. And then the water is flushed out by way of the anus and the colon is cleaned.
  • Neti – cleansing the nasal passages. The practitioner makes use of a neti pot to pour water by way of one nostril and dispense it by way of the opposite. The water enters one nostril, passes by way of the nasal cavity, and exits by way of the opposite nostril. On the way in which, the water cleans the passages.
  • Trataka – purification of the organs of focus. The practitioner is observing one level. The regular gaze cleanses the nerve tracts, eyes and the thoughts (of impure distracting ideas).
  • Nauli – cleansing of the belly organs and ducts. The practitioner rotates the belly muscle tissues clockwise and counterclockwise. This method stimulates digestion and corrects motion problems within the stomach.
  • Kapalabhati – cleansing of the cranium. Kapalabhati are consecutive vigorous exhalations that work the lungs, diaphragm, and belly muscle tissues. This method works alongside the road of the seven chakras and ensures efficient power cleaning. Because respiratory controls the circulation of power, Kapalabhati improves your management over the circulation of power.

Contemporary Saucha Practices

The Yoga Sutras and different historical yogic texts are treasure troves of knowledge, however they don’t deal with a few of the issues of contemporary instances. The defilements have elevated enormously because the Vedic interval, which varieties the premise of yoga tradition. And these elevated impurities imply that there have to be some up to date inclusions within the observe of Shaucha.

  • Asana observe with Shakti Yoga Flow. The Shakti Yoga Flow is more and more useful for the purification of thoughts and power. Warm up with pranayama.
  • Keep your yoga room and equipment clear.
  • Maintain strict oral hygiene. Our tooth and gums are an necessary avenue for illness.
  • Keep a clear closet.
  • Physical care equivalent to moisturizing, deep cleaning of the pores and skin, elimination of blackheads, and varied pores and skin remedies are good. They preserve the pores and skin wholesome and hydrated and shield in opposition to air pollution. We typically ignore our pores and skin however neglect that it’s your immune system's first line of protection.
  • Keep your hair and nails clear.
  • Bathe commonly.
  • Keep your private home clear, tidy, and orderly.
  • Keep your mattress additional clear and disinfected.
  • Practice hygienic sexual interactions.
  • Keep your meals processing tools, utensils, and equipment clear.
  • Avoid consuming processed meals.
  • Avoid dangerous and intoxicating habits like smoking and ingesting.
  • Meditate commonly


Shaucha is a broadly accepted and acknowledged observe. No single scientific or religious establishment will contradict the advantages of shaucha. Indeed, the observe of Shaucha has been current because the starting of civilization and has performed a vital function in our evolution.

The that means of Shaucha is deeply embedded in our genetics and constitutes a bigger a part of our inside work than we’re conscious of. Shaucha was a part of our complete life rising up, no less than partially. Every well being and hygiene observe you may keep in mind taught by your ancestors is a sort of shaucha. So you already know methods to observe Shaucha, all you must do is consciously apply it to your life.


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