Incorporate saucha (cleanliness) into your yoga practice with an asana, mantra, and mudra to help bring into focus the subtle and not-so-subtle ways this niyama plays out in your life.
Saucha translates to "cleanliness" or "purity" and helps us remember who we are at our core when we burn away distractions and obstacles. To incorporate saucha into your own life and practice, start with the pose, mudra (hand-and-finger gesture), and mantra (a sacred utterance repeated continuously) below. Do this practice on its own, add more poses with the accompanying 10-minute video sequence, or link all of the yamas and niyamas together, one pose as a time, forming a sequence.
Saucha Yoga Practice
Hold the pose, with its mudra, for 3–5 breaths, mindfully chanting, aloud or internally, its accompanying mantra.
Asana: Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose)
Lower down and extend your legs directly above your hips. This simple inversion, called Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose, facilitates the drainage of the lymphatic system, which aids in purifying the body and boosting one’s immunity. Rest your arms alongside your body with the palms turned up.
Mudra: Tattva Mudra
Bring each thumb to the base of the ring finger in Tattva (reality or truth) Mudra. This hand gesture reminds us that the true nature of the Self, or our fundamental essence, is transcendent, unchanging, pure, and whole.
Mantra: Om aim hridayam namaha
Chanting the heart mantra Om aim hridayam namaha (hridaya means “spiritual heart” or “heart center”) ignites the heart fire to burn through whatever blocks us from recognizing our true Self.
Watch the video
To tie it all together or to deepen your work around saucha, try this cleansing 10-minute practice with Coral Brown.
YOGA JOURNAL, SEPT 2015