Niyamas can be described as the rules that need to be observed by individuals, on a more personal level. You have the ability and the power to touch the lives of everyone who you come into contact with and with everyone each of those people come into contact with. Think of the possibilities. The second of the 8 limbs of yoga are the five internal practices of Niyama (observance).
So lets begin with Saucha, the first of the Niyamas, it literally means living purely simply, cleanliness. It is easy to think of cleanliness in terms of keeping our environment clean, and you would be partly right.
Early I quoted one of my teachers as saying, “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.” Well now I am going to share a story on one of my teachers. Occasional my teachers and I will take road trips and attend workshops together which creates I nice time to get to know each other on a deeper level. On this particular weekend, there were 4 of us, so we shared two rooms. My roommate, who I have had the privilege of watching grow into a lovely teacher, showed up for this weekend in need of a new mat. LOL it was sooooooooooo bad I threw it away forcing her to purchase a new one.
I lovingly told her I was embarrassed to be with her and that filthy mat, and we both laughed, but honestly her space, her mat, did not reflect her authentic self, but the self she is trying to overcome. (This is not to say your should have an expensive, top of the line mat, but your space needs to be clean and uncluttered) I know this struggle all to well, and it is a daily battle, to keep them at bay, my mat for me is a safe place, my sanctuary, where I can let go of the clutter and filth around me even if for only one hour.
Today as we step onto our mat, leave behind any outside things or events that my clutter your mind or your space. Allow only the thoughts of your practice to enter your mind. Allow only those things with in the space of your mind and mat that can help you with your practice today. Every thing we do and think affects not only ourself but the people in our lives, and their reaction in turn affects other people and can then become a source of joy, or a source of pain.
This ripple effect all begins with you. The impact we have on the world is greater then any of us can imagine. So begin here and now on your mat. Stop the thoughts of negativity, don’t allow the effects of negative energy to contaminate your practice, or your body. Today we are going to practice inner mind cleaning.
Observe the effects this positive energy has on your abilities and your awareness in each asana. If you catch yourself allowing these unclean thoughts to enter into your practice, simply stop, come to your breath and as you exhale, release the thought and on an inhale replace it with a pure clean thought. Then and only then are you ready to rejoin us in your practice.
As we close and as you leave the mat, consider for a moment, the effects of your thoughts and actions. You have the ability and the power to touch the lives of everyone who you come into contact with and with everyone each of those people come into contact with. Think of the possibilities.
Watch your thoughts,
They become words
Words become actions
Actions become habits
Habits become Character
Character becomes Destiny
See you on the mat
clean, pure, joy, ripple, flow, allow, judge less, pause, ease, awareness, uncluttered, surrender, peace, grateful, gratitude, expand, spread, transform, arise, mindfully, thoughtfully