Niyama, the 2nd limb of Ashtanga yoga

While on my mini-vaca I’ve been doing my reading for next weeks yoga class. In our text they started discussing the 8 limbs of yoga.  I realized that I have been practicing quite a few yogi ideas in the past few years without realizing it. I was so excited to read something related to the way I’ve been trying to live my life!

One of the limbs that I most related to was niyama (observances).  There are 5 niyamas: sauca, santosha, tapas, svadhyaya, and isvara-pranidhana.

Sauca – this niyama is concerned with decluttering the mind and life. A few years ago I suddenly got frustrated with all the STUFF I had laying around.  I started being more conscious about the things I bought, got rid of the things I didn’t need, and starting being cleaner and more organized overall. This practice has made me realize how much excess is in our lives, how little we really need, and what things are actually important. Not to mention it’s saved me quite a bit of money.

I don’t need another pair of sandals when I already have quite a few. Nor do I need to waste space and money on a Keurig when a french press will do. Most fancy kitchen gadgets don’t save a ton of time, and they waste a lot of space. Owning two bathtowels is enough, and I use my one favorite coffee mug every day (I’ve got a spare one for guests). I try and keep my countertops and floors clear, my drawers organized. It’s easier when you own much less stuff.

Sauca started carrying over to my thoughts as well. It’s easier to focus when my space is neat. (Don’t you just sometimes have to clean your desk on a busy day?) I have started to identify negative unnecessary thoughts and remove them from my mind as I would throw something in the trash. I think that even removing negative people and practices my life could be considered sauca. The things that do not contribute in a positive way, they weigh you down.

The point of this post is not to sound holier-than-thou, just to talk about how a clean life and a clean mind are related. I’ve still got a lot of scrubbing to do.

I don’t have any pictures that goes with this post – and I’m not a home so I can’t take any. But what is a blog post without pictures? I’ll post one of my brother with one of his chickens that he raised. I’m missing home today, I have not been there since Janurary!

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