Be Well Be Happy

Spring is in the air, more light, more sun with the hour ahead this weekend.  Time to think about “spring cleaning.”  When I was growing up, it was a thing in the house.  Windows washed, thorough cleaning of blinds, drapes cleaned/changed to lighter versions, carpets refreshed, and on and on.  It marked a turning point from winter to spring/summer in our family, home and my favorite seasons were almost here. 

In keeping with the coming of spring and a time of renewal, cultivation and blossoming, our focus this month at the yoga studio is “saucha,” which means “purity.”  Simply put, a time to think about and purify our bodies, our thoughts and our words.  Cleaning out, decluttering, simplifying, leaving things that don’t serve behind.  I have a visualization I do when I need to let go of something:  I say either out loud or to myself what I’m letting go of and turn around leaving it behind me.  Then I say goodbye.  Rituals tend to solidify what we are trying to do in a way. 

The “saucha” practice, one of the codes of living soulfully from an ancient yogic text, clears the way to lighten up in our bodies, minds and hearts.  It is a benefit to the practice, when we investigate how to cleanse the physical body, clear the mind of scattered and unhealthy thoughts, and lighten the heart of negative emotions, we feel better—just in time for spring!  Cleansing the body will be different for everyone—maybe it is simply starting to drink more water, or making clean-eating choices a couple of more times a week than we’re used to doing.  Everything is a process, sticking to an intention of making some purifying choices will only brighten our lives.  Recognizing what is “heavy” physically and figuring out a way to lighten the load will feel great. 

Scattered and too many tho­ughts bring such dis-ease in our minds. Too much going on in the mind. So, taking the time to unload what has come in that has no meaning and focusing on what is right at hand will bring ease and lightness. It is very individual; only you know what you have to unload.  Slow down and do one thing at a time.  Slow down and think one thing at a time. 

Negative emotions resulting from experiences or encounters are toxic to our well-being.  There is no where for them to go, they continue to poison us and have no benefit.  So why hold on to them?  How to let them go?  Accepting them, acknowledging that they have no purpose in our being and formulating a ritual to let them go is one way.  I feel this way for that reason, I accept this feeling but it is not doing me any good, therefore I will lift it from my heart and replace it with a positive, loving feeling towards myself. 

“The practice of ‘saucha’ or purity, of cleansing ourselves and cleansing our ability to be with each moment, takes on a visceral quality.  As we begin to lose the heaviness of waste and clutter, we begin to feel lighter, more spacious and expansive.  Our bodies become more alive, our minds become more clear, our hearts more compassionate.” - The Ya­mas & the Niyamas, by Deborah Adele

May you be happy.  May you be free.  May you have compassion.  May you be grateful.  May you let go of things that do not serve you.  May you have inner peace. 

By Paulette Mancuga

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