Practice Yoga off the mat
Spring cleaning with “Soucha”
FREE 1 minute meditation – www.yogawithtracie.com (Blog)
Practicing yoga is not just a physical practice. As Spring approaches we look forward to the rebirth and renewal of life in our gardens and our local parks. But life and rebirth is not just limited to nature and the green areas that surround us! As the snow melts and we start to see green grass appearing all around us, we say farewell to the Winter season and say “hello” to the Spring season! Tulips, crocuses and fresh pastel spring colours are popping up everywhere – it is time to take in that fresh air – and enable yourself the opportunity to start Anew!
At this time of year, I put special attention to one of Patanjali’s yoga sutras: the practice of “Soucha.” Soucha is one of Patanjali’s niyamas - niyamas are rules or laws of how we conduct ourselves on a day-to-day basis. They can be considered our “code for living.”
Soucha – Purity and /or cleanliness. Soucha is cleanliness of your surroundings & your body.
Most of you have heard the term “spring-cleaning.” Well, there is something to be said about cleaning the space around you to help calm your mind! For the weeks preceding and proceeding the Spring Equinox, I attempt to de-clutter closets & storage spaces in my home; getting rid of anything that I haven’t used or worn for at least 2 years. Yogis believe that if you can clear the clutter around you, you can help to de-clutter your mind! After all, how can you think, process and make clear decisions when the space around you is a mess! Studies are now showing that clutter in your home and office can cause unhappiness!
Some of you come to my yoga classes to find that calm, still space in Savasana (corpse pose) that helps to reduce anxiety, stress, frustration etc. Did you know that you could reduce your stress by practicing yoga off the mat? By practicing “soucha”, you can allow for more clarity and calm in your life by de-cluttering your home and/or office.
Now- I am not saying this is an easy task – nor am I saying that it can be done in a 60-75min time frame. But you can start small – one closet, one area or even one spot at a time…and you may find yourself feeling lighter and happier! Ask yourself – after that first yoga class – how did you feel? (Good? Calm?) And since that first class- you may have taken multiple classes, compounding that feeling! With each class or step that we take calm the mind…the happier we may be!
Practicing Soucha is not just limited to our surroundings, but also to our bodies. Eating a healthy diet and making all attempts to purify the mind is another way for us to enjoy that sense of calm. By consciously practicing the removal of emotions that make our minds go crazy – emotions of hatred, passion, anger, greed, pride etc., we can enjoy that “happy place” like when we are in Savasana.
So, how to do this? When possible, try to eat organic and un-processed foods and drinks. Have you heard the ‘ol adage: “You are what you eat?” If we eat foods and drink beverages containing preservatives, additives and pesticides, our bodies have to work that much harder to detoxify and eliminate these unnatural chemicals before it can absorb the good stuff. And the harder the body has to work to eliminate these unnatural foods/drinks, we usually feel crappy! So when ever possible, see if you can eat and drink “cleaner” less processed foods; enable yourself a healthier and happier life by practicing Soucha.
Ok – so what about those pesky emotions that keep on creeping up on us? Everyone has “stuff” in their lives to deal with – and if you know someone that says they don’t…well, they’re either lying or they just have the tools to deal with it. If you cannot get to a yoga class to calm the mind, try practicing meditation at home! Do you have 1 minute? Yes, that’s right – 1 minute! In just one minute – you may find yourself more clear and more present!
If you want a FREE one minute meditation download (by me!) Please visit my website on my Blog tab.
Just click “one minute meditation”.
I look forward to practising yoga with you on the mat…and if I don’t see you in class – hopefully you will find yourself practicing yoga off the mat with Soucha.
Happy Spring everyone!
Peace & love,
Here is a great 1-minute meditation that I have been practicing with my son: