I shared in class this week how we’ve been forced to clean house on a new level now that Bear Shark is a full-on walking, climbing toddler. Clearing the floors and any surface that is reachable by his little hands is an absolute necessity. This physical cleaning got me reading about the niyama sauca, or cleanliness.
Usually when I think of sauca, I think of it in terms of personal hygiene and personal space. When you clear away the physical distractions and clutter, that gives you room to do your yoga. When you practice good personal hygiene, it’s an act of self-respect and self-care.
However, I came across another interpretation of sauca, which talked about cleanliness of thought. How could I start to practice sauca mentally, not letting negative thoughts pollute my mind? How could I start to reframe negative associations toward my body or toward food in a way that lets me live with less judgment?
We explored this idea on the mat. Letting the ego go and practicing at a 7 or 8, not an 11. Literal sweeping arm movements to open the heart. Forward folds to let the brain drain. And sweet savasana for final meditation.
60-minute yoga sequence: Sauca
- Table top – Cat/Cow
- Sweep right arm open, thread under left armpit [Switch]
- Adho mukha svanasana/Downward-facing dog
- 3-legged dog: knee to nose, extend, knee to opposite elbow, extend, knee to same elbow, extend [Switch]
- Surya Namaskar A
- Surya Namaskar B variation 2x: Utkatasana/chair, Uttanasana/forward fold, Ardha uttanasana/half-way lift, Vinyasa (chaturanga, up dog, down dog), Vira bhadrasana I/warrior 1, Vira II, Reverse warrior, Vinyasa, [other side] VI, VII, Reverse, Vinyasa, Utkatasana
- *Plank, Vasisthasana/side plank right arm down, Plank
- Adho mukha, step lunge right leg, open twist right arm
- Standing split [Handstand kicks]
- Figure 4 right leg standing, Standing Split
- Repeat other side from *
- **Step lunge, High crescent, Vira II
- Prasarita padottanasana A [Tripod headstand play]
- Left hand down, right arm open twist
- Rise to stand, Utthita trikonasana/triangle, Reverse arms for Sky Archer
- Repeat other side from **
- Navasana/boat 3-5 breaths, 2x
- Balasana/child’s pose
- Supta baddha konasana
- Supine hamstring stretch
- Supine twist
As always, I welcome feedback. Give the sequence a whirl on your mat, and let me know how it feels in your body.