Philosophy – Saucha
Saucha which is a sub-limb of Niyama, is for us to maintain purity both externally and internally.
Externally is relatively simple. Cultivating good habits by taking daily showers, brushing our teeth, washing our hands to keep them clean and germs free and wearing clean clothes.
What about internally?
I found that after I have done my nasal cleansing my sense of smell is sharper and my mind is clearer than ever. One morning while walking to catch the train, I thought that I detected cigarette smoke but there was no one within 10m from me. However as I was nearing the station I saw a man with a cigarette dangling from his lips. I was surprised that my nose can pick up this foul smell even from a distance.
The food we imbibe has a profound effect both on our physical and internal planes. When we consume food that is oily and deep-fried excessively, not only is it detrimental to our health, obesity will be the end result. Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, acid reflux will plague us internally. Switching to a diet that is rich in greens and fresh fruits or even go on a yogic diet not only produces a body that is lighter and fitter, it also helps to detoxify our internal system which may keep diseases at bay, thus saving us hefty medical fees.
Practising asanas warms our internal organs and accompanied by the perspiration, helps our organs to detoxify, ridding them of toxins. Our skeletal structure is also kept supple and as we age, it is especially helpful to keep our spine flexible and our bones and muscles strong.
As our mind is the controlling nerve center in our entire system, practising pranayama and meditation will help us to relax, keeping our mind clear and focus. Brahmari breathing creates a soothing effect both on the mind and nervous system which induces muscular, physical, mental and emotional relaxation. Meditation helps us to still our mind, focusing on the present, shutting out whatever ‘internal dialogue’ our mind is playing out. When our mind is at peace and relax, we are able to maintain the purity of thoughts through positive thinking which in turn will contribute to attaining a healthy mind, body and soul.
What pure bliss it would be when we take good care of our body both internally and externally where our soul resides and to keep it clean, healthy and pure may be the greatest gift anyone can do for themselves.