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Shaoca: All-Round Purity

lotus_flowerHere in our ongoing series we are investigating another limb of yama and niyama.

With the onset of spring, this next point is quite relevant.

Shaoca (also written saucha) means purity or cleanliness in all realms of life: physical, mental, emotional, environmental and spiritual. It is the first step of niyama sadhana.

This is a big point of yogic life and indeed in our human life – keeping purity of one’s environment, body and mind. The yogis say that physical shaoca is comparatively easy in comparison to psychic shaoca. Even then both realms are vast.

For the yogis, physical shaoca is not limited to one’s clothing and dress but means cleanliness of one’s whole body – everything from diet, digestion, fasting, and so much more. The skin needs to be scrubbed to get rid of the old dead cells, finger nails need cutting and care, hands need to be washed regularly, and there are so many points. Share with us some of the ways you practice physical shaoca.

Mental purity – a vast topic. How to keep the mind positive, buoyant, and resplendent, free from anger, vanity, jealousy and so many other unbecoming qualities. The yogis say the way to get rid of any negative quality is to consciously adopt the opposite principle. For instance, if one is a greedy miser, then they should consciously practice generosity and in due course that quality will develop within them, in which case their miserliness will naturally drift away.

Meditation and other contemplative pursuits are excellent avenues for cleaning the mind. Share with us how in your life you overcome unwanted thoughts and keep the mind clean.

Here is our first article on yama and niyama which explores the code of aparigraha.

1 Comment
  1. One thing that helps me maintain postive, healthy thoughts is reminding myself to be in the present moment. When I find myself feeling anxious or depressed it is usually because I am dwelling on something from the past or worrying about the future. Over the past few months, when I have been able to bring my wandering mind back to the present I imediately feel a postive difference, I can actually feel myself relax! This may last for 10 seconds or ten minutes but the more I do it the easier it is to achieve a kind of calm from the storm.
    Oh…….I also like to use a dry skin brush before I shower. It really leaves my skin feeling healthy and invigorated!

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