Niyama / Sauca (purification)

Julián Peragón Arjuna continues getting inspiration and adaptation to our times to Niyama, after having completed the Yama. By the way, don't miss them: by typing in the search box each of the Yama (Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacarya, and Aparigraha) you can read them and reelerlos, thus represent a useful roadmap to guide us in this confusing time in which we live.

Drinking water

Yama has in mind that we live in society in a particular world. But this world is more like a maze than anything else, with its bureaucratic meanders, its nooks and crannies of interest, its narrow streets without exit morales. The Insider wants to reach the Center and need to take shortcuts. Ultimately, the important is that our solid and permanent practice will not be affected by the randomness of the circumstances.

Niyama shows the understanding that the "enemy" is not only outside but inside in the form of resistance, habits or doubts. Here is not so present the other (which does not hurt, not to lie, not to steal, etc.) but self, the recognition of own individuality and duty to respond appropriately, that is, of being responsible. The particle Neither in Sanskrit means "down", "close", "on the inside", why we say that Niyama is an attention to the interior, the psychology of Yoga.

In Sauca the important thing is not both the purification of the body and the attitude of openness to the subtle. Samtosha it reaches out to thank what brings us the life without losing the faith. Tapas It strengthens us through the discipline of the stakes of the opposites. Svadhyaya us closer to the voice of conscience growing discrimination. And finally, Ishvara Pranidhana speaks of an absolute abandonment to one greater detachment from intelligence of our fruits.

This is the Niyama, a garden of attitudes, ways of restraining our dispersion, so that centering on our practice capacity does not suffer. Let's see the first this week.


Nature is wise; does not allow a good absorption, from the physiological point of view, but will at the same time excellent elimination, since it has to ensure an acceptable homeostasis. We ourselves have felt many times when our bowel evacuates not regularly appear gases, the heaviness and the slowness of the digestive tract. To ensure good nutrition should make sure that our physiological system is not overloaded and, as we usually do in our work, give a small holiday either with a regular, diet a day of fruit or, eventually, a few days of fasting.

From anthropology there are hygienic customs of different peoples, and we often see that do not respond to a clear rationality but a perception of what is pure and what is contaminated. And of course, all of this is mixed with religious beliefs and gestures that define clearly what level of social structuring one belongs. Not to go further, we ourselves can perceive that a stone is dirty and a ticket is not, although it has passed from hand to hand, because the stone belongs to the "inferior" and money means power and security.

It is true that a society asks individuals who wash, that they do not smell bad, that they dress not neglected; that is, to save the forms. But our cleansing, which basically subscribes in the skin, leaves much to be desired when it comes to mucous membranes and inside the body, precisely there where our hygiene becomes more necessary to help the natural function that makes our body.

Yoga tries to go beyond the moral requirement and understand that the health needs of deep hygiene. With Yoga, we clean the inside of the nose to drain mucus and stimulate the energy map of the body registered in the pituitary mucosa; we scratch the language, which is an emuntorio body to remove excess of secretion and facilitate absorption of prana, vital energy; We friccionamos the gums to strengthen them; We mobilized the belly to facilitate peristalsis and drink salt water to make it pass through the intestine and remove recalcitrant waste, among other many exercises.

Although, do not bring us to confusion, is not merely to clean the body. The practitioner of yoga through the rites of purification recognizes what belongs to the spirit, always faithful to itself, and, therefore, that does not suffer changes, degradation or pollution, of the plane which corresponds to the nature, and the body inside that it is always changing and can undergo degeneration. Yoga from the respect to this nature tries to closer to the spirit through extreme care. Just as a boat must periodically be protected so that the wood does not rot and fulfil its function take us to the other side, our body must be cared for it to be a good support for life and expression of the self that we are.

But this purifying attitude applies not only to the body. Not only the physical food must be suitable for the nutrition, also needed other food for the mind and soul. The book we read, the friendships that we attend, the sites we visit are those of other foods. Be in nature, albeit on a regular basis, is an energetic push to the body, a window for the serenity of the mind, but also a reminder of the essential soul. The nature helps to that inner purification.

Our body clean and our House tidy allow a special disposition of mind. Sauca is actually availability to the sacred through purification. Perhaps that is why, in the tradition, prior to a ritual, the officiating purified, bathed it, wore suitable clean clothes and recited prayers in order to be open to the divine vision. If a hot shower after a hard day leads to a State of serenity not be merely by the cleansing of the skin. There's something about the Act of hygiene that puts order in the interior, even more if this ritual is sacred in nature.

Anything else will be going to the other extreme, when cleaning becomes an obsession and a certain disorder us intranquiliza. Is it possible that behind a strict hygiene, diet, or practice hide a fear to become contaminated, a dizziness to death. We must not forget that the purification is not an end in itself but a means to liberate us from obstacles, toxins, tensions or blockages are called. Sauca reminds us that parallel to the floor, scrub the skin rub, we are cleaning the heart of all pride, vanity, or calculation.

Every spring nature teaches us that the regeneration is possible but, clearly, going through the abandonment of the autumn and the nakedness of the winter. If our sacred hygiene we removed layer after layer as useless and unnecessary, may appear the renewal where may the roots of the spirit nest with force.

Arjuna (photo: Guirostudio 2013)Who is

Julián Peragón, Arjuna, formador of teachers, directs the school Yoga synthesis in Barcelona

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By • Apr 17, 2013 • section: Signatures, Yamas and Niyamas