We often refer to Niyamas as the "Do's" or observances of Yoga. To follow the Niyamas is to take a pro-active attitude toward life. The first Niyama, which Patanjali mentions is Saucha, means cleanliness or purity, but this is a much deeper issue. Cleanliness and purity have many levels.
We want to be pure in thought, action, and in our words, but we should also take the time to clean our mind, body, and spirit. In order to function for optimum health, our diet should be clean, with good quality water and whole foods.
The traditional kriyas (cleansing duties) should be taken seriously. Air quality is also important to the entire being. This is why air at the beach, near a lake, or in the mountains, should be inhaled when possible. Whether it is negative ions, Prana rich air, or a combination of these, people naturally feel better breathing clean air.
Exercise will keep us healthy, but it should be kept in moderation, to avoid injuries, which can bother us for life. The physical aspects of Yoga such as Asana and Pranayama will help our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being.
The people we associate with should be full of positive energy. We should not spend too much time listening to "bad news." Whether it is a person, who is full of negative energy, the newspaper, television, or the radio, if it makes us feel bad, we should "turn it off."
Any form of pollution should be stopped, so Saucha is also an environmental issue. Cleanliness starts from within, but it affects the entire planet.
© Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications