Saucha nature projects
Yoga’s Jewel of Saucha:
Everyone got up in arms either loving or hating on KonMari, the show on Netflix about living a minimalist lifestyle. If an object doesn’t bring you joy, it goes. Say goodbye. Get it out of your life. People freaked the hell out at her admission of having only 30 books. Book people like me reacted like, “What? On one shelf? In one pile?” I have boxes of books that are still in the attic and closets which have never been unpacked since moving back here to NJ. I don’t have the space I used to. But the books aren’t causing any harm where they are, so I’m okay with them being there. And yes, they give me joy even if I’ve mostly switched to Kindle reading.
This brings me to the Yoga Niyama of Saucha. Take the time to revisit my posts from February 2018 where I explained about the traditions of Spring Cleaning and how February is a great time for it. Yes, even if you’re dealing with three feet of snow. Here’s a sample from one of those posts:
“Two of the origins of big cleaning days are part of the ancient Roman traditions of Februalia (Jan 30 – Feb 2) and Lupercalia (February 15) to do a thorough cleaning of all things including the body, mainly because bathing wasn’t accessible to people on a daily basis. In neo-paganism and witchcraft, the month is still seen as a time for purification of the body and spaces. If you’re looking for a format, the Covenant of Hekate has a ritual posted as a free resource.” February: The Tradition of Spring Purification, Cleaning, and Saucha
Last year, I explained Saucha and that one of my intentions was to challenge myself by moving my home yoga practice to a different room. After the room was finished, it still wasn’t big enough to accommodate a yoga mat and all the bins of costumes and the upstairs litter box. I don’t want to move the litterbox into Gus’ room (aka the sitting room and another Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency office) because that room is even tinier. That left me with leaving my yoga props in the bedroom and after another piece of furniture changed, it was a little less cluttered. Somehow my Saucha tips didn’t make me famous like Marie Kondo.
At the end of 2018, I specifically wanted to make this boulder uncovering my Saucha project. It’s not about purifying the body which is the most often way to define Saucha. It is uncluttering neglecting plants and the landscape so that our outside, natural world is cleaner and more open. As I said, the boulder and tree stumps provide more locations for feeding wildlife. The uncluttered landscape will simply change the feelings being in that location puts forth.
There’s a lot more environmental cleaning and purification to do in our immediate vicinity. It’s easier to see all the litter that’s half-buried when it’s winter and there isn’t any foliage to hide it. I’ve seen a lot of crap out there in terms of plastic like the flimsy planters that stores sell knowing you’ll get it home and put the plant in the ground or in a prettier planter. Wind could have blown them all over the place over the years but it boils down to the fact that they were not thrown away properly when they should have been.
When it comes to purification, you can consider your body, your immediate environment (like your office, bedroom, etc.), or your greater environment. Not to mention, you could make a commitment to do other things like carpool or get a hybrid/electric car if that’s something in your means. Surround your spaces with green plants that aren’t harmful for pets so that you can get oxygen. Use less toxic cleaning products.
Finally, toxicity also comes in the forms of thoughts. If you find toxic thoughts are the first ones to enter your mind when you’re angry (like being set off by something on the internet), check that toxicity. Take the moment to first stop, take a breath, and observe your thoughts. Reformulate them if you want.
PS - yes, the word is “uncluttered” not “decluttered” if you want to be grammatically picky, but “declutter” has entered the lexicon.