In my weekly yoga class this Fall, we're diving into yoga's second limb: the niyamas
The yamas - which my Durham Yoga Company Community Classes studied over the summer - are external practices or restraints that teach yogis how to treat others and the world around us. But it's the niyamas, five internal practices or observances, that help us sustain that external life.
The first niyama is sauca: cleanliness or purity. Like many Type A folks, I struggle much less with external order than I do with keeping my interior clean and simple. All too often it's the messiness of my mind chatter and negative self-talk brought on by perfectionist tendencies that lead to suffering.
Through Type A Yoga, we practice sauca by noticing those messy thoughts and then letting them pass - instead of fixating and allowing ourselves to become trapped. For instance, when practicing balance poses, I asked my students to notice their interior voice. Were they speaking to themselves in a messy / negative manner: I should be able to get this. I just balanced perfectly on the other side. Why can't I do this?! Instead of becoming trapped in that narrative, sauca asks us to simply notice that voice and then intentionally work to help it become become quiet and clean?