About Saucha, Yoga Towels, And Keeping Your Practice Clean
Definition: refers to cleanliness/purity
Let’s get something straight – this is not going to be a philosophical talk about the principles of Saucha. We’re not going to talk about the impurities of the mind and the multitude of metaphors that come with it. We could talk about how the practice of yoga is meant to act as a tool for purifying the body, cleaning you out body, mind, and spirit, but we’re going to save that for another day.
Instead, this post is dedicated to keeping your yoga practice, the physical one you share with others at studios and in your living room on your sticky mat, clean.
Please, for the love of Krishna, clean up your practice!
While the term Saucha is often referred to in the esoteric it is just as good and practical to think about it in simple terms – clean up your yoga act!
Here are 5 ways to bring a bit of Saucha into your daily down and dirty dogs:
- Clean Your Mat(s): You know that thing you sweat on? The one that you slide around on for sixty to ninety minutes several times a week with oftentimes very little clothing on? Well, it needs to be cleaned. Yes, your yoga mat should be cleaned! There are lots of ways to do this (wipes, sprays, etc.), many of which are natural, fast, and even smell good. Depending on how frequently you practice and how rigorous your practice is this should be done on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Many studios provide cleaners for mats that are free for students to use. If you are a home yogi, a quick search on Amazon will lead you into a variety of products to choose from.
- Use A Yoga Towel: This handy little invention is as helpful as it is necessary. If you practice hot yoga, a yoga towel is a must in order to keep your mat in any kind of decent shape. For those who sweat more during their practice (even if it’s not “hot yoga”), a towel is great to have around to keep pesky sweat droplets from burning your eyes as you try to find your zen. Have problems slipping in Downward Facing Dog? With a towel you don’t! Place that bad boy under your hands and you’ll slip no more! Whatever way you slice it, a yoga towel will definitely help keep Saucha in your practice simply by keeping sweat off it.
- Invest In Your Own Props: Really? Really, do I need to buy my own yoga blockand strap? Okay, no you don’t. Most studios have plenty on hand. But by having your own you are able to keep tabs on them. Most people at yoga studios are friendly and clean, but there’s always that one person leaving as you come in (the one sneezing, coughing, sweating, you name it) that you keep your distance from. Unfortunately (and depending on your Karma), there’s a chance that that person just used the block that you know have your face on – bummer. I have an arsenal of props I bring with me to every class that I know are clean and happy, which makes me clean and happy too!
- Have A Few Yoga Mats On Hand: I admit to owning several yoga mats. And while some of you might think having ten yoga mats in my closet is too much, I beg to differ. By having several (or even just a few) mats on hand I’m able to maintain an appropriate level of Saucha in my practice. My outdoor in the park mat (the one that got a little soggy from practicing immediately after the sprinklers turned off) is not my in my living room covered in dog hair mat is not my go to a nice studio mat is not my travel on an airplane mat. Get the picture?
- Store Props Properly: This one in particular really gets my goat. Take time to put your yoga gear away properly, whether at home or (and especially if you are) at a yoga studio. Roll up your strap! Stack your blocks nicely! Fold your blankets and place neatly on top of the others! Roll. Up. Your. Mat – and do it like you mean it!
All of these things help to embrace the practical side of Saucha and will keep your practice clean and enjoyable for everyone who encounters it.