Mindful awareness

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cleanliness from the Inside

A friend recently posted on facebook that she had completed her weekly grocery shopping in 30 minutes. Several people responded with incredulous comments implying it was impossible. They began to guess how long it will take for her to return and how many more visits she will need to purchase missed items. I was curious about what I was reading. It never takes me as much as 30 minutes to complete a weekly grocery store trip for two. Then I realized that is probably because I only use four aisles and the produce section (and occasionally paper products). We eat only wholesome foods, nothing processed or packaged. Perhaps not going down every aisle for pretend foods saves me time at the store.

That exchange made me think of sauca. Showering and sweeping the practice space before practicing are actions of external cleanliness that often reflect yogis’ interpretation of sauca (cleanliness), one of the niyamas (observances) that comprises yoga practice. However, sauca also refers to internal cleanliness. Practicing yoga poses and breathing techniques is essential for internal cleansing and clarity of mind. Eating wholesome foods also helps keep the body healthy and clean from the inside.

As I interpret sauca, it is essential to eat wholesome foods. I have never performed a “detox” routine or “cleanse” diet because I choose to limit impurities I ingest rather than purge them from my system after putting them into it. It seems easiest and most efficient to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and whole grains that are used to fuel my body and result in wastes that my digestive system is designed to remove.

So my diet is clean in observance of yoga principles and efficient. With all the time I save with short trips to the grocery store what else do I do? Pull out my mat for another yoga practice, of course!

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