Saturday, July 28, 2012

Yamas and Niyamas

This summer I read a book called Yamas and Niyamas that discusses the first two limbs of the eight limbs of yoga.  While the book had a profound impact on me, I thought it might also have an impact on you.  One of the most pertinent lessons is called Shaucha.  It involves purity in your home and in your heart.  As you probably all know, I own The Joyful Organizer, an organization and lifestyle company.  So I see a lot of clutter and I see the impact it has on people's lives, health and relationships.  I wanted to share the following description and show you how it can impact and positively impact your life.

Shaucha, or living purely, involves maintaining a cleanliness in body, mind, and environment so that we can experience ourselves at a higher resolution. The word pure comes from the Latin purus, which means clean and unadulterated. When we take in healthy food, untainted by pesticides and unnatural additives, the body starts to function more smoothly. When we read books that elevate our consciousness, see movies that inspire, and associate with gentle people, we are feeding the mind in a way that nourishes our own peacefulness. Creating a home environment that is elegant, simple, and uncluttered generates an atmosphere where we are not constantly distracted by the paraphernalia of yesterday's projects and last year's knickknacks. Shaucha is a testament to the positive power of association.
Practicing shaucha, meaning "that and nothing else," involves making choices about what you want and don't want in your life. Far from self-deprivation or dry piety, the practice of shaucha allows you to experience life more vividly. A clean plate enjoys the sweetness of an apple and the taste of pure water; a clear mind can appreciate the beauty of poetry and the wisdom imparted in a story; a polished table reveals the deep grain of the wood. This practice both generates beauty and allows us to appreciate it in all its many forms.

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