Simple Cleansing for a Deeper Practice – Saraswati Designs
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Simple Cleansing for a Deeper Practice

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Simple Cleansing for a Deeper Practice


The 8 Limbs of Yoga

Generally a western mind associates yoga with the physical first: stretching, strengthening and making shapes with our bodies.  Many yogis learn about the multiple limbs of yoga alongside asana (postures) without even knowing that they're learning them.  This is the beauty of yoga - the offerings can be subtle and subconscious, but they are definitely present at some level as you dive deeper into your practice.

The practice of yoga is a marriage of art and science dedicated to the union of body, mind and spirit. In his article 'The Eight Limbs, The Core of Yoga', William J.D. Doran explains the following:

"The core of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is an eight-limbed path that forms the structural framework for yoga practice. Upon practicing all eight limbs of the path it becomes self-evident that no one element is elevated over another in a hierarchical order. Each is part of a holistic focus which eventually brings completeness to the individual as they find their connectivity to the divine. Because we are all uniquely individual a person can emphasize one branch and then move on to another as they round out their understanding."

Diving deeper into the breakdown of these foundational teachings, we can see the Niyamas include 5 observances: Saucha (cleanliness of thought, mind and body), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (spiritual effort), Svādhyāya (self-study), and Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to God).

Understanding Saucha to Bring Cleanliness to Your Practice

Today we will touch on the first Niyama, Saucha, which translates to purity and cleanliness.  Yoga teaches us to understand the importance these qualities: cleaning up our thoughts and intentions and abolishing our limiting words and judgements; cleaning our space and the energy in it; cleaning our bodies with pure breath, healthy food and clean water.  Committing to 'cleaning up' through this practice of Saucha cleans up our energy, our life. With less clutter, we can flow through life with greater ease and clarity.  With this cleanliness everything becomes easier.

Yoga mat aromatherapy spray

A Simple, Natural Spray to Align With Saucha 

A quick and simple way to bring cleanliness to your yoga practice is with a homemade spray.  A portable refresher in your bag, DIY aromatherapy mist can be used to cleanse your yoga mat, reawaken your energy or refresh your face after a sweaty practice.  

What you need:

~ a spray bottle (glass preferred)

~ distilled water

~ alcohol-free witch hazel (we like Thayers)

~ essential oils 

Essential oil spray

Rather than focusing on a specific recipe, harness an intention for your mist. With that intention in mind, choose essential oils that will support the type of purity and cleansing you are looking for.  

If you would like to grow and care for your own witch hazel plant, we love this free comprehensive guide:

Below is a list of some incredible oils to add to your mixture.  After you find your unique blend and label it with your intention and remind yourself every time you mist!

List via Dr. Axe’s Essential Oils Guide

Each and every essential oil contains compounds with unique healing and therapeutic benefits. Here are some of the most popular essential oils and how to use them.

essential oils and crystals
Clove: Anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and antioxidant protection.
Eucalyptus: Improves respiratory issues like bronchitis, sinusitis and allergies. Also invigorating and purifies the body.

Lavender: Helps with relaxation, improves mood and heals burns and cuts.

Lemon: Great to use in homemade cleaning products, improves lymph drainage and cleanses the body.

Myrrh: Natural anti-septic and can prevent or reduce infections. Also, supports beautiful skin, reducing stretch marks and hormone balance.

Oregano: Powerful anti-microbial properties, can kill fungus and help you kick a cold fast.

Peppermint: Supports digestion, improves focus, boosts energy, fever reducer, headache and muscle pain relief.

Tea tree oil (melaleuca): natural anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, reduces bad odours and can help stimulate the immune system.

yoga mat spray

Use your mist not only as a cleansing ritual but as a reminder of your journey.

If you enjoyed this blog be sure to check out 'Beauty Secrets From a Yogi'.