The state of your surroundings is the state of your soul.
This line emphasizes the importance of ‘Sauch’. Sauch or Saucha translated from Sanskrit means ‘Cleanliness’, which relates to both the Physical aspect of cleanliness of your surroundings as to Mental hygiene which is equally important. Saucha in yogic practice comes into light under Yama and Niyama. These are the do’s and dont’s in one’s life to hereby achieve a high level of consciousness one can merely strive for.
The Duty to oneself precedes the Duty to family and the Duty to society for obvious reasons. You shall only be able to take care of your responsibilities when you take care of yourself appropriately. Hence, it is inevitably our duty towards ourselves, to gain a clean mind, clean action, clean habits and clean surroundings. We have to work on this at all levels, starting from outside to inside.
What is Mental hygiene?
Mental hygiene is merely fostering more positive thoughts by overcoming the negative thoughts. You could take the example of gardening – how one plucks out the weeds and tends to caring the beautiful flowers. Now, just try doing that in your head and you’ll see how it helps you gain more balanced state of mind. I give you a few useful ways to do this.
- Learn how to avoid bad stress and thrive using the good stress. Certain amount of stress helps us to boost ourselves. Although this limit is only decided for you, by you. Bad stress is when it does not lead to any purpose, but only suffering.
- Practice Meditation as this can make you aware of all the negative repressed thoughts fabricated in the mind and provides you an opportunity to eliminate it. Meditation also benefits by keeping you in the present.
- Accept your limitations as a human being and stop overthinking about events and circumstances you cannot control.
- Reiterate that change is the most constant thing in the world.
- Practice gratitude to little and big things in your life. This is highly underrated as often we take everything we’re blessed with for granted. Being grateful changes your perspective and finds you to give joy in the most loom condition.
What is Physical Hygiene?
Amidst this time of spring cleaning going on in all houses, the need of sanitation symbolizes more than the physical act in itself. You can follow our previous article on the importance of following routine as seasons change. Yoga and Ayurveda offer a lot of ways to practice physical hygiene of which I give a few recommendations.
- Along with the cleaning of the area surrounding yourself, the physical cleansing of the internal body can be achieved by the help of Kriyas, Asanas and Pranayamas along with Ayurvedic detoxification.
- A topic of cleansing in yoga is Nadi Shuddhi. Nadis are nerves, they are the communication channels in our body. By our lifestyle Nadis can get blocked. Pranayama techniques can unblock the Nadis and help the life energy to flow through our body. An example is alternate nostril breathing. What is required is sitting quietly and seeing that no thoughts disturb us. The first technique taught at The Yoga Institute is Sukhasana.
- Ayurvedic detox teas. Unknowingly with the intake of food, negative thoughts and emotions, we pollute our body. Ayurveda looks at how to remove this pollution, to remain healthy and to fight disease. A simple but effective Ayurvedic detox tea is a combination of ginger, clove and cinnamon. Ayurveda teaches the importance of using local and seasonal herbs. In Western European countries a very strong detoxifying plant which is found all over and that everyone recognizes is the stinging Nettle.
The organic matter of plants change throughout the year. Springtime is the moment that the young nettles contain the best qualities for detoxification. You can pluck the tops of the young nettles and make a nettle infusion or nettle tea, by adding boiling water and let it soak for 10 minutes. One handful of nettle leaves is good for one teapot. You can use the fresh leaves or dry them. This is the season to pluck and dry them for the rest of the year. There is no limit to how much you can drink, there are no side effects and it is good for everyone.
Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be. Embrace it and improvise
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