Going the extra mile

You started yoga because you wanted the practice to do something specific…..heal your back, fix your knee, heal your shoulder, or clear your mind.  But did you know, that the yoga you do off your mat could be just as powerful?  Yoga’s ethical restraint, “Saucha”, or cleanliness can be a powerful awareness tool to help us live in society.

The habits we pick up throughout life off the mat may or may not serve us, and the idea of our practice is to recognize what doesn’t help us and what does, and everything we do aids us towards being happier, healthier and more awake and aware in life. If we take our ‘bad’ habits’ on to the mat with us, then our practice becomes a lot harder, we have to sift through the ‘impurities’ or negativity we’ve picked up before reaping the benefits of Yoga.

One example of living Saucha is being aware of your surroundings, and the clutter we accumulate.   Our environment often reflects our state of mind.  When your house is messy, your mind feels cluttered as well.  This affects our ability to focus and concentrate, doing our job well.   This is the biggest reason I created the prop room, so that each studio space would feel spacious and uncluttered.  Each shelf of the prop room has a function and purpose, and it’s up to each one of us to keep that space clean and organized.  Why would that be important in your yoga practice?  It’s easiest to explain this way…..

Say, you enter a public bathroom and it is dirty.  There are towels on the floor, and other messes.  You did not do this, but should you leave it as you found it?  Yoga philosophy say’s “No.”  Cleaning up public spaces, taking care of the environment is ALL our jobs.  Being aware of your actions, and how they might impact others is a very good way to heal your back, or other ailments.  As you take the precious time out of your day to clean up a public space it plants good seeds of awareness that help you see the next public bathroom you visit as the Taj Mahal.  It’s simply not good enough that another person has to bear the responsibility of keeping that space clean or worrying about the environment, even if they are getting paid to do so.  This is how we heal, and a very powerful lesson on how yoga works.

Keeping shoes, bags and coats in a place in which the teacher or other students won’t trip over them is also a good idea. As a teacher, it’s far easier to ensure everyone is safe and to be able to move around the room when the floor is clear, and as a student, it feels better in a class when there’s more space around us to move!

Enjoy the new prop room.  Keep it clean for the next client to use.  This is how yoga works.

See you on your mat,

Paula

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