Deepening my Practice of Saucha

by Melissa West on September 24, 2011

When I attended the workshop on Ayurvedic Daily Routines by Jackie and Greg Van Ecker from At the Core they didn’t give too much personal advice. Ayurvedic medicine is based so much on individual consultations and recommendations that it really isn’t possible.

One thing Jackie did very clearly say to me is this, “When you get home from teaching at night, you need to have a shower to clear everybody else’s energy from you and then go right to bed.” The other day Jackie and I were talking and she asked if I had implemented anything from the workshop and if I was noticing any benefits.

One of the things that I put into practice from the workshop was coming home and showering after a full day of teaching yoga and working with Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy and Thai Massage clients. This one practice had far reaching effects into a lot of areas of my life.

First of all, my sleep became a lot more pure and restful. Having freed myself from going to bed with everybody else’s energy I am now resting a lot more deeply and actually waking up refreshed. My sleep is a lot less troubled and a lot more peaceful.

Secondly, as I had learned from Sally Kempton’s book, Meditation for the Love of It, our meditation practice begins the night before. When I purify my body before I go to sleep I am already setting in motion the practice of purifying my mind through meditation the next morning. I notice that this simple act of showering at night before going to bed is having a profound effect on my meditation practice. First of all I wake up earlier and more easily. Secondly, my meditation practice itself is a lot more pure and clean. I seem to be experiencing less interference in my meditation practice now.

Thirdly, this practice of showering and going straight to bed after getting home from teaching is having a hugely positive impact on my relationship with my husband. I’m embarrassed to admit that I used to get home at around 9:45 p.m. for “quality” time with my husband at the end of the day. Needless to say I was exhausted and he wasn’t getting the best of me.

In fact, what I learned at the workshop is that I was beginning to enter my pitta time at this time of night. The pitta dosha is known for its anger. At this time of night I used to experience a lot of anger and frustration and my poor husband was the brunt of it. A by-product of this showering and getting to bed and sleep routine is that I’m sleeping before I hit pitta time and I’ve made time for my husband earlier in the day. We now have day time date time and we get to experience each other in a loving and joyful way, rather than with the anger and frustration of pitta time.

Saucha is one of the personal practices recommended in the yoga sutras. I had worked with saucha numerous times in the past in my personal practice with cleanses and  living a “pure” life. This simple practice of showering before I go to bed has allowed me to experience saucha in a deep and profound way. Jackie described it like this, “ayurveda recommends small changes YOU make yourself that ripple and wave into all aspects of life – with joy and ease!”

Learn more about Saucha in my free weekly yoga video podcast, Namaste Yoga.

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