Niyamas– actions and attitudes we can cultivate to help us realize more connectedness. Saucha- Rigidly interpreted as “purity”- it can become a strict code of things to avoid, the concept of purity implies a dichotomy- that world is a profane place. A more liberal interpretation of saucha could be to interpret it as clarity rather than purity. In Anusara we embrace a tantric philosophy that emphasizes the intrinsic goodness in each of us- at our heart each of us is already pure. So then what does this niyama mean for us? In tantra, individuals still have agency, and we can interact with the world in more or less skilful ways- Embracing saucha- clarity in thought, word and deed, can interact with the world in a more skilful way.

The first thing we need to get clear with in our practice of yoga and life is our intention- what do we want to manifest? What’s our bigger purpose for this practice? The word yoga means union in sanskrit. For me yoga, it is a practice that helps us unite our individual selves with something bigger, but not separate from ourselves. This can be simple as recognizing the goodness that lies within each of us. My broader intention each time a practice is to remember and celebrate that connectedness. Maybe that’s not something that feels true for you right now, so take some time to get clear with yourself- in one clear phrase, sum up what your bigger intention is. Let yourself brighten with intention.

In Tadasana – be really clear about the foundation in the poses. Ask: Why does it matter how we place our hands and feet? Physical reasons, and then also the bigger picture. In lining up our physical body, we show our dedication to aligning with a bigger purpose and broader vision for our lives.

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