Part of a yoga practice consists of contemplating the Yamas and the Niyamas. The first Niyama is called Saucha, which translates into something like Purity. This can be practiced through fasting, using a neti pot, or other practices like purifying the mind by letting go of grudges or guilt. For many, it can also mean getting rid of clutter--all the STUFF that junks up our space. My challenge from my teacher this week is to clean up my yoga practice space. As it turns out, my yoga practice space is the same as my writing space--a home office I share with my husband.
Early this morning I awoke with a strange feeling. When I got up, Biscuit (my golden doodle) was crying to be let out. Apparently she must have been crying for a while, because when I wandered into the office to see what time it was, I discovered that she had already relieved herself.
While this may be a simple matter of a dog failing to wake a deep-sleeping human sometime around 4am, as I was cleaning Biscuit's mess, I thought, "well, that's appropriate. I do treat this space like sh*t."
And there's some truth to this, Biscuit, though not the brainiest golden doodle, has a kind of dog wisdom. When she's experience gastrointestinal distress and can't hold it, she never goes in the kitchen, which is where she eats, or in the bedroom, which is where she sleeps. Instead, she inevitably goes in the office, a room she can crap in because she doesn't give a crap about it.
In addition to being grateful that Biz (we're familiar, so I get to call her that) got me up in plenty of time for 5:30 am yoga, she's helping me think about Saucha in a very real, material, and smelly way. How do I want to treat the space where I do my most important work--my yoga, my writing? It's the place where I do my most valuable work, so why treat it like a place where my dog can do her business?
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