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5 Ways Saucha Can Help You Settle into Summer

I love to clean. I love the smell of lemon blossoms and lavender. I love to plant my garden, Marie Kondo my house, and celebrate the spring and summer by organizing everything from my shoes to empty jars.

In Sanskrit, saucha is one of the yamas, or observances, and means practicing purity or cleanliness. That could be cleanliness in your body, mind, or even your house and beauty routine. We try to have pure thoughts and a pure body, which is one of the reasons why we may practice yoga in the first place. Then as we move out into other facets of our lives, we want to declutter our house and clean our floors, bathrooms, and our air. Here are some ways to practice saucha.

1. Marie Kondo Your House

Practicing Marie Kondo's Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up can have profound benefits on all facets of your life. We get bogged down in the stuff of our every day lives and this practice helps us stay true to hearts and live in harmony with our belongings and our spaces.

Marie Kondo advises that you start with your closet and get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy. She even has a method for aligning all your clothes by color, dark to light. I can’t explain how getting rid of your stuff helps you declutter your mind and whole life, but it works. You feel lighter and purer knowing exactly where every rubber band in your house is and getting rid of the pants you’ve been trying to squeeze into for five years. It's a true letting go of old stories.

2. Give Your Indoor Plants Some Extra Attention

Summer is a good time to repot your plants and reevaluate their health. Are they getting enough sun where they're at? Do they need more or less water? Do they need plant food? Here's a great article about how to spring clean your indoor plants.

Plants are an extremely good way to purify the air in your house. In particular, mother-in-law tongues can be used to rid your air of toxins and reduce allergies. The peace lily is also excellent for removing alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde and can humidify indoor air.

3. Clean Up Your PFAS Use

A 2021 study cited by the Environmental Working Group discovered that 231 cosmetic products tested contained PFAS chemicals despite these chemicals not being listed on their labels. PFAS chemicals (or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are not only in makeup: you can find them in water, nonstick pots and pans, waterproof clothing, fast-food containers, and carpet, and, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry they're linked to a variety of health issues, including

  • Cancers

  • Decreased vaccine response in children

  • Increased cholesterol levels

  • Changes in liver enzymes

  • Decreased infant birth weights

You can download the Think Dirty app to get a shopping guide on chemicals to avoid in your beauty and cleaning routines or visit this list of PFAS products to avoid.

4. Use Essential Oils

Many essential oils have antibacterial and antifungal qualities and can be a cheap and easy way to clean your house.

Since I was diagnosed with cancer, I've started making many of my own cleaning products with lemongrass, lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint. Not only do they make your house smell amazing, if you use high-quality oils they don't have any chemicals like many cleaning brands on the market and can be a cheap and fast way to make your own products. Here's a great blog on essential oils for cleaning.

5. Fast

Whether you try intermittent fasting or go on a serious three-day or more cleanse, fasting can be very beneficial. Religious traditions have included fasting in their practices for millennia, and it's no wonder why. I usually do a three-day fast every season and do regular intermittent fasting every day. I find that it improves my digestion and gives me more clarity.

According to the Boulder Medical Center, fasting has the following health benefits:

  • Boosts cognitive performance

  • Protects you from obesity and associated chronic diseases

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Improves overall fitness

  • Supports weight loss

  • Decreases the risk of metabolic diseases

  • Benefits cancer patients — A recent study with mice and cancer showed that fasting during chemotherapy jump-starts the immune system and exposes the cancer cells. Ridding the body of old, toxic cells and replacing with new, healthy ones may be just the answer. Traditionally, cancer patients have been told to increase nutrients and caloric intake while undergoing chemotherapy treatments but this approach might now be under review.

Please consult your physician or oncologist before you undergo any fasting or other supplement or treatment. Please read my Medical Disclaimer for more information.

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