Sober Yoga Girl

Saucha: Purifying Your Life with Kristen Hutchinson

October 19, 2023 Alex McRobert Season 3 Episode 25
Sober Yoga Girl
Saucha: Purifying Your Life with Kristen Hutchinson
Show Notes Transcript

This episode was recorded live as a conversation in the Sober Girls Yoga Facebook Group on the practice of Saucha, cleanliness. The practice of Saucha is about cleaning up our bodies, our spaces, our thoughts, and our environments. Where in your life can you benefit from cleansing more? Join Alex & Kristen for this episode in which they chat about all this and more. You can join us for these live conversations every Monday in the Facebook Group at: 

Hi, friend. This is Alex McRobs, founder of The Mindful Life Practice, and you're listening to the Sober Yoga Girl podcast. I'm a Canadian who moved across the world to the Middle East at age 23, and I never went back. I got sober in 2019, and I now live full-time in Bali, Indonesia. I've made it my mission to help other women around the world stop drinking, start yoga, and change their lives through my online Sober Girls Yoga community. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling. Let me show you how.


Hello. Hi, everyone. Welcome back to our Yoga philosophy chat on Mondays with Alex and Kristen. I was just saying to Kristen, as you're getting started, I'm super happy this week I have WiFi, I have power in my house. So I think it's going to go a lot.




Than last week. And the live stream is working here so I can see the little feed. So if you write us any comments or questions, I can actually interact with it this week. So it's going to be a good one.


How are you, Kristen? How was your week? A week was good. You're just saying you couldn't believe that was a week ago. I was like, I feel like you blink and a week goes by because I can't even recall what I did all week. But I have a very busy week coming up. I think I said that last week too, but this week I have a couple of cool things happening. I have this and then I have a women's circle, a fall equinox ceremony this week, which I've never done before. So I'm looking forward to the week.


Amazing. Oh, awesome. And LeAnne says hi. She says popping on before I head to 6:30 AM class. Amazing. Good to have you here, LeAnne. Nice. All right. So we have been making our way along. For anyone that's been listening, we have been diving into the yamas and niyamas of yoga. And we move through a himselfsa, which is non-violence. We did Satya, which is truth. We did a sayya, which is non-stealing, ramakaria, which is moderation, apigraha, letting go. And these are all the first limb of yoga, which are the yama. And now we're moving into the niyama starting this week. And so the first niyama is the practice of sacha. And sacha is the practice of cleanliness. I'm just going to pull up this description I have. So sacha or cleanliness, it's the active pursuit of letting go. We clean our bodies, our thoughts, and our words. It invites us to become available to each moment as it happens. It relates to our lives on and off the mat. So it might be cleansing energy in the body, cleansing our thought, thinking about toxicity within the body, negative thought patterns that cloud or judge our true self.


And it doesn't mean that we can't indulge, but also just be mindful when we do so. So what does that mean for you? What's your sacha practice like?


Yeah, it's interesting. When you just said cleanliness, our thoughts and our actions, it really made me think about how the whole quote of where the attention goes, energy flows. This can truly be our thoughts. If we're in that negative spiral, our thoughts can go there. I think that's been something I've been really, really working on is being aware of that negative self-talk and starting to shift the language that I'm using. I think so often we try to control our environment, control what's coming in, what's coming out into a degree, that's fine. That's something we should be doing to make sure that we have our boundaries and all of that. But sometimes it's also what I've been trying to do is allowing things to be as they are in this moment and not trying to change them and then changing how I see them, how I think about them and the words that I associate with it. So if we're constantly maybe having a negative spin on things, then that's not purity in our thoughts and our actions, which can then bring us down in terms of our mood, our energy levels, our vibration, et cetera.


When you're saying that, that's where my mind immediately went.


I love that you bring that up. And this is something that, for me, I've been experienced or not experiencing, but I've been thinking a lot about this during my yoga teacher training groups that I have here in Bali because every month I get a new group that I'm with for three weeks and then there's always some point in the middle where there's some conflict or some drama or something arises and then I start thinking that they all dislike me or don't like me as a teacher, and I start reading it their body language and thinking they all don't like me. And it's weird. It's happened with every group. And then something switches when they start to realize it's the last week and the energy just lifts. And it might just be that everyone's energy is just down and they're tired or whatever, but I'm personalizing it. I think it's about me as a teacher. So it's a really great practice for me of every month. Okay, how can I step back and witness this pattern happening and not get swept up in the story of it? And I think every month I get a little bit better at that, but that would totally be the same thing.


It's like witnessing your thoughts and then approaching them from this grounded place.


Yeah, absolutely. I think that's so interesting every time you say that because I had a similar experience on my YTT. I think it's like.


Not- I think it's your- -I.


Think it's your- -Yeah. It's just like you're together for such a long time. I think in a in-person yoga teacher training, sometimes everyone is unpacking their stuff. There's days that it just really comes up for someone and then someone else can feed off that and then it spirals. I find that's usually in week two. Yeah, that's so true.


Yeah, that's so true. I feel like... Oh, sorry. Go ahead. No, go ahead. I was just going to change the subject to something else, but do you still want to talk about that?


No, okay.


Because I was going to say, cleanliness and purity in your space. I feel like you're a lot better at this than me. That's just the sense I get from what.


I've seen of your space and the few times I've been in your house.


But you seem like a really clean and organized person.


That's so funny. That's exactly where I was going. Not to say you're not clean, that's not where I was going. But what I was talking about is we were talking about last week how our environment often reflects our mind. If we have in our home or even our yoga space, where we practice yoga, if it is cluttered or unclean, I'm just going to use that loosely, that can really affect our state of being and our mind, which then you can see how that then impacts thoughts, actions, et cetera. It starts a little bit there. I grew up in a home where I cleaned our entire home and it would get inspected. I may be extreme with my cleanliness from patterns that I learn. But I do find... Yesterday, my boyfriend was golfing, so I cleaned our entire house while we were golfing. And to me, it's a stress reliever for me. But I find if I'm starting to feel a little bit anxious and awk, if I clean my space, it brings me back down to that grounded energy.


Wow. Yeah, I love that. Yeah. Something I shared with I don't know if I've shared this on a live, but I've had a really interesting housing situation this summer just in that I was subletting someone's house, and I think I'm potentially going to move out of that place. Don't have it all officially sorted out yet. But one of the aspects of it, it was supposed to be a short term, two months sublet when I got back to Bali and figured out what I wanted and where I want to live. But one aspect of it is that it's at least it's been passed from person to person. And so it's just full of stuff. The house is just full of stuff, like painting stuff, decks of cards, other people's clothing that they're all planning on coming back to Bali at some point and getting. And I was like, Oh, yeah, it doesn't really matter. When I first moved in, I was like, Whatever, no big deal. And then it just felt to me like it just became so fluttered in the space. I guess I only thought I was going to be there for two months, so that was probably it too, is that it just kept extending and kept extending.


But I've massively noticed the difference. I've actually been living for a month now with very little stuff. I'm like, I don't even know what I have back at that house now that obviously I don't need it because I've been living for a month without any of it and been fine. I'm thinking, well, coming into October, it's going to be one of our theme is going to be letting go and we're going to be working on decluttering. So stay tuned for that. Love that.


That's exciting. Yeah. I had another thought too, of a way that you can shift the way we think of so-to instead of our belongings or anything. But if we actually think about ourselves, not in a cleanliness state. Obviously, yes, there's the practices of keeping yourself clean, hygienically, but it's also keeping ourselves small. So if we keep ourselves small, we're never shedding our old skin and allowing ourselves to reach that next high vibrational self and allowing that person to emerge. You can think of it more metaphorically of shutting what no longer serves you and stepping into that next phase of yourself. If we're not doing that, then you're keeping all that, I don't know, think of it as like dirty old skin on you and you're not allowing it to just release. That's something I was thinking about this weekend because I think I did that for a very long time. I just... That was the safe space. You knew what to expect. You knew everything was controlled, so to speak, and you knew where life was going because it was just going on this one very narrow path. But if we allow that to fall off, then you allow multiple paths to open and you can see where it takes you.


Because if I didn't do that, I wouldn't be sitting here with you today. I wouldn't be on my next adventure of learning to or starting to substitute teach at studios. I wouldn't be doing any of this. I'd be probably still drinking, probably just going through those same exact patterns.


Yeah, I love that. Sobriety could also be a practice of sacha as well, right? Because when we're putting alcohol into our body, we're really damaging our health. We're damaging our mental health, we're damaging our wellbeing. By releasing or letting go of our drinking, we create space for new wellbeing practices to move in.


Yeah, it's a beautiful practice.


I'm a big bubble bath person. Are you a bubble bath or shower person? What's your cleanliness rituals?


Sorry, I laugh just because any time I'm asleep over you, it's like you have to have your bedtime bath. And I'm like, We.


Need to red... Yeah, I'm like, We need to get an Airbnb with a bathtub.


I remember, Jenny and I were in the bathroom trying to quickly just finish up so that you could get in there. It's so funny. It's great. I love it. I would say I'm more of a shower person just because I feel like... And this is maybe my own self. I don't allow a lot of time for a bubble bath, but I find in the winter months when it's colder, I'm definitely a bath person. But it's like my nighttime wind-down ritual. In the winter and then all the other times I'm more of a shower person.


This is something that I... Again, one of the issues with the house I sublimated was literally that I didn't have a bath. And it's so funny because I learned over and over again throughout my life is that I need a place with a bath. I'm sometimes okay for a short term shower situation, but I don't know, it's the cleanliness, but the grounding, the bedtime routine. It's just been a constant since I was six years old. That for me is a really grounding ritual.


Yeah, I love that. I think I need to do more of that because in the winter months it is super grounding. I'm in there for sometimes 2 hours. I just bring a book and light a candle and I just have a little self-care practice. What I will say that I have found as another beautiful practice of Satcha that I have started to incorporate is actually breath work. If we think of the practice of pranayama, that's cleansing and purifying within, as well as a meditation practice. I've been trying to get into... My meditation practice ebbs and flows a little bit, I would say, but I've been trying to get into as much as a daily meditation practice because I think that's a way that you can incorporate breath work into that. But then also it's a way to loop in back to the beginning to purify our thoughts and see them go on a cloud and you're inviting in more stable, grounded energy.


Yeah, I love that. Do you have a favorite breath work that you like to do?


I love Bromory. I think the bumblebee breath, it just creates a vibration in me that just feels like it shakes up whatever is stagnant, whatever is stuck and just releases it. And when I was in my way... We learned, I'm not going to remember it fully right now, but certain spots, like when you hold the front of the heart, the side of the heart, the back of the heart, and tuning into which needs more energy because one is self-love, one is love to others, and one is what we show the world. I can't remember which one is which. I think the front self, but I can't remember. I think this is like, but you show the world and then this is love to others. It's a way to just tap into the energy of your body. How about you?


What's my favorite pranayama? I definitely think it's nadi shodana, which is alternate nostril breathing. But I've gotten really interested in pranayama this year as well through my job at the Yoga Teacher Training School because I've had to teach an hour of pranayama every single day. And I actually started adding pranayama to the Mindful Life practice. So if you're a member of our community, there's a pranayama that comes out every single week and goes with the theme. So our theme in October is going to be letting go. And all of our pranayama practices will revolve around that.


I think I shared with you, Nadi showed that I now like, but I had a very rough experience with it at the beginning because I had a little bit of it. A little bit of it that sounds bad. I had a drowning almost incident when I was younger, and so holding my breath was something that was just like... Yeah. And so when I first did that pranayama practice, it triggered that feeling of not being able to breathe. But I think because you create such a safe and grounding space, I'm now more easily able to do that breath and not have those emotions and memories triggered.


But yeah. Oh, wow. That's so scary. It's a good thing to mention because I think sometimes for not everyone, every paniama is calming or soothing. I think just being open to explore, but also know that you can always step back. If you're in a class and the teacher is leading something and you're like, This is not working, you can always step back and just breathe normally and just be in the energy of it and feel it out.


Because for.


Everyone, not everything is going to have the same impact.


Yeah, absolutely.


So true. All right, I have some journal prompts for us I'm going to pull up. Let's see if we have any comments on this. No comments. We have lots of people watching. So if you're watching, say hi. Let us know where you're watching from. I'm going to pull up some journal prompts. First of all, what are some practices that we can do for Saatcha? We can try to lighten our mental clutter, our physical clutter. We can try to introduce more whole foods, vegetables, fruits into what we eat every day. We can try to let go of our judgment, expectations and opinions. We can bring in physical Saatcha practices and cleansing practices into our lives. And some journal prompts. Where in my life could I benefit from cleansing more? What are some things that I can start cleansing for my life? How often do I practice self-care and which cleansing techniques do I want to introduce into my practice?


This is amazing.


Well, this was a super great live. It went much smoother than last week's. Are there any other last thoughts or things you want to.


Share, Kristen? I don't think so. I think it's just be patient with yourself as you're learning these. Everything that I said and talked about doesn't mean that we're perfect and we practice these perfectly. Totally. It's ebbs and flows and there's constant learning. So I would just say take what resonates, leave what doesn't, and just see what feels good.


For you. Yeah. And I want to add one thing off of that. I was actually teaching a lesson on yoga philosophy today to my yoga teachertraining class. And they were talking about how their philosophy each year had called the Ammas and the Niyamas, the rules and regulations of yoga. And I had said that feels really strict words to me because it's not rules and regulations. It's more like we're basically we're all just trying to be happy and reduce our stress and feel better. And so they're just little reminders of like, Oh, things feel off within me. Maybe I should clean up my space. Maybe I should tell the truth about something that I was being dishonest about. Maybe I should get back to that thing that's not mine. And it's really just a checklist of like, Okay, how can I get more balanced so that I can feel a little happier? So it's not like things of like, you're doing this right, or you're a messy person, therefore you're not a yogi. That's not at all how it works. If I turn around my camera and you saw the mess of stuff on my bed, and so I love what you've added.


We're definitely not doing it perfect. It's just like a conversation on what are we trying to bring into our lives to feel better. So that's a really good point to make. That's so true. Amazing. All right. Well, I don't think we got any other comments on our chat, just LeAnne. But thanks everyone for tuning in and joining us. Really good to see you. If you want to hang out with me and Kristen more, we run 30-day Silver Girls Yoga challenges. So if you're new to sobriety, new to yoga, new to meditation, want to get into any of this stuff, we run those programs at the Mind-Life Practice. And Kristen also helps me run the yoga teacher trainings, and we have a new one starting in October. So, Judith, a DM, and we hope to see you soon on Zoom. All right.


Hi, friend. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Sober Yoga Girl Podcast. This community wouldn't exist without you here, so thank you. It would be massively helpful if you could subscribe, leave a review and share this podcast so it can reach more people. If we haven't met yet in real life, please come get your one week free trial of the Sober Girls Yoga membership and see what we're all about. Sending you love and light wherever you are in the world.