Saucha is the first of the niyamas and it means "purity." It can mean other things like, bathe, brush your teeth, tidy your space, put things back where they go, pick up garbage on the step, vacuum, trim your toenails, paint your house, watch uplifiting tv shows, and I could go on and on.
I'm saucha-challenged personally. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy tidy spaces and definitely prefer them to messy spaces, it's just that I have so many other things I'd rather do than sort through papers or clean my car or clear off my desk.
There are some areas where I will not compromise: I must shower daily, I must brush my teeth - in fact every person in my house must brush their teeth twice daily as well - I must wear clean underpants once they've come off; dishes must not remain dirty in the sink for more than 24 hours.
And then there are other areas where I will let it slide. I don't need to clear the snow off of all of the windows in the car in order to drive. Food left in the car, if frozen, can stay on the back seat for long periods of time. My desk may have papers stacked on it, near it, under it, for months. My freezer can have stuff jammed in it as long as the door closes properly.
And I know I would feel better if the car was cleaned and the office was tidy and my freezer was organized so I knew what I could make for dinner. But I don't do those things. It's a "chore" to do those things. There are so many other things I'd rather do, like feed my neopets, or read people's blogs, or pay my bills, or write stuff, or just about anything.
The pressure comes from inside though. I see the pile and my brain fires off the message, "I ought to tidy that up." "I should clean the car today." "I should tidy up Remi's room with her." "I should sort through the stuff under the sink." My mind is quiet in the other areas, because they're handled. "Wow, I really like the way the carpet goes with the couch." "That colour feels good." "I can hardly wait to get into my bed with the clean sheets on."
I'd like to have people be able to come over and for me to go into every room in my house and not feel embarrassed or like I wish it were different. And that's a choice I have by doing things a couple of ways. I could actually tidy everything up and feel relief, or I could relax my brain and just let things be as they are. I figure a bit of both is what's called for. Do some of the stuff I don't like to do because I know I'll feel good when it's done, and relax a bit when I notice myself judging.
I also have this idea that yoga teachers' personal spaces are supposed to be serene and tidy. I'll let you know right now that I drop that a bit more everyday as I continue to allow things to be as they are. As this video from yesterday shows, there's a full life happening at this yoga teacher's home!