Saucha is the first niyama in Patanjali’s list of observances. It appears in Sutra II.32 (Pada, which is Sanskrit for “book,” 2 and thread 32), with the other four: santosha, tapas, svadhyaya, and ishvara pranidhana. Saucha refers to a practice of purity and cleansing. In practice, we purify our actions, thoughts, words and bodies without being afraid of who we are in each moment. This is not a practice of being perfect though; we honor who we are as we purify our relationships and try to lighten and brighten our lives.
English words that can serve as guideposts in this practice:
de-clutter, freshen, open, illuminate, purify, detoxify, confess, lighten, subtract, undivided, expansive, cleansing, brighten, reduce, and purity.