The second limb on the Raja yoga path is Niyamas. In Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi, she refers to niyamas as "inner observances" which act as a code for living soulfully. (p. 31)
They can also be considered "individual conduct" as the yamas (the first limb on the 8-limbed path) were defined as "social conduct."
The niyamas in order are:
1. saucha: cleanliness/purity
2. santosha: contentment
3. tapas: austerity/discipline
4. swadhyaya: study
5. isvarapranidhana: surrender to the divine
Practicing the niyamas means it's time to turn inward. Each yama is best begun by looking inward, but with each niyama, the entire practice is about you. It's time here to do some examination of us before we proceed further along the path.
The first niyama, which can be translated as cleanliness and/or purity, is saucha.
These directives, the "to do lists" of the niyamas are truly of an individual nature--no one else can decide for you what it means to live with purity. While there is a hygienic component (a slovenly yogini is certainly not practicing purely) this niyama is about being the best person that you can.
How? I think it's up to us individually to decide.
We have so many choices to make--daily small choices and larger life choices. The options are overwhelming at times--to be a vegetarian or not? To have children or not? To buy organic or not? Why? To drive or take the bus? Etc, etc, ad nauseum.
I think a good practice for ourselves is to daily ask ourselves why we do something a certain way, or why it is that we think a certain thing. This sort of self-questioning is a good way to determine whether or not we are choosing a lifestyle which is to our best benefit. It's also a good way for us to question our own sense of reality. Assuming that everything is real is one of the four flawed perceptions. Can you expand your notion of reality?
We may even want to examine which yoga practice is best for us. For some of us, the practice of yoga asana is not the best way forward. Especially for those of us who have intense injuries or are entering this practice later in our lives--we may want to consider other options--perhaps bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion or jnana yoga, the yoga of wisdom are better suited to our individual needs.
Start practicing saucha by asking some questions. They don't have to be big, but this daily practice may provide you with the insight you need to live with a pure heart and mind. Choose pathways that will best allow you to actualize your potential for pure consciousness.