Shaucha (शौच), purity, is one of the Niyamas of Yoga or Hinduism. It is mentioned in the Mahabharata and Patanjali's text. It may also mean to cry with tears; pointing to the cleansing crying gives when one is defiled by the sorrow caused by the departure of a relative or a friend, or after a catastrophe. Purity and cleanliness are highly emphasized. Shaucha is essential for health, happiness and general well-being. External purity is achieved through daily ablutions, while internal purity is cultivated through physical exercises, including asana (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques).