Santosha - Contentment in the Moment
"Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you." ~Lao Tzu
The yogic philosophy of the niyamas encourages us to turn inward and observe guidelines or duties that help make us happier, healthier and more enlightened individuals. These key principles raise our consciousness and keep our integrity on and off the mat. The second niyama is "santosha" or contentment in the moment.
In our current climate, it's very easy to get caught up in things we "lack". Community events, vacations, social gatherings, eating at our favorite restaurants and even the loss of income are things we have temporarily lost due to Covid 19. Santosha reminds us to pause and see the beauty and abundance of all we DO have. During this global pause, perhaps you've had more quality time with your family, increased your self care, taken up a new activity or taken advantage of educational offerings online. A consistent yoga practice can help us find a strong center as we ride these waves of change.
Santosha means accepting that this moment can't be any different than what it is. There is a saying, "When it rains, let it." True freedom and contentment come to us when we can see all things as neutral, and not spend so much energy manipulating things according to our preferences. Most things are out of our control. Our power lies on how we respond to our challenges. Do they defeat us or help us transform?
On our mat, we may feel disappointment if we can't hold a pose, frustration when we think we're not flexible enough, or struggle when we can't shut our mind off in savasana. The beauty of yoga is that however we show up to our mat, our practice will meet us right where we're at. The magic happens. When we are on our mat in a place of discontent, we aren't able to grow.
What if you could appreciate all that your body CAN do? What you could simply have gratitude for a deep breath? This begins to open the doorway to happiness.
Yogis have learned that there is nothing missing; life is complete the way it comes to us in each moment. When we understand this, we sink into contentment.
Take a breath and pause....What can you appreciate in this moment?