Santosha- the Practice of Contentment


Note: Santosha is one of the niyamas (personal observances) laid out in Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga, found in the Yoga Sutra. The eight limbs have been an important foundation of yoga for over a thousand years.

Santosha is Contentment.
It’s that inner strength that comes from knowing we are fine just the way we are in this moment.
It’s understanding that we are always changing, learning and growing.
Santosha is being ok with not being finished and not being perfect.

Santosha is being happy with what we have.
You cannot BUY santosha, despite what our consumer capitalist society may try to lead us to believe.
One of the most important ideas in this practice of santosha is that contentment comes from within us, not from the outside.
Things cannot make us content.
Other people cannot make us content.
It is up to us to cultivate this sense of contentment within ourselves.

Our yoga mat is a good place to start practicing.
What does the practice of santosha look like in our yoga practice?  It’s the freedom to enjoy the feeling of what we are doing without striving or judging ourselves. It’s growing the ability to be with ourselves in a positive way, right here and now.

As we begin a brand new year it’s quite common to set goals for ourselves.  But don’t forget that we are just fine today, right now, wherever we are on our path.   Enjoy the journey.

Leslie    January 2020

The Yamas and Niyamas:

The Yamas:

Ahimsa: Non-violence
Satya: Truthfulness
Asteya: Non-stealing
Bramacharya: Respecting relationships, proper use of energy
Aparigraha: Non-grasping

The Niyamas:

Saucha: Purity
Santosha: Contentment
Tapas: Self-discipline, training your senses
Svadhyaya: Self-study, inner exploration
Ishvara Pranidhana: Surrender to a power greater than ourselves

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