Are You Content? The Practice of Santosha…
Are You Content? The Practice of Santosha
The second of the Niyamas (personal observances) from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, is Santosha the Niyama of contentment. What is the opposite of content?…to be filled with desire, want or need which always perpetuates the feelings of lack!
To find bliss at the end of this tunnel you would have to get rid of desire. Want for nothing and your mind will be at peace... This is an extremely difficult task as our human nature is to strive for more and better. Once we get the “thing” we desire the joy is just a fleeting moment that begs us to move to the next “thing”. This cycle is what puts humanity into emotional distress, sometimes depression, fear and certainly anxiety. (Anyone notice the statistics regarding depression and anxiety?)
Many people find themselves looking for answers in the desire to “make themselves better” or actualize methods to “self-improve” without the consideration of starting right where they are in this moment. There is a created, non-truth condition in this that leads a person down a slippery slope. Yoga is a great focal point because, in an unconsidered western viewpoint, yoga could turn into just that, a way to improve or look better and nothing more with all things desire and outcome and its perpetual cycles of emotional distress. With a desire-less Santosha approach, the beautiful subtleties in the yoga and asana practice will come forward and your intuition will rise when considering moving to advanced levels in your practice. The truthful approach of starting here and now, being in the joy of it and doing what you can do is the idea behind Santosha. Being on the mat is as individual as a fingerprint and you cannot start in someone else's feet...
Being content or living without desire does not mean staying idle. The argument came to me that I would lose out, miss out and be nothing without desire. "If you are without desire, you won't be determined to realize your goals!" No, It simply means starting from where I am to complete goals. Understanding the conditions that exist around me in acceptance will help to eliminate anxiety about the things I cannot change and the things I cannot do right now. Think about all of the time wasted complaining about the rainy weather... take your kid out for a jump in the puddles or a rainy day walk!
As this goes, happiness lies within, not out there with a new car, better weather, new dress or even the best abs. It means content. I am what I am, I have what I have, I'm in this weather and I will accept this moment and myself as is!
Acceptance is being good to yourself, confronting your fears, keeping a positive attitude in all that is, and accepting the imperfections in life. Failure is when we learn the most about ourselves and if you accept failure you may also accept its lessons.
Wishing you happiness and joy!
Sat Nam ਸਤਿ ਨਾਮੁ The Yama Yoga Store
Soorya Kirti Kaur