You can find santosha and cultivate contentment through yoga.
Does your happiness depend upon what is occurring around you or does your sense of joy and serenity arise from within? According to Patanjali’s eight-limbed path of yoga, we can learn to cultivate contentment from the inside out. Santosha, the second Niyama or moral observance, means contentment. Like everything in yoga, the concept sounds simple, but the implementation takes discipline, desire, and focus.
With a dedicated practice, we can shift our perspective and learn not to be constantly derailed by what’s happening around us. When we are living in the midst of a global crisis, you might wonder how in the heck to feel content or happy. You aren’t alone. We’re all in this together.
Pretending to be falsely optimistic or burying your head in the sand like an ostrich is not the path to inner peace. Instead, Santosha comes from acknowledging the pain and discomfort or whatever emotion dominates you at any given moment.
Finding contentment regardless of external circumstances is an active endeavor. Using all the elements of a well-rounded yoga practice is key. Through choosing to spend time practicing pranayama, meditation, and asana, you learn to quiet the negative voices in your mind.
It takes work to cultivate Santosha, to learn to operate from a place of light despite the darkness. Again, being content doesn’t mean that you are pretending life is perfect. Being content means you can recognize the full spectrum of highs to lows and choose to focus on that for which you are grateful. Practicing santosha in our lives will bring us a sense of peace and inner joy.
“Happiness is a practices state of mind.”—His Holiness, the Dali Lama. One of the best ways to promote the positive is to nurture the quality of gratitude.
Each day, write down a list of at least three things you are grateful for, no matter how minor they may seem. We all have days where finding one sole thing to be grateful for is a struggle––but there’s always something to be thankful for, no matter how minor it may seem. Over time, train your mind to recognize the positives first, regardless of the negatives. Both qualities will always exist, but the one you direct your attention to will dominate your own experience.
This week, we’re excited to offer you a 5-day Yummy Yoga Flow Challenge with Claire Petretti Marti designed to assist you in finding your own intangible sense of santosha. These well-rounded, fun Vinyasa flow classes will have you letting go of the external and focusing on simply how you’re feeling inside. These classes are intermediate, but you can adapt so you’ll challenge your balance, strength, and flexibility. Sweat and smile your way to a happier you.
Ready to feel yummy? Sign up now, and enjoy this yoga from home!
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