Summon Santosha (Contentment) On and Off the Mat

Ananda Wellness – Theme of the month:

Summon Santosha (Contentment) On and Off the Mat

Translation/ Meaning

The term Santosha is derived from the Sanskrit sam, meaning “completely” and tosha, meaning “contentment” or “acceptance.” Altogether, it may be translated as “complete contentment.”

Santosha is generally considered to be both an attitude and a state of deep inner peace. By practicing Santosha, the yogi is freed from cravings and desires. When we are free from such influences, we are also free to pursue our own calling without fear. This is considered an essential part of spiritual development. Cultivating Santosha, it is said to end one’s suffering. Santosha is the second Niyama of Patanjali’s eight limb yoga path.

Santosha reminds us to look at ourselves and find peace and acceptance, that comfortable feeling that arises when you make friends with all parts of yourself, and at the same time being at ease with what you don’t have or have not achieved – yet. Accepting our perceived limitations and, what’s more, celebrating them.

How often does the phrase ‘I’ll be happy when….’ Cross your mind?

Even if we’re dedicated practising yogis, doing everything ‘right’, there’s still probably that niggling thought of ‘I’d be happier if….’ in our minds. When we practice something consistently over time, we become more and more established in the practice, and that’s when we finally start to gain the results.

In the Sutra 2:42 it’s said that

“As a result of contentment, supreme peace and happiness are experienced.”

How do we practice contentment? By continuously cultivating a mind free from cravings, desires, and goals and instead focusing on finding peace within. When you let go of the superficial identification with body and mind, and when you connect to your innermost nature. Only through this self-realization you will be filled and will remain with Santosha sustainably.


5 ways to embody contentment during your Yoga practice –

Avoid comparing yourself with other yogi’s

Be compassionate to yourself

Every day especially on the mat – will be different

Be present on purpose

Enjoy it all – practice gratitude for your body and for your mind

“If you find you are here and now unbearable and it makes you unhappy, there are three options: Leave the situation, change it, or accept it altogether. If you want to take responsibility for your life, then you must choose one of these three options, and you must make the choice now.” – Eckhard Tolle

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