In the yogic philosophy, Santosha or contentment, is the second niyama. The niyamas offer self-disciplines which serve to guide us in creating a happier and healthier life both outside and within ourselves. In modern times, we may view contentment as giving up, waving the white flag, or even settling. However, through the yogic lens, santosha is cultivating appreciation and acceptance of where we are in order to get the most out of the present moment.
Santosha, or contentment, doesn’t mean to sit back and surrender. It simply means accepting and appreciating what we have and where we are.
We find ourselves in these tough, crazy, and inexplainable situations off and on the mat. How can we be content in these moments? Do we stay in the moment with a grateful heart and acceptance to take it all in? Or is our tendency to scurry, fight, or look ahead to get out of the discomfort?
Santosha is finding that moment and looking at that positive piece within it. Being happy. Being strong. Being compassionate and courageous. Not giving in or waving the white flag. Conquering each moment as yours and yours alone. Finding that affirmation to just be. You are where you need to be; enjoy it.
As we all have experienced, this last year brought quite a change of pace. I can only assume that at some point 2020 brought up thoughts and feelings that we would have never imagined. Being in the full fledged throes of life, I was Immediately halted to stillness, seclusion, and the fear of unknowing. However, with this shift came a comforting prospect on and off my mat.
I have amazingly found new gratification for being content.
I didn’t need to prepare or get anything ready for any upcoming event. I didn’t have to go to a class to be on my mat. I was able to pause and enjoy where I was. I adore my home and family and being on my mat on my own terms. I enjoyed the time and space quarantine brought to focus on my education. I found a new appreciation and gratitude for where I am. I was reminded to be mindful, to slow down, and to not be too busy to enjoy every moment of this life.