Have you ever experienced contentment? Like the cat sitting there, cosy, warm and safe, eyes closed and purring because they are just so content. The beautiful Sanskrit word for contentment is Santosha. It is to experience satisfaction with your life on all levels – this feeling that, for the most part, everything is just right.
Yoga helps us to find balance and cultivate deeper awareness to experience santosha. Without a regular yogic practice it can be difficult to discern how content you really are feeling. Too much santosha can present itself as a lack of any desire or motivation to live better, do better, make change, or move towards your Dharma, your purpose. Too little can present as feeling that you never have enough or are enough. It can leave you feeling as though you can’t flourish without something else, something new. Upon reflection you may find that you are always chasing the next big thing. You will never find true contentment from chasing riches, nor for blaming the world for what you perceive you lack.
Through yoga we find unity as our deficiency or over abundance begin to come into balance, creating a sense of deep calm and contentment.
Yoga relieves suffering
Yoga has one main purpose, and that is to reduce our suffering. Suffering can be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Once we commit to a regular yoga practice this is exactly what begins to happen – our suffering begins to dissipate and we find ourselves in a more balanced harmonious state, content with our existence.
A regular yoga practice may mean you commit to 10 minutes of meditation every single day. Or, it could mean a daily 20 minute movement practice connecting the breath with postures. It can mean spending 15 minutes a day being mindful, or, practicing a pranayama (breathing) exercise. While it would be fantastic if everyone could commit to a daily 1-2 hours of practice, it is not practical, nor is it necessary. What is necessary is to commit to something on a daily basis that brings the many tools of yoga into your life so that you can reduce your suffering.
Journalling is another wonderful tool that helps us to not cultivate santosha but to bring clarity about what path we should be taking in life. I encourage you to practice one or more of the tools of yoga regularly and you will create a deep inner sense of contentment.
To be content is to experience joy. This joy is not reliant on emotions, rather it is unchanging and steadfast. I believe that we all deserve to feel this way.
To find out how I can guide you towards contentment please have a look at my latest classes and offerings here. There is always free online meditation every Wednesday, and free recorded meditations available via a link on the Home page.
Om Shanti ~ Om Peace
Photo of Mordialloc Creek joining the sea at sunset taken from the underpass.