The Art of Santosha (Contentment)

Santosha is one of the niyamas (observances) outlined in the 8 fold path of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The more that we can anchor ourselves in our inner stillness, the easier it is to feel at peace with this moment exactly as it is. This is the art of practicing santosha, accepting the moment exactly as it is, and accepting ourselves exactly as we are. The greater the inner stillness we can access within ourselves, the more likely we are to project a sense of calmness and contentment outwardly in our lives, no matter what the challenges are that we face. Our inner stillness becomes patterned into our outer reality. We begin to learn that our inner contentment cannot rely on the ever changing outer circumstances but is in fact cultivated within.

This is easier to practice the more we get in touch with the vast inner stillness which lies within each of us. The focus of our yoga practice is to access this when we are on the yoga mat, so that it can spill off the yoga mat, and into our daily lives. The aim is to grow as an individual, coming home to ourselves again and again learning to dedicate ourselves to inner peace and contentment so that we can show up in this ever changing worlds as the most centred version of ourselves, with greater access to our innate inner wisdom, and greater clarity in the moment that we are in.

The truth is that most of the moments of our lives are peaceful, it’s the mind which takes us away from the present moment and is conditioned to do so. If we can work with our minds, we can improve our ability to practice santosha and to shape our lives going forward with greater insight, responding more wisely to what is going on around us, and moment by moment find a true sense of contentment with who we are and how we are living.

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