Yoga is SO much more than postures on a mat, it’s practices for helping us become more fully and freely alive. It’s a path toward greater peace, joy, and love. One of yoga’s Niyamas, or inner-dispositions, for instance is Santosha. Santosha is contentment, a deep and abiding sense that all is well and all will be well. The radical move of Santosha is that it invites us to pause our doings and take time to simply BE. It calls us to realize and embrace our mortality and temporality, and to stop trying to become significant via more stuff and greater achievements. The magic of Santosha is that the less we do, the less we think, the more we surrender, and the more we JUST BREATHE, the more vibrant and alive we become.
“Simply” by pausing to take time to be with and feel our breath, body, and spirit, we tap into a fullness that needs no doing. This naked being is a vulnerable and sacred practice that brings ridiculous amounts of peace and bliss, and is ideally practiced both alone and with others. By becoming open, honest, and naked with ourselves and others, we connect to a deep, Divine level of belonging, worth, and love.
On this topic, yoga teacher Janet Stone writes: “The grace of santosha—the force of contentment—comes when we melt into the pure awareness that this very breath carries all that we’re searching for. We only need to pay attention to it with absolute attentiveness and a dash of freakin’ AWE.” With all this in mind, today I invite us to practice living and breathing contentment in all situations by simply pausing to take a slow, sweet breath in, savor the breath, and then feel a smooth, soft exhale … and don’t forget the AWE! 🙂
Grace and peace,