Have you ever taken a Yoga class and felt so happy that you achieved a new pose? Or felt amazing that you were stronger or more flexible? But what happens when the thing you did last week doesn't happen today? Struggling to achieve the amazing Yoga pose we did last week or maintain a certain "level" of practice could leave us feeling frustrated, unsatisfied and defeated :(
"There is no end of craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness, therefore acquire contentment" Swami Sivananda
Its easy to feel wonderful when things are going well. The problem can be when we get too attached to that. Maybe we go back to a class to get that same good feeling and then its not the same. We might not feel great, wobble all over the place, feel irritated by others around us or ourselves and our body.
We can so easily come out of being present and go to a place of judging ourselves. After all we come from a culture of being judged very often, grades at school, college, university, assessed in our workplace and finances and probably worst of all by ourselves. But fret not friends....the answer lies in 'Santosha'
Santosha is one of the Niyamas (a kind of ethical code towards yourself in Yoga). It means Contentment. Santosha helps us to be at peace with what is here now. Being present in our Yoga practice means accepting the way our body is today rather than wishing it was how it was 2 weeks ago, 5 years ago or 6 months into the future. Mentally cursing out your tight hamstrings is not the way to path to happiness. Practicing contentment means dropping the judgements, pressure and negative mind chatter and replacing it with love, self acceptance and honour for our bodies.
Remember if you are city dwellers like us life is always go, go, go. Practicing contentment on the Yoga mat can give us that unconditonal safe space to check in and come home to ourselves. Remember, contentment in Yoga isn't something that needs to be achieved it is something we can allow. Santosha-Contentment can keep our Yoga journey full of happiness, peace and joy! Om Shanti!