Yoga Principles

Santosha

 

The second of the five Niyamas is Santosha, Sanskrit for “contentment”. It is also translated as acceptance or optimism. Practicing contentment doesn’t mean we stagnate or give up our aspirations; it means we stop arguing with reality in the process. We accept our current circumstances while at the same time reaching for our goals. Acceptance in this context implies the willingness to see clearly and encourages you to be plainly honest with yourself. It can be practiced in a number of ways on and off the mat:

 

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Take a few moments every day to jot down what you appreciated most.

  • Remind yourself often, “What I say is enough. What I do is enough. What I am is enough.”

  • Practice seeing clearly on your mat. Let your body, breath, and state of mind guide you into your poses and practice. Be content with what these three aspects of your being inform you you can and cannot do.

  • Avoid constantly comparing yourself to others. Be ok with where you are.

  • Extend love and compassion towards yourself. Allow yourself to be human.

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