Today, let’s explore the 2nd niyama from Patanjali’s 2nd limb of ashtanga yoga, santosha or contentment.
Happiest with some sweet treat in each hand as a child, I wonder how much I’ve changed in my search for joy and fulfillment.
What is it that makes us content? Being okay with how we how things are in our lives? Spending time with loved ones, nature, ourselves? Accepting our lot? Each of us yearns for inner peace.
संतोष santosha literally means completely satisfied or content. In fact, in this state, we are so content that we desire nothing else. According to TKV Desikachar, when we are focused on what we have, we are in the moment. When we are focused on what we don’t have, we are not in the moment.
If we yearn, we are not fulfilled. Society tells us do, strive, more, bigger, faster, keep moving, never settle.
Overcoming through Mindfulness: What can we do?
- Do the footwork towards a goal and let go of the results.
- Maintain an attitude of gratitude.
- Being calm and content does not mean we are bored.
- Literally, stop and smell the roses.
- Focus on your breath. Breathe deeply again and again.
- Listen to children, partners and older people.
- Look into people’s eyes when you are talking to them.
- Don’t text or read your phone while walking or driving.
- Show appreciation for small kindnesses.
- Greet your postal worker, bagger, and others you might overlook.
- Spend time in nature.
- Turn off your phone in the evenings or during meals.
- Sit quietly for 5 minutes each morning.
- Schedule your day so you don’t have to rush.