SANTOSHA THE SECOND NIYAMA: CONTENTMENT….
“Santosha” in Sanskrit means to settle, contentment, or better to be satisfied and obviously refers to be happy with what we have and what we are at this moment, therefore appreciate what we have, what we are and what we can give.
When we speak about yoga, we are speaking of the present time, in every practice there is the constant invitation to be here and now, to enjoy the present time and to be thankful for this time and hence be happy (santosha) of the present moment, what really counts.
This logical principle has however deep and thin meanings, very often we confuse being content with being happy but santosha is not only this.
Speaking of our world, the Western, the concept of being happy is not easy to understand and yoga suggests us to relate with people who simply are happy with what they have and what they are in such a way as to be of support to the quality of our life. Therefore being surrounded by grateful people does well to our lives.
However Santosha should be applied first and above all to our yoga practice.
According to this principle we must be satisfied with everything we have and to get to this regular daily practice is very important. How many times we find ourselves faced with other great practitioners who always ask for more, are not happy with their results but always ask their body and themselves for more….
This attitude has nothing to do with YOGA, or at least with what was meant when this wonderful discipline was born.
It is obviously essential to give your maximum when practicing but is even more important to settle and be satisfied with the progress made (santosha), even if often it is very small.
“There is no result to be achieved and no Position to be carried out perfectly”.
When we speak of asanas, we have an unlimited number of positions and variations for which we will always find something increasingly difficult, but to be yogic or at least if you want to make yoga your lifestyle also means to settle for what one is…obviously work hard to improve but perfection, acrobatics, or other should not be our aim.
Usually we are urged not to be satisfied by our ego (asmita) that would always like more and is never satisfied, but what we must try to do is to develop the awareness to see clearly these mental mechanisms, not to make it so that the ego is taking over and to develop the ability to settle even on the mat.
Once santosha is developed in our practice we can begin to apply this principle in our own lives too
If you want to deepen read also WHAT ARE NIYAMA IN YOGADiscover our book either in paperback or E-BOOK version
It talks about positive thinking, correct nutrition (with recipes and suggestions), naturopathy, but also about yoga and total well-being written by Dr. Antonia Califano P.h.D. and her team