Santosha, the Niyama of contentment on Patanjali’s eightfold path, sounds blissful, but isn’t the easiest to practice. Even the most dedicated yogis can still have thoughts arise in the mind of ‘I’d be happier if…’. Whether it’s a physical change, a job change, a relationship change, or even a pose we’ve been working towards, there may be things that we feel could make us happier or more content. It’s important to distinguish that having urges to grow and expand our minds and push ourselves towards a goal isn’t bad – it’s just shifts if we are basing our entire sense of peace or happiness upon this.
Santosha also doesn’t mean to sit back and relinquish the need to do anything, but rather means to accept & appreciate what we have and what we are. It is in our nature to want more, to not let ourselves rest. But we have to consider which of our goals are really important to our life, our world and our wellbeing.
The answer lies in non-attachment and the appreciation of our true selves. Happiness & peace resides within and being in a Santosha state of mind is about maintaining balance through all that life offers. Santosha is a practice of gratitude and joy and to remain calm with both successes and failures.
Santosha in practice: