The Niyamas | Santosha

Santosha is the second of the Niyamas in yoga.  It means contentment.

The Sanskrit word santosha is divided into two parts: sam, meaning completely or entirely, and tosha, meaning acceptance, satisfaction, and contentment.

T.K.V. Desikachar defines santosha as the ability to be comfortable with what we have and with what we don't have.

While contentment may sound blissful, it isn't easy. In fact, for those of us born into a culture of striving and consumerism, santosha is downright counter-cultural, but it is a noble pursuit.

In his letter to the Christians in Philippi, the Apostle Paul wrote in the first century, "I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." (Message translation)

Contentment is a practice. And it goes beyond the things we own and the cars we drive.  It is about the entire circumstance of our life.  The way we look. Our families. Our job. There is a deep sense of enjoyment in the appreciation of what already is. 

Are there areas of your life where you need to actively practice contentment? It is a great practice to cultivate.

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