If your mind has been racing and you’re feeling overwhelmed, you might be struggling with contentment.
Contentment, formally known as Santosha in the yoga community, balances our lives. We are more capable of living a peaceful life when we are content with ourselves and the people around us. If you want to reach a true state of contentment, you can implement daily practices on and off the mat that can balance your life.
Continue reading this article to learn more about what Santosha is and how you can implement this niyama into your daily life.
Santosha is one of the five niyamas. It asserts that all people must find contentment if they want to live a full and happy life.
How do you implement Santosha off the mat?
Santosha as a practice comes in many forms. Whether you’re someone who wants to write in a journal or wants to walk within nature, there’s something for everyone to bring their mind at ease.
Use a gratitude journal
Gratitude journals are one of the best ways to practice Santosha because they force us to reflect on our daily lives and find things we are grateful for. In a world that can seem dark and grim, using a gratitude journal reminds us how wonderful life can be!
Create your gratitude journal by purchasing a regular journal from the store. Take time every day to write one positive thing about your day, no matter how big or small it might be. Sometimes you might write three pages, another day you might only write three words. As long as you take the time to sit down and write, you will find yourself sparking joy.
Take a walk in nature
Connecting with nature is a fantastic way to practice Santosha because you can feel your energy levels shift in a positive way. When you take a walk somewhere secluded and quiet, you allow your chakras to find balance. If you need a true spiritual alignment, try walking barefoot. When you walk barefoot, you create a direct channel between your body and the earth.
How do you practice Santosha on the mat?
Yogis often wish to exceed their boundaries. We refrain from placing limitations on our bodies and get frazzled when we cannot reach them. With Santosha, we learn to accept and be at peace with these limitations.
Practice asanas within your limits
If you’re someone looking to expand your yoga practice (and every yogi should actively seek to expand their practice), you should move forward with grace. Always accept your limitations and understand you might not nail each pose on the first try. Learning to appreciate your body’s boundaries will leave you feeling much more satisfied at the end of your yoga practice.
Many people overlook meditation because they think it is too hard. People believe it is advanced yoga practice or requires too much concentration. All of these are entirely false! Meditation is a fantastic way to clear the mind of clutter and find true contentment. In fact, there’s no better way to mitigate the chattering of the mind than by clearing it entirely. The only way you can truly do that is by sitting at your mat and emptying your mind.
Everyone struggles with getting in their own head. We fall out of balance and feel out of place. When you get to this point you might need to realign your life by practicing various Santosha exercises like keeping a gratitude journal or reconnecting with nature by taking daily walks. It can also help to reevaluate your behavior on the mat. If you’re struggling to remain humble with your yoga practice, remind yourself that your body has limitations and once you acknowledge those you will finally reach your fullest potential.