Since January, I have been weaving thoughts from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali into my yoga classes. Each week we have been looking at a different sutra and exploring how this connects to our yoga practice and, of course, our day-to-day lives.
For the past seven weeks, we have been looking at the Yamas and Niyamas which form the foundation of all yogic thought. They are also known as the ethical restraints and observances we employ to live in harmony with one another and with ourselves.
This week my yoga classes are focused on the Niyama of Santosha. Santosha means contentment. In Deborah Adeleâ€™s book on the Yamas and Niyamas, Exploring Yogaâ€™s Ethical Practice, she talks about how we are a culture of people who are always getting ready for the next thing and not investing in the present moment.
I spend a good deal of time contemplating each of the sutras throughout the week and my thoughts this week are about how I can foster contentment in my body-mind.
As I was driving home from teaching a class this morning, this question came to me: Can I nourish my body-mind rather than merely feeding it? We frequently feed ourselves with information, food, preferences and aversions that do not necessarily nourish us.
So, to foster contentment this week as I contemplate the power of Santosha, I am committing to providing my body with good nutrition and adequate sleep. I will nourish my body with yoga asana practices that accept where I am right now. I will read, listen and watch things that fill me up rather than leaving me feeling agitated and depleted. While I cannot simply seek contentment, I can create an environment where it arises naturally.
How will you foster contentment for yourself this week? I would enjoy hearing your great ideas!