“Let the goal be to reach perfection, but be content with a little progress toward perfection every day. Overambition can be destructive of sustainable progress.” pg. 54 Light on Life, by B.K.S. Iyengar
Santosha has always been one of the hardest concepts for me to teach.
Santosha is the second of Patanjali’s niyamas. San coming from the word Sam meaning whole or complete and tosha meaning acceptance, satisfaction. Contentment. Relax as it is. Be happy with what you have. Easy right?
The reason I think this is a difficult topic to teach is because it’s much easier said than done. One can say “be happy with what you have” but can we really do that? I mean part of our human existence is based on striving. Do more. Be more. Be better. Win the race. BE THE BEST. But how can we feel complete if we are constantly striving for more?
Striving to be "better" may seem like a good thing but really it can just be reaffirming that things are never good enough. Hence the need for more diets, more self help/improvement and more cake. J All of this things can make us temporarily happy but as you may have noticed: Our moments of contentment are often fleeting. We feel better but then somehow we fall back into the same patterns. Is it possible could to be content all the time?
According to B Grace Bullock, contentment can mean our ability to change our story. When we see negative stories or thought patterns arise we have a choice – To keep repeating the story or to start a new one. Believe it or not we always have the ability to rewrite out story. Even with physical, mental, and emotional limitations there is still and opportunity to change the way you think about them
Dr. Bullock suggests, that instead of "This is hard, I can’t do this,” we can choose, “This is difficult, let’s see how I do with it today?” The way that you approach your practice is often a reflection of how you approach your life.
How are you changing your story today?