Practicing Santosha

In a society that pushes us to always be learning, striving and busy, what does it look like to simply be content with who we are and what we have?  What would being content with ourselves look like if we could take time each day to simply be? To live present in our surroundings, remove judgment of ourselves and others,  and to recognize all that we have right in front of us. How could contentment  help us to connect deeper with those around us? Would it look more bright? More kind? More joyus? More full of love?

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Santosha-  in Sanskrit translates to "complete or content" studied as one of the 4 branches of the Niyamas (observances). Read more about the 8 limbed system here. The concept of contentment is not typically something that is readily talked about or practiced in western society but is crucial in finding balance and peace within ourselves.

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To begin bringing more Santosha into our day, start with this simple meditation, saying: “I am content.  I am grateful for what I have and for what I don’t have.  I learn from the dark and the light that life brings me.  I honor the light in myself and others.  I refrain from criticism and faultfinding.  I accept life just the way it is.  I love my life.  I honor and practice loving kindness, and compassion.” When you feel your mind focusing too much on the past and future, escaping from the present, bring yourself back with this meditation.

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Through this shift in perception, we can begin to train our minds to see reality a little bit different. In practising this Niyama, I have begun to already feel more joy and peace coming into my life!

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Photos by Felicia Lasala