Santosha – the Yoga Principle of Contentment

This week in my yoga classes I am focusing on the principle of Santosha or contentment. Santosha is one of the basic guidelines of yoga given to us in Patanjali’s Sutras.

 Yoga Sutra 2:42 – Santosha anuttamah sukha labhah.
“From an attitude of contentment,
unexcelled happiness and joy are obtained.”

Our goal is to find an inner contentment no matter what the outer circumstances. Outer things come and go. If we rely on them 100% we are in for a higher level of heartbreak. If instead, we learn and cultivate a quiet attitude of contentment we find peace even during struggle.

This does not mean deny or ignore feelings. Quite the contrary. Feelings deserve to be honored and addressed. If ignored they will come up in other ways. Allow any feelings to be accepted. If needed, work to change things. But focus on finding happiness in the journey. Even in the most tragic situations we can find some small piece (peace) of Santosha. Maybe that only comes from feeling the love of others, or having faith that there is a wise God (or higher power) who sees the bigger picture and is there to help us, or knowing this thing will pass. No matter the situation, we must search to find the aspects that give us contentment.

With a mindful choice and lots of practise, we can make Santosha a habit.



During one of your yoga practises this week make Santosha your focus. Notice how you feel as you go through the poses. Pay particular attention to the challenging ones.

Consciously decide to find some level of Santosha in every pose – even the ones you don’t like. Breathe through the feelings that arise. Send yourself love. If you need a chlid’s pose or modification by all means do that. But whatever you choose, can you bring in contentment? You might want to write down your experience in a journal.


The good news is, the more we notice and practise these things, the more we can choose how we feel and act. If we learn to find Santosha in the challenging yoga poses, we can learn to find santosha in the challenging life situations.

If you would like to share your experience with the above exercise, with Santosha, or anything else related please add your comments below.

Still Grateful I Did Not Catch on Fire, but Unfortunately Not Quite as Passionately

Last entry I was telling about leaving food cooking in the stove unattended for 2 hours and 45 minutes while I went to a yoga class. I was panic stricken when I realized what I had done and thought for sure things were up in flames. Here is the rest of what happened:


Finally arriving home I race up the stairs looking for the familiar flames, fire engines, smoke and smoke smell, still praying with all of my faith. And SURE ENOUGH…

AAAAaahhhhhh!! My prayers were answered (and I really do believe that was what did it). Inside the oven the broccolis and carrots were black fossils. The pastas were cobalt pebbles. But NO FIRE.

What a LOVELY and most auspicious way to start the weekend, NOT catching an apartment on fire.  It felt like not catching me and all of my life on fire. Maybe some of you too today have NOT caught your homes or selves on fire. HURRAY FOR ALL OF US!!! If we could be that grateful every day for all of the mini miracles we rarely notice, just think how fantastically happy we would be all of the time. I wish I could stay in that state of utter elation about not being on fire right now. It is a great thing, but easily taken for granted.

Today may we notice the little gifts in our lives (like NOT being on fire right now, etc.) and may our gratitude shine like bright, non-flammable flashlights.


Yoga Sutras 2:33 Vitarka Badhane Pratipaksha Bhavanam.
“When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite [positive] ones should be thought of.” 


Today if a negative thought or mood comes up, replace it by coming up with the most unusual, craziest, opposite, POSITIVE gratitude thought. Maybe think how wonderful it is that you did not catch on fire today. If you had, you would be feeling a lot differently than you do now. Feel the joy of sending gratitude for something important, but often overlooked. If you have something, kooky but sincere, that you are grateful for list it below.