Being Content – The Second Niyama
Posted by terrepruitt on March 9, 2016
Ahhhh Santosha, the second niyama. The niyamas and the yamas are the second and first limb of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. As with many things there is often more to it than what is popular knowledge. Most people are familiar with yoga, in the sense that they know it has to do with stretching. Many people will even say, “I am not flexible enough to do yoga.” Ha . . . that is probably more true than they know. Tee hee. But, actually they are just referring to the physical aspect because, again, that is what is popular knowledge. To me, that is fine, just knowing yoga as a physical practice is fine. In fact, if that is all you want to do when you think of yoga, that is fine too. I am not here to say you have to do yoga a certain way or that you have to practice all the limbs or you aren’t doing real yoga — in fact, to say that, in MY opinion — is not practicing “real” yoga. Ha . . . so intertwined it all is. But anyway . . Eight Limbs . . . More To Yoga Than Just Asana. The first two limbs (yama and niyama) are rules and observances. There are five of each. I have posted a bit about the five yamas and now I am working my way through the five niyamas. This post is about the second one — Santosha, contentment.
Ahhhhh. Sigh. Sounds so super easy . . . if you consider yourself content. But it might not be if you look at it. If you really look at “true” contentment it might be a little bit more difficult than at first glance. This one is tricky because in some cases it might appear to be laziness or unambitious. But really it is just being content with where you are. Again it can be connected to some of the yamas, because we would be content with where we are and not try to “steal” something away from someone else. We will be content with what we have in that we won’t try to get all that we can (either material-wise or sexually). We will not try to possess everything and hoard it all. These are comparisons to the last three yamas.
Santosha extends to worrying. Worrying is a form of non-contentedness. We are thinking about the future and not content to be right where we are. It could be a matter of not trusting that we are where we need to be. It could be a matter of not focusing on the now. There might even be an aspect of control to consider. If we are always trying to control things it could be that we don’t trust what will happen to be the right thing or that we are unable to surrender to it. Hmmmm . . . .
So we are to accept what is happening, what is in the present, and what we have. We are to be content with what is. Santosha is not to worry about what will be and try not to control everything. This does not mean we cannot make plans and have ambitions, it just means that we should enjoy what we have and not be too disappointed when it is not the way we think it should be.
Again I will say, I have not mastered this entirely. I think I am content in some situations, but I might be a little non-Santosha in others. But, again, it is a practice.
What would you like to share about Santosha?