Santosha (skt. संतोष saṃtoṣa, santōṣḥ) literally means “contentment, satisfaction.” Other meanings include: acceptance of one’s circumstances, being comfortable with what is. Considering the popular tune “I can’t get no satisfaction,” most of us could use a little santosha in our lives. Shout out to my instructor Yoga Sihnuu for teaching me about this ethical concept in Indian philosophy, particularly Yoga, and is included as one of the Niyamas by Patanjali. To possess or achieve santosha means you are in a place where you do not crave or desire. Sounds cray cray right? We all know what it is like to crave or want something so badly, and what happens when we get it? We are temporarily blissed out, (some people for a matter of minutes), and then we go off again craving something else.
In my recent study of mindful eating, we discussed “Craving at the end of Craving,” an audio made by the Center for Mindful Eating. In the audio, the practitioner describes this cycle of craving, and then craving more. The only way to break the cycle, which is natural to us as humans, is to develop the ability to sit with your cravings and not act on them. To realize that if we do not get what we are craving we can still be happy, or content. Why is santosha important for our lives right now? These days we have waytoo much in popular culture that promotes the opposite of santosha; we want what the Kardashians have, and with one scroll through our Facebook or Instagram feed we may be left feeling our life as it is, isn’t as fabulous as we thought it was. In my interviews with amazing people who have achieved extraordinary longevity, I have noticed that all of them seemed to have achieved santosha in some way or another. They practice gratitude, mindfulness, and stress the importance of a positive outlook. Contentment can keep us from depression, stress, and foster a deeper sense of peace.
Assess your life today. How can you practice santosha or contentment? What can you be grateful for today? -Xo Raw Girl