Life is a pulsation (spanda) of ups and downs. It is so easy for me to practice my yoga and this Niyama in particular when I am on an up swing. When life is good. However it is much harder when I meet resistance. That is when it is easier for me to let go of contentment and grasp on to anger, fear, sadness, and resentment. Some people think because I practice yoga and try to see the good I think all of life is good. I don't. There are horrible horrible things that happen in the world. I don't believe we have to think these tragedies are good. However I do think we can find contentment and an acceptance that can keep our soul lighter during heavy times.
Yesterday I was struggling. Weeks of no sleep had caught up to me and I was at my edge. Full of resentment to my husband for getting to sleep while I am up all night nursing, rocking and singing to our baby. My head was full of frustration as I was planning my class with the theme santosha, I laughed. Here I was planning a class on contentment even during troubling times while I was experiencing a troubling time and not choosing contentment. I took a few breaths. I accepted the reality of the situation. Yes I am sleep deprived. Yes it sucks. But no I won't feed that by getting more mad and cultivating anger to the world. I will be okay with what is happening even though I don't like it. Funny thing is 30 minutes later my husband unexpectedly took Sage from me and took a 90 minute nap. How sweet!
We can practice this Niyama in our asana practice by accepting where we are in our practice. Yes I would like to be able to do mandalasana again running out my stationary head on the floor but after my c-section I haven't been able to practice this backbend. Although I don't like that I can no longer do that playful asana I can be content with it. Another way to practice contentment with asana is practicing poses you don't like. I used to get so frustrated when a teacher taught a pose I didn't like. As if they could read my mind, know I didn't want to do a certain pose so purposefully taught it. How rude! Now I love it. Because I can practice being okay, being steady, even smiling during a challenging experience. That is where growth happens.
I challenge you. Practice contentment. Santosha. On your mat off your mat. When life is good but more importantly when it's not.
Props: blanket, 2 blocks, strap
P.o.e is, os. Oe
Lunge - short lunge- lunge
Lunge T arms twist- rev hand behind head- high runners lunge twist - l.l quad twist
L.l quad both hands- twist
Eprk active - Eprk quad swivel hand
Eka padangustha dhanurasana strap
Crunches- crunches twist opst knee lifts
Pec stretches at wall
Triag mukhaikapada paschimottanasana
Root femur bones
Mantra missile strap
Poe: thigh loop
1/2 sun 3x
Mod. Mod. Parsvak
Root femur bones