“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Definition. Santosha, sometimes spelled Santosa, is a combination word in Sanskrit, derived from Saṃ (सं, सम्) and Tosha (तोष, तुष्, tuṣh). SaM, means “completely”, “altogether” or “entirely”, and Tosha, “contentment”, “satisfaction”, “acceptance”, “being comfortable”.

I love this word. It is probably one of my top five sanskrit words due to its meaning. The words I visualize together are “complete” and “acceptance”. What does having complete acceptance look like? What does it feel like?

For me living in a state of santosha is being happy in the now. Think about how often we say, “I will be happy when __________.” Well, if we are living in that mode of chasing after that next thing and thinking we will be happy once we get it, we may quickly learn that moment is fleeting and we are soon off on the next, “I will be happy when ______” scenario. So, be happy, be content right NOW. Of course, that doesn’t mean stop planning, working, achieving, dreaming or striving. It means with each step forward or back, with each trip and fall, with each pause: be completely content.

Here a few other ways to practice Santosha today.

  1. Ditch the Assumptions. It’s easy to assume someone is acting a certain way, because of something you’ve done. … Remember when we were taught what assume meant? Making an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. That assumption has to go. Why not listen and ask questions instead. My friend Wendy shared on her Think About it Thursday today on this idea as well as few more great pearls of wisdom. You may like to take a listen. Click the link!
  2. Let Go of What You Can’t Control. Remember that sometimes all you can do to take control is focus on your breath & your energy to stay on track. … That is a lot right there!
  3. Focus on the Good. I try very hard to live my life in complete gratitude. Maybe you’d like to try it. What I have found is when you come from a place of gratitude and an open heart, focusing on the good just happens!

4. Declutter. Think about cleaning and organizing areas of your home, work space or closet. You can declutter your pantry too and throw away food that might not be nutritious or healthy.

5. On the mat practice. There are a few things you can do in your yoga practice around santosha. One simple one is to clean your mat! LOL Then practice pranayama to clean and purify your inside. Nadi Shodana or Nadi Sudi is a wonderful cleasing practice (alternate nostril breathing). Finally meditate. That is the highest form of declutter. I personally meditate three times a day. First thing in the morning, around midday and in the evening.

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