“Contentment comes as the infallible result of great acceptances, great humilities–of not trying to make ourselves this or that, but of surrendering ourselves to the fullness of life–of letting life flow through us.” -David Grayson
This is an opportune time of year to consider contentment. Many people acquire things like beauty, fame or riches because they believe it will make them happy or content, especially around the holidays. But contentment can never be purchased. It cannot be accomplished by changing your hair color, getting cosmetic surgery or capturing that perfect Instagram. True contentment (or santosha as it is called in Sanskrit) is attained through altruism. It is felt in times of love and compassion. It appears when you eliminate superficialness, selfishness, and greed.
So, how can we incorporate contentment into our asana practice?
First, build some heart-opening postures into your practice. Permit yourself to receive and be open. In general, backbends will elevate your mood and lift your spirits. Try Supported Matsyasana (Fish Pose). Take care to honor your lower back and neck.
Then, find your gratitude. At the end of your practice, take a few minutes to reflect on what your brilliance is and honor it.
In general, being receptive and accepting brings us down to earth. I am reminded of the amazing lyric from Sheryl Crow’s song “Soak Up the Sun”: “It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.” We can discover contentment when we are meeting ourselves in our current condition and welcoming where and who we are. As we learn to recognize who we really are, we might even come to love ourselves 😉
Let us all pledge to find our inner awesomeness this week!