I learned a new word today at our yoga class. Samtosha is a Sanskrit word for contentment. As always and as with anything, it was a message from the Universe. A gentle reminder. A gift.
The yoga teacher correlated samtosha with where our bodies are with our asanas (poses). Where our bodies are is where it needs to be. If it can’t go any farther or deeper, it’s totally fine. Accept rather than resist. Wherever we are in our lives is always the most-fitting place.
The practice of contentment doesn’t mean that I am being complacent, or I am settling for less when I know that I am very much deserving. Rather, it is being in a place of allowing. Of relaxing in the midst of adversity, knowing that there is a reason and a purpose to everything. I know, easier said than done. But that’s why it is called practice. I may not see the reason yet but I just know there is. Somewhere in the horizon. And in time, it will be revealed. But if I force things to happen or if I push myself to find the reason, I am going against the flow.
When we are content, we are in the flow. We practice being in the moment and savoring the moment. We want nothing more, we want nothing less, we want nothing else.
When we are content, we become receptive to what comes our way. We receive. We allow things to unfold and we enjoy the process. We find joy in the unknown. We delight in what and who shows up along the way.
At the end of our yoga class, one practitioner was smiling and said to me, “Nadine, I could hear how much you’re enjoying your poses.”
And I am enjoying my poses because I derive so much joy and pleasure from practicing yoga. I am happy wherever my body is in every pose. I am happy because my body is happy. I make all sorts of sounds each time a pose wakes up a stiff muscle. I sigh. I breathe. I smile. I utter, “Hmmmm….Yum….”
I am amazed when I discover muscles in places I never even knew existed. It is this discovery that nourishes me. It makes me feel good. Because I know that every tight muscle that I uncover is another block to the flow of my energy. The tightness is another resistance to my awakening process. The stiffness is an old hurt, a deep-seated wounding that is calling out to be healed. When I savor my poses as the tightness in my muscles are released, I am clearing blockages in my energy field. And that makes me feel good and makes me say, “Yum…”
The practice of yoga keeps me centered and balanced. It’s my vitamin for my mind, my supplement for my spirit. And I know when my mind is in need of a vitamin or my spirit is malnourished. My body tells me so. My body aches and my muscles are tight. So I come to class with an attitude of gratitude for the benefits that I am getting from my yoga practice. And that’s how I practice contentment. And I’m grateful that the teacher reminded us today.
I have also made peace with the fact that I do not have the discipline to practice yoga at home. I have no resistance over it. And I am not punishing myself for it. It is what it is. And I am content with it.
When we are content, we count everything as a blessing rather than keep score of all things that are challenging. When we practice contentment, we respond, rather than react, to whatever difficulties show up in our life.
The biggest challenge I am facing at the moment is that Manila is not the ideal place for me. I have been resisting it for a long time now. I have been reacting and operating out of sheer disappointment and disillusionment. I have been forgetting to bring in the spirit of contentment. I am also reminding myself that there are lessons that are being taught to me while I’m in this space. And whatever is or isn’t occurring in my life is a necessary step in my journey. Either way, I am grateful.
While my geographical home on earth hasn’t quite shown up yet, with the practice of samtosha, I am appreciating what’s in Manila, rather than constantly looking for what isn’t. I may not be living near the ocean but I am grateful that there are daily yoga classes offered at the yoga studio that’s very close to where I live.
Two things that keep me centered and balanced are being in the water and practicing yoga. Someday, I will have both. But for now, I am content with only one. And I am grateful that this morning’s practice of yoga led me to practice samtosha. It’s helping me deal with the challenges I’m facing because of, and while I’m in Manila.
धन्यवाद (dhangayAda, Thank you in Sanskrit).
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