Sweet Santosha

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras he gives us a list of guidelines for how we should treat ourselves, in order to explore our own self worth and to enable us to take care of the self.  These guidelines are called the niyamas and can be found in Yoga Sutra II:32.   Santosha is listed as one of Patanjali’s five niyamas and the English translation of Santosha is to feel gratitude or contentment with life.  This is not as easy as it sounds and is something that needs to be cultivated.  It’s very easy for us to concentrate so hard on the things that we feel we don’t have and desperately want, that we miss seeing all of the wonderful things that we do have.  Santosha reminds us to continually come back to a feeling of gratitude for what we do have in our life, to not dwell on what we feel is lacking, and to try and cultivate that sweet feeling of contentment.  Ahhh, sweet Santosha.  If you want a clear and concise translation of the Yoga Sutras, I would definitely recommend Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: With Great Respect and Love by Mukunda Stiles.  He somehow makes this classic easy to read and doesn’t interrupt the translation with continuous explanation – he allows it to be read like a beautiful poem.

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