Santhosha (Contentment)

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Santhosha (Happiness)

Most individuals seem to be running a constant race – a pursuit.

The race is often against time – deadlines, commitments, traffic, appointments, etc.

But on a deeper level, many individuals are often running the race of competition.

The competition may be driving towards material success – important attributes like a promotion, a better job, a bigger house, financial stability, etc.

Competition is also seen in society today, often as a constant drive to be dissatisfied with one’s accomplishments and continue yearning for more.

The underlying cause of these desires is usually the primal desire to seek satisfaction – in other words, to be HAPPY.

And unconditional Happiness leads to …. CONTENTMENT.

Unconditional contentment leads to bliss.

Naturally, to work towards a space of contentment, it is important to build towards it by meeting our basic needs from which we derive joy and happiness.

Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

There is often a misconception that to be successful, one has to sacrifice happiness.

Most successful people have unlocked the secret to true success by balancing it with happiness and contentment factors in their daily lives.

Abraham Maslow proposed his theory on the hierarchy of needs in 1943 that slowly evolve from basic/ primal needs of survival and safety towards the more spiritual needs of self-actualization.

If you’re questioning the sense of taking time to be happy, then here are some facts from a study at the University of California, Berkeley:

  • Happiness is good for our health: Happy people are less likely to get sick, and they live longer.
  •  Happiness is good for our relationships: Happy people are more likely to get married and have fulfilling marriages,  and they have more friends.
  •  Happy people make more money and are more productive at work.
  •  Happy people are more generous.
  •  Happy people cope better with stress and trauma.
  • Happy people are more creative and are better able to see the big picture.

Yoga is a well-grounded practice that can help in building and supporting the inculcation of this practice.

From actual asanas that promote this feeling of joy, to categorically designed Laughter Yoga, happiness can be found on the yoga mat in a number of ways.

Endorphins and feel-good compounds that are released into the bloodstream with the physical activity is one aspect.

However, the mind-body-spirit communication from a yoga practice exponentially drives home an inner glow – a deeper feeling of contentment in a non-aggressive, non-competitive way.

Yogis learn through the practice to live in the moment and not be unduly harassed by the regrets of yesterday or the perceived demands of the future.

Some asanas that induce feelings of wellness are Ananda Balasana – Happy baby pose, Ustrasana – camel pose, the Surya Namaskara, Spinal twists, and many restorative postures like supta baddhakonasana or supta veerasana.

Meditation is a very good practice to take time off and remain consciously resting and yet come out of the practice feeling refreshed and alert with feel-good emotions coursing through.

The practice of gratitude on a daily basis is a good tool to implement. It is a well-known fact that the more you consciously bring your attention to things, events and moments that one is grateful for, they tend to see much more of gifts to be grateful…. and subsequently increase their exposure to moments of happiness and contentment.

Above all, happiness is our birthright and there is no reason to deny ourselves of the pleasure of being happy…. because …. being happy is what what make us happy people after all!

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HAL III Stage, 80 ft rd,
Landmark: Above Vijaya Bank,
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Make Yoga part of Life

The principles laid out in Patanjali’s yoga sutras dating back to 500 B.C. are still very relevant today, even in our modern information world. Yoga has evolved a lot from the days of Patanjali; it has taken different forms to meet the varying needs of practitioners all along its journey. Yoga continues to accept all changes, like the ocean accepts the river, absorbs, assimilates and grows. (A distinctive feature of sanaatan dharma of India)

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