We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life”
I am sure that by now you have seen these lyrics from Prince’s famous song posted everywhere. I was very sad to hear of his death. He wasn’t a friend, relative or someone I had ever spoken with. But like millions of other fans, I felt a profound loss.
What is it that inspires us so by these great artists? It could be that we see in them the passion, energy and vibrancy that exists in each of us. But in their larger-than-life performances, these qualities we admire are magnified. We see bits of ourselves. Times 1000.
Prince’s song “Let’s Go Crazy” celebrates living life to the fullest. It’s not about sitting back and letting things happen. It’s about intentionally creating happiness.
What is Santosha?
In yogic philosophy, santosha is the second niyama or guiding principle. It translates as contentment. We often look for happiness outside of ourselves. Maybe in material things, in relationships or in our dreams for the future. These things can all bring some happiness. But santosha is about finding calm, peace and contentment from within. And it is always available no matter what life brings.
Santosha requires a sense of acceptance. Instead of “I’ll be happy when …,” you see that you are supposed to be where you are right now. This doesn’t mean that you give up on goals and just coast. You accept but keep moving forward. You nurture space for contentment inside and this creates a strong foundation for joy in other aspects of your life.
“Contentment is about falling in love with your life.”
– Swami Rama
How can you bring santosha into your life?
Find time each day to experience things that make you happy. Look for how contentment shows up in your life. Do you find it when a loved one squeezes your hand or your little dude flashes you a big smile? Basking in a sunny spot outside? Having coffee with a friend or driving down the road blasting your favourite song?
Bring santosha to your yoga posture practice by taking it a little less seriously. Maybe play some fun music (obviously I’m practicing to Prince this week!) Do a pose you’ll likely fall out of (Dancer’s pose anyone?) Then giggle, or better yet laugh uncontrollably, when you do. An energizing and uplifting little flow is to move from upward to downward dog. Inhale into updog. Exhale into downdog. Move in and out of the poses several times. If you’re looking for a bit more, here’s a Santosha sequence to try.
Practice santosha everyday by remembering the blessings in your life. Extraordinary things surround you. Choose to see them. And that passion and vibrancy that connects you to your favourite artist? Notice it in yourself. Extraordinary things are inside you. Set them free.
What brings you happiness these days? Just hit reply if you feel like sharing!
Now my friends, Let’s go crazy 😉