“Santosat anuttamah sukha labhah” (Yoga Sutras of Patanjali II:42)
From contentment one gains supreme happiness
Finding pleasure – sounds so easy, but when it comes to the grind of daily life the reality of it can prove a little more challenging. On my recent Forrest training, we were taught about the importance of delighting your spirit and heart on a daily basis. It seems like a great thing to be asked to do as part of your TTC homework, but honestly speaking is something I struggle with. I get so caught up in what I think I’m supposed to be doing, feeling etc that ironically enough more often than not I forget about the most important person in this equation – myself! I recently realised that doing something delightful for my spirit doesn’t have to be (and quite frankly shouldn’t be!) a chore or a big deal; that maybe I just need to stop thinking so much about what this means, worrying about when I’ll have time for it etc and just go with the flow…
Recent example – last week on my day off rather than get up and do my yoga practice in the morning as usual, I decided to wait until late afternoon. At this point the sun was still shining, the temperature had cooled down, and I found myself on my mat gazing out of the window and wishing I had practised earlier so I could be outside enjoying it. As I moved through my warm up poses I suddenly realised that there really was an obviously simple solution to all this – get up, and get on my mat outside! I’m lucky that my condo has a lovely big green space in the middle; it’s been calling me and my practice for a while but I’ve always shied away from it, worrying about what my neighbours might think if they saw me. Last Friday though, this suddenly ceased to matter. As so I moved through my sun salutations and standing poses, I had the warmth of the setting sun beaming down on my back, and the beauty of a rising 3/4 moon above me. I had fun playing around with handstands without worrying about which piece of furniture I might fall on top of, and held a freestanding forearm balance for a good 5 seconds before collapsing on the soft grassy cushion beneath me.Was it delightful? Absolutely! Did my neighbours stare at me – how the heck would I know – I was so wrapped up in my practice and a that lovely feeling of sheer contentment that I completely forgot to notice!
Lesson learned: Don’t overestimate what you need to do to find delight – the step to santosha really can be as simple as you’re willing to let it be.
Now…go and enjoy!
My new ‘yoga playground’ here in KL (monsoon rains permitting!!)