Niyamas – Santosha

Santosha is the second of the five Niyamas and it means contentment. To practice Santosha does not mean to be content with everything and for that reason not seeing a reason to do anything. The way I see it, it’s more about finding accept and not leaning your peace and happiness towards external factors.

I andre bok av Yoga Sutras, sutra nr. 42 står: 

“By contentment, supreme joy is gained”

When we talk about ‘contentment’, we are talking about being satisfied, regardless of what happens outside of ourselves. Our happiness does not come from outside, so external situations will not affect our satisfaction. What comes may come, and if it does not come, it does not matter..

One person is born in a big city and another is born in a slum. The reason is karma. It is our actions from the past that create reactions. So one should be satisfied regardless of the situations we are thrown into.

The first step to achieving perfection is to realize that no matter how we feel, it is our own responsibility. Many people blame everything for their own dissatisfaction and misery, but we must realize that we have created it ourselves. To blame anything but ourselves for not being happy and perfect is to relinquish responsibility for our own lives. If I were to make a recipe for how to get depressed, then this would be step 1. Once we have understood that our perfection is our responsibility, we must see that our problems and challenges are like the tests and exams we had at school. Once you have learned what you are going to learn, the exam is easy, and we finish the subject. If we have not learned what we are supposed to, the exam becomes difficult, we do not pass and we have to sit for the exam again. In the same way, you will notice that challenges may come more or less the same, time and time again. If life’s challenges remain the same, it only means that you have not learned what you need to get ahead. With this perspective, we can rather face challenges with open arms, and perhaps even with courage and curiosity. When we no longer have an opposition to life’s challenges, contentment will not be far away.

By mastering contentment, one will achieve the highest form of joy.