Every morning, for a year since he retired, my dad goes for a walk at a local park and sends me a photograph of one moment that spoke to him. It is usually the first thing I see when I open my phone and I always take a deep breath as I look at the picture and think of my dad experiencing the peace and beauty of a new day. Santosha is one of the Niyamas. The Niyamas are one of the 8 limbs of yoga that can be thought of as “observances.” Santosha translates to complete contentment. My father, though not a yogi, embodies several yogic qualities. Since I was a young girl, he has shared with me his feeling of deep contentment and acceptance. He would always bring me and my sister outside to look at the stars or the moon. He would take a deep breath in and say to us, “Look. Look at that beautiful sky.”
We would stare and breathe and let a feeling harmony fill in the space around us. No matter what was going on in the world, we rested in these moments of presence. Santosha teaches us to be content with what you attain. To accept where you are. The quality of contentment leads to inner peace. We find that what we need is right here in the moment, no matter if this moment is easy or difficult. Today, may you find moments to breathe and accept. To breathe and rest within what you have and what is.