Want to unlock an unexpected world of possibility in your practice—and your life? Then Yoga Journal’s upcoming course The Power of Play Bootcamp is for you. Baron Baptiste—veteran yoga teacher and founder of the Baptiste Institute and Baptiste Foundation—will lead you through four weeks of meditation, asana, and self-inquiry specifically designed to spark awakening and growth. Start the new year with a powerful perspective—and discover how to put it into action.
Like you, I’m not always thrilled with everything. But it’s my work to accept what is. Santosha is the ability to be in acceptance with what is, and what is not. It’s a theme we build on and learn from in my new course The Power of Play Bootcamp.
How Santosha Can Be Revolutionary
The clear acknowledgement and acceptance of what is reveals ground zero for growth. Because we are not wired for and have not been trained to do that in the modern world, acknowledging the raw truth of where we are can be revolutionary. Appreciating it is even bigger. That revolution disrupts the complacency or overdrive in our practice—and in our lives—and puts us on a track to new creation, a new way of being.
When we really get the idea that being exactly where we are is the key, that’s when we step outside the box we’ve been in. The pose may not change, but the whole experience of it will change. Our life may not change, but our whole experience of it will. There is so much available to us in whatever form of a pose we take, in whatever shape our life is in, but we can’t access our power unless we stop struggling.
You know when you’re resisting, so try this on. Be straight with yourself here, without judgement. Are you genuinely being where you are, or are you slipping into the energy of no?
I’ve met many people who have faced serious health challenges and crises. Most went through an initial period of being angry, resentful, or even in downright denial—all perfectly understandable reactions. The ones I’ve always been most amazed by get the idea that their resistance is actually causing them greater emotional suffering than the situation itself. Accepting what was going on allowed them to flow with new demands in a much more empowered way. Acceptance is the place from which you empower yourself to generate new results. It has the quality of peace.
3 Ways to Practice Santosha
Here are three tips for practicing santosha. Try them for a week. At the end of the week, notice changes in how you feel about what’s going on around and inside you.
In your yoga practice, commit to staying when it gets tough.
In the moments of discomfort—when you want to run—stay and breathe. Focus on your inhalations and your exhalations.
3. Let go
Notice what comes up for you when you are uncomfortable. I can’t do this anymore and I’m done are examples. Choose to relate to the conversation in your head as just words, and let them go. You give words their power.