Thursday, February 18, 2010

Santosha / Post About Not Posting

I've been a very bad blogger lately. My posts have been few and far between and even though I regularly think of posting, I just haven't quite gotten around to doing it. So here I am, posting about not posting...

But in this post about not posting, I'm actually circling around a concept. A yoga concept. Just wait...i'm getting to it.

During those bursts of "blog posting thoughts" when I've either decided I a) don't have enough time or b) just don't have anything to say (b seems to be the predominant thought) what I'm really experiencing is discontent with the situation that I've found myself in. Discontent with the number of hours in a day, discontent with the amount of yoga-insight I'm capable of disseminating via this blog.

And so, in a very round-a-bout kind of way, I come to the concept of santosha. Contentment. One of the 5 niyamas of yoga philosophy (the philosophy of yoga is an eight-limbed path; niyama is the second limb and it refers to observances. i.e. Things we, as yogis, should practice).

My teachers discuss santosha in the following way:

More than a passive state of mind, actively cultivating contentment frees the mind from the effects of pleasure and pain. When contentment is perfected, one becomes desireless and attains unexcelled happiness.

In my moments of discontent when I desire more time and more knowledge I am no longer practicing santosha. Instead, I'm wasting precious time dealing with the effects of pleasure and pain (pain in this case). If I could just cultivate contentment to begin with, time would seem more plentiful and knowledge more accessible. And that is the magic of yoga...just when you think you can't practice because (insert your own personal obstacle here), yoga shows you that these obstacles can be overcome if you would only practice.

And so here I am, posting about not posting (but really posting about santosha). In light of these games our minds play on us, I'll leave you with a quote from Ashtanga yoga teacher Richard Freeman. He said this in a lighthearted way with a comical intention :)

"...your mind will try to cheat you out of yoga for the rest of your life. The mind doesn't want you to do yoga because you will become happy if you do it. And your mind would prefer to torture you. That's it's job"


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