The Practice of Santosha

written by Anjula December 15, 2014

As we focus on the holiday season, I am reminded of the value and the meaning of the word, gratitude.

As Life Coach Tony Robbins says, “Gratitude is a habit we can grow through practice” and “When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” As I celebrate what I am grateful for, I am reminded of how deep of an appreciation I have for having yoga in my daily life. I’m grateful for yoga’s many lessons, including how yoga continues to remind me to breathe, live in the present, appreciate abundance and joy and focus on the practice of santosha or contentment.



TKV Desikachar, a world-renowned yoga master, describes the meaning of santosha as accepting what happens. Simply accepting whatever life offers you and learning from it. It is said that the practice of santosha is better achieved when coupled with gratitude. Santosha teaches us to embrace ourselves with kindness and gratitude, to be gentle with ourselves so that we may find the lessons in all of life’s seasons and events, not just the good moments, but the hard ones, alike. The practice of santosha helps us learn to bear witness, to observe without judgment or critique. The witness inside observes quietly, without casting judgments. Experiencing contentment reveals the present moment as full and complete, with no need for change or longing. Through santosha, we learn to say “thank you” for whatever is present in any given moment, because we realize that this moment is perfect as it is.

Remember, even the moments in life that you may not initially perceive as “blessings” can guide us to places of deeper knowledge of Self. Learning not to become attached to the things that are not permanent, learning to not hoard your actions for yourself and to be able to perform actions without expecting any reward, learning not to be attached to your ego, accepting the difficult times in your life and overcoming them, are all important actions that lead you to being in harmony with the world that you are living in.

The entire philosophy of Yoga, the eight fold path, is deeply rooted within the above ideas, as the central theme of Yoga is all about finding harmony.

Wishing you love, light and peace during this holiday season!


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The Practice of Santosha
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The Practice of Santosha
Santosha teaches us to embrace ourselves with kindness and gratitude and to be gentle with ourselves so we may find the lessons in all of life’s events.
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