What is Santosha?

By Jennifer Dixon MBA ERYT 500 – About a month ago, I wrote a post talking about a weird word Aparigraha which in essence was the yogi way of not being attached to things. (in the case of the email, it was about me not being attached to Summer….with temps like the last couple of days who can blame me, right?)

Well, today, I thought I would spend a little bit of time talking about another yogi concept called, Santosha. Now, since you’re reading this email, chances are at least at some point in time, you expressed some interest in yoga. (probably the practice of all the poses) but I want to –occasionally at least, talk about something that isn’t just poses.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good strong asana class. (can you say Santa Cookie Burn?!?) 🙂 Sometimes, just like a good parable or Aesop Fable, it’s good to take a little tiptoe into some of the other aspects of this amazing practice and how some of the very basic ideas can translate easily into your life off the mat. Today’s concept it Santosha, which means Contentment.

In the season of giving, sometimes it is really hard to maintain that sense of Santosha, or Contentment. I remember, as a kid, I would sometimes get very envious of a friend that got the latest gadget or toy and I didn’t. It’s an easy trap to fall into, even now as an adult. Prior to taking over the studio, I had a very successful and comfortable job in the energy industry that afforded me a lot more luxuries then I get to experience today, and sometimes (sometimes more often than others if I’m being honest) I really look back on those days with more than a fair bit of longing.

Contentment is hard. The word Santosha is actually built from two different Sanskrit words–Samwhich means completely and totally and Tosha which means contentment or satisfaction. WHOA.

When was the last time you sat back and felt completely and totally satisfied?


For me? I have to be honest, I struggle with it….regularly.

Do you?

I’m not just talking about wishing I had the latest fashions, I’m also talking about being completely satisfied with where I am personally or professionally, or even intimately with my friends and spouse. You may be completely cool with your closet, but are you satisfied with your work, with your pursuit of your calling and relationships? My husband (who is MUCH better at this than I am) is forever telling me to slow down, relax, enjoy the successes we have achieved, because, honestly, I celebrate my success usually 3 months before it actually happens and I’m already moved on to the next obstacle by the time the success actually comes. (which means I rarely truly celebrate our successes.) This is wrong.

Do you do that?

Back in my corporate America Days, that was the norm. Highly Driven people that were connected to the device 24/7 are the ones that are “successful.” That sort of “drive” is praised across the U.S. because it gets things done and makes things change.

Sometimes, as I sit here trying to decide whether I have been practicing Santosha towards myself and my business..my life, I know I am not truly content and I need to work on that.

Practicing Santosha is just that; it’practice.

One day you may be truly content with your situation and the next day you may be pushing and or longing or just envious. All of those responses to the stimuli in your life are completely normal, however, I want to make a point of monitoring that response and deciding if it is beneficial or if it is actually doing more harm than good.

I’m gonna just believe that you aren’t like me at all. I believe you’re completely content and you don’t understand why I would be wound up so tight, and you’ll be able to just say, “bless her little heart.”

BUT, if you do need to practice a little Santosha, let’s make a commitment to do it together.

Send me an email and let me know what areas of your life need a little more practice with Santosha and we can be Santosha buddies! We can encourage each other to be truly content, even in the season of abundance. I hope you will!