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Don't Worry, Be Santosha!
Yoga Says You Can Be Happy - Even When Everything Sucks

Out here in the Western world we have it backwards - the ideal way to learn Yoga is to embrace the spiritual lessons first, then move onto the Asanas, or physical practice. But not in this action-oriented society - we want to get moving right away, accomplish some complicated postures and show them off to our friends (or at least impress ourselves). Goals are our gods, and we won't, we can't be happy until we achieve that brass ring. No wonder Santosha is so hard for us to grasp.

(Article continued below.)

Santosha means contentment... now, at this very minute. Even if someone just cut you off on the highway. Even if a pipe broke and your basement is flooded. Even if you've just bounced half a dozen checks and are thousands of dollars in debt. And yes, even when billions of people are starving in third world nations and big business seems intent on destroying the earth's delicate ecological balance. Perhaps you're thinking, "Only a zombie could be happy under such circumstances!" The problem is that people generally have happiness mixed up with material satisfaction. They're two different things - the first, at its very essence, is pure; the second is conditional.

Is it becoming any clearer? Here's an example: Say you've just had an argument with your spouse, parent or child. You stomp out into the backyard, either wanting to scream or cry. But you don't immediately do either - at the moment you're just glad to have a little space. Then you catch a whiff of jasmine and look up in the sky. A hawk majestically soars overhead and the sun is starting to set. The shadings of pinks and purples are breathtaking. A light breeze blows past you. Suddenly, everything else seems to go away and you marvel in the beauty of life. In spite of your turmoil, you've experienced a moment of Santosha. How did it happen? You were in the moment and something inside of you connected with a truth that can't be put into words. No price or condition can ever be put on that. Truth doesn't exist on that level.

Next page >> What does this have to do with Yoga? >> Page 1, 2

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