Cultivating Contentment in the New Year
January 4, 2022
Another new year is upon us, and it’s time to set intentions for 2022. The beauty of intention setting is that there are no rules – set as many intentions as you want and let them cover all aspects of your life. The key to setting intentions, rather than resolutions, is to make sure you’re not holding yourself accountable for achieving some sort of unrealistic goal.
Set intentions with a mindset of growth, self-love, and self-worth. A good place to start is to focus on cultivating santosha.
You Are Enough – You Have Enough
Santosha, the second of the niyamas (a set of guidelines related to how beings should treat themselves) in the eight-limbed path of yoga, roughly translates to “contentment” in English. Santosha takes the concept of contentment a level deeper than simply feeling satisfied. It involves doing inner work to accept and appreciate your current state of being exactly as it is, including your stage in life, your possessions, your relationships, and your external circumstances.
If that sounds like a tall order, that’s because it is. But if you’d like to set a New Year’s intention to cultivate santosha, there are a few strategies that will help:
Let go of the idea that you’ll only be happy if/when…
Embodying santosha means you’ve found peace with the present moment exactly as it is. Remind yourself that everything, including the most challenging season, is temporary – and that it’s the obstacles you face and overcome that ultimately help you grow.
Create a Mantra.
A mantra can be something as simple as a short phrase you can repeat to yourself in your head throughout the day, aloud in front of the mirror, or even throughout your yoga practice. Try this one: “I have enough. I am enough.” Simple repetition of a phrase that reinforces contentment can help you believe your own affirming words (because they’re true).
Yoga offers physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits to the practitioner. The more consistently you practice, the more balanced, flexible, and strong you’ll feel – inside and out. The simple act of setting aside time to take deep breaths and move your body is an effective way to move toward an authentic feeling of contentment.
Finding Santosha on Your Mat – Anywhere
The new normal has brought about challenges, but it’s also opened us up to experiencing the world in different ways. We understand it’s sometimes not possible to practice yoga outside your home, which is why Uptown Yoga continues to add content to our library of recorded classes and offers a variety of live streams each week through our online yoga platform. For more tips from us and other yoga professionals on creating a home practice to help you find santosha, take a look at this article we’re featured in on the Redfin blog.