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  • Yoga Lessons in Cultivating Gratitude | with guided meditations

    November 24, 2020 2 min read

    Samtosha (contentment) invites you to open your heart and practice unconditional love and living. Easier said than done during these unprecedented times of unknowns, distress, fear, and change.

    Rather than scattering your energy and resisting what is, what can you embrace here wholeheartedly and feel grateful for now?

    What is Samtosha?

    Samtosha is the second niyama of the Sadhana Pada, book two of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. Santosha, a daily gratitude practice, states that supreme joy is accessed through contentment. The samtosha yoga sutra is 11.42, santosad anuttamah sukha-labhah, or as Patanjali states, from contentment arises unparalleled happiness. Samtosha is a dynamic state of being.

    Yoga Lessons on Cultivating Gratitude | Mukha Yoga

    This image features Hugger Mugger's Zafu Meditation Cushion.

    Cultivating gratitude: a journey

    My samtosha practice helped me find my center and embody the energy of equanimity, the ability to be at peace with whatever is. I learned to live from the source of my being, present here and now instead of nowhere. As the sutra says, its result is complete happiness. It is a shift in perspective from the outer to the inner. Samtosha is a journey of resistance that comes with a satisfaction unlinked from any unsteady, changing, fleeting outer world of temporal pursuits.

    (Learn more about Shifting Your Inner Narrative.)

    This practice invites you to practice maintaining equanimity, remaining in your peaceful center, regardless of life circumstances that arise. Remember, equanimity doesn’t mean that life is always perfect. Patiently cultivate contentment in all areas of your life and watch the resistance and frustration evaporate. The more established you are in this state of contentment, the less likely you are to be pulled or pushed from the still neutrality of your core, where you comprehend the temporal nature of material things.

    Through a devoted practice of gratitude, that comes from deep within your heart, complete joy and unconditional love may arise. So, embrace life exactly as it is. Let go of demands that life must meet your conditions before you can embrace it fully. To live in gratitude, beyond limitation, is to create the space and stillness needed to appreciate all of our blessings with clarity.

    Try our Yoga Poses for a Grateful Heart.

    Om.

    Zia Estrella l Mukha Yoga
    By Zia Estrella; All Rights Reserved @2020

    Zia Estrella l Mukha Yoga
    By Zia Estrella; All Rights Reserved @2020

    Cultivating Gratitude Guided Meditations

    A family-friendly mountain meditation to ground and uplift.
    The strength you need is already within you. By Zia Estrella.

    A gratitude meditation for peace and calm - no matter what's going on around you. By Julie Bertagna.


    Related Articles

    In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eightfold path of yoga is called ashtanga which translates to “eight limbs.” Within this structure, guidelines are offered which include, and extend beyond the physical practice.

    Santosha, one of the Niyamas, is the practice of contentment. It’s acceptance of the natural ebb and flow of life by learning to be okay when things are not.