Monday, August 14, 2006


This week, in my practice and in my teaching, I've stumbled across something that feels very important. In my classes this month, I've been talking about balancing discipline (tapas) with contentment (santosha).

I used to find contentment to be a very confusing concept. I felt like if we were truly content, then how could we ever grow and transform and set goals. These days... my understanding of contentment is a state in which one could accept things as they truly are - and work with that.

On the other side of the coin is discontentment: the inability to accept things as they truly are.. and the struggle to work with parameters that are not real. In my practice, it is interesting to see the instances in which I push a bit too hard or for the wrong reasons... When I don't want something to be hard, or I don't want an old injury to still hurt, or I just get impatient and want to achieve something now because my ego is ready to achieve it (even if my body isn't).

Luckily for me, this isn't a hugely predominant experience in my daily practice, but it is certainly there... sometimes in a more subtle way, and other times in a quite obvious way.

I guess this week, for the first time, I really realized how excessive pushing is a sign of deep discontent. A sign of a deep lack of acceptance about the reality of the situation. In the instance of yoga postures, it's a sign of deep lack of acceptance about the body and the self. It's a form of violence, anger, and self-aggression. I guess it could be said for any of the instances in which one ignores the messages from their body: overeating or undereating, over-riding gut instinct...

This insight feels important for me... in my own practice at home, and in my practice as a teacher. In this world filled with violence and struggle... it's humbling to find so much violence and struggle in my own heart and in my yoga practice, of all places.


Blogger santosha said...

this is a marvellos encounter...
My blogg is call "santosa,la dimensiĆ³n del contento" (tribe,net) but just today I needed to creat a new blogg which name is "Los laberintos del descontento" (the laberinth of discontent) just because I have your same questions, so I thought we arrive to santosha trought discontent...

9:28 PM  
Blogger springsandwells said...

Hi Santosha!
Thanks for your message. I think these issues of contentment & discontment, even on very quiet and subtle levels are very important. It has been quite profound to think about these ideas.

10:10 PM  

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