Wednesday, November 19, 2008

sweet cigars and santosha

Sweet Cigars...this is the birthday dessert I had instead of birthday cake. It is funnel cake sticks in a lemon custard with fresh berries. Yes...I realize it's full of sugar and not a very healthy choice, but it was my birthday. (At least it had fresh berries, so it's semi-healthy, right!?!)

On a much more healthy note, I went to a 90 minute eclectic hatha yoga class last night. This particular class is titled eclectic hatha because the instructor mixes it up a lot and you never quite know what you're going to get. Last night's class ended up being a very slow and deep yoga class. We were on the floor the entire class and held every posture for 2 minutes. After about the first 20 minutes of class I concluded that the entire class was going to continue to be a slow, deep stretching class. After my initial disappointment at this realization and my yearning for a more physical, fluid, sweat-inducing yoga class, I experienced a yogic ah ha moment. I recognized my attachment to wanting my experience to be a certain way, feeling disappointment that it wasn't that way, and was then able to completely surrender to what my experience actually was.

I found myself practicing santosha--or contentment. With this surrender, acceptance, and contentment came so many sweet and juicy sensations I know I would not have had if I had stayed in a place of thinking, resisting, and judging. The class didn't end up being what I expected or wanted, but it was exactly what I needed. I know if I had stayed in that place of discontentment, I would have missed out on the yumminess of the entire experience.

Practicing santosha is definitely important both on and off the yoga mat. We live in a society that consistently promotes discontentment. Truly, in the media there is almost always an undercurrent of the expectation that one should never be satisfied or content in life. Sadly, this discontentment with what is, is a sure way to be miserable, and there does seem to be a lot of miserable people out there. Once again, back to my strong belief that if everyone had a regular yoga practice we could change the world!

A few last thoughts about santosha...Contentment does not mean complacency. It does not mean stagnation. It is a place of serenity and connection to the moment. It is a step towards emotional maturity and peace. It is a moving with the flow of life, rather than against it.

Wishing you much sweetness and santosha in your life. Goodnight.



Lynne from NY said...

Happy Birthday! What a delicious treat, both on and off the mat.

Once again, I learn something new and different...thanks so much for sharing!

Caroline said...

This post is a wonderful reminder for us all. I need to practice santosha in my life a little more. Funny how we want a certain experience...then become disappointed when it's not what we "think". It's in surrender that realize what we did not expect is even better than what we wanted. Oh how I love that!

And a very happy birthday!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Leslie, I love your blog. It helps me get through the long stressful days of law school. You are a calming presence on my computer screen :) Thanks!

Pink Heels said...

Happy Birthday! I love your pictures doing fabulous yoga in your fall attire!