Saturday, January 14, 2012

Healing, a poem by Danna Faulds

As we work with our practice on Santosha, contentment, we see that there are times when it is easy to feel contentment and other times when it is a struggle.  We want to find a path to contentment in all of those times.  Not to say that it is easy.  Or, to say that you just shake your head and say "snap out of it."  It is a worthwhile and deep practice to look deeply into our moments of delight and our challenging moments.  What is present in our body in those moments?  How is your breath in those moments?  What are the stories we tell ourselves in those moments?  Can we tune into a deeper place inside that can be witness to all of it, the place that can get really big and hold all of it?  The more we do our yoga practices of body, breath, and mind, the more smoothly and easily we can move to that channel that helps us find healing of pain, transformation of suffering, and Contentment.


There is healing in the laying on of hands;
in the letting go of fear, in asking for help,
in silence, celebration, prayer. There is
healing in speaking the truth and in keeping
still, in seeking sunlight and not shunning
struggle. Laughter and the affirmation of
wholeness hold their owwn healing.  When
the soul dances, when the day begins in
delight, when love grows and cannot be
contained, when life flows from moment
to moment, healing happens in the space
between thoughts, and the breath before
the first sung note.  Healing is a birthright
and a grace.   When we dare to be open to
the unknown, when we extend ourselves
in caring, when we welcome in the vast
expanse of life, healing comes from the
heart, and blossoms from the inside out.

pg. 50, Go In and In, Poems from the Heart of Yoga, (c) 2002

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Second Niyama - Santosha (Contentment)

How timely that on our journey through the Yamas and Niyamas from Pantanjali's Yoga Sutras that we land on Santosha - Contentment for the month of January.  As we look back on the year 2011, at our challenges and delights, we can try to put them in perspective to see how we continue to grow and learn from the unique path of our lives.  We can see how our lives are intertwined with so many others including family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and even those as far away as the other side of the globe.  Honoring our journey and realizing so many others share similar challenges, we can grow our compassion for self and other and come closer to learning the lessons we are given and seeing how we grow from each step along the way.  (See last post - poem Foundation Stones).  Below is a lovely affirmation on Santosha that comes from Kripalu Center for Yoga to help us deepen our practice and experience of contentment.

"I am content.  I am grateful for what I have and for what I don’t have.  I learn from the joys and the disappointments Life brings me.  I honor the good in myself and others.  I refrain from criticism and fault-finding.  I accept Life just the way it is.  I enjoy my Life!"