Incorporate santosha (contentment) into your yoga practice with an asana, mantra, and mudra to help bring into focus the subtle and not-so-subtle ways this niyama plays out in your life.
Santosha translates to "contentment." This niyama is about mastering the art of feeling at ease and at peace with yourself. To incorporate santosha into your own life and practice, start with the pose, mudra (hand-and-finger gesture), and mantra (a sacred utterance repeated continuously) below. Do this practice on its own, add more poses with the accompanying 10-minute video sequence, or link all of the yamas and niyamas together, one pose as a time, forming a sequence.
Santosha Yoga Practice
Hold the pose, with its mudra, for 3–5 breaths, mindfully chanting, aloud or internally, its accompanying mantra.
Asana: Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Pose)
From a supine position, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor directly under them. Lift your hips and summon feelings of ease, contentment, and gratitude in Supported Bridge Pose—a heart-opening backbend. Place your arms by your sides, with the palms turned up.
Mudra: Jnana Mudra
Tuck the tip of each index finger underneath the thumbs in a gesture of wisdom—Jnana Mudra.
Mantra: Om shanti shanti shanti
As you chant the mantra for peace (shanti), Om shanti shanti shanti, remember the wisdom and calmness that are born out of peace and equanimity.
Watch the video
To tie it all together or to deepen your work around santosha, try this 10-minute practice full of supported poses with Coral Brown.
YOGA JOURNAL, SEPT 2015