Day 189 – Today’s reading is about santosa, or contentment. Rolf asserts that asana gives us all we need to to realize everything will be okay, but we must also be willing to meet them halfway. Developing willingness is what Rolf feels essential to contentment on our mats, a mindset that is not competitive and lets go of “the false pretenses that block contentment.” Even today, I felt these “false pretenses” on my mat, wondering why I can’t twist or bend this way or that in simple postures. I felt frustration rising and a keen sense of judgment and wonder at the state of my body today. Feeling pain and unease makes me feel very present in the practice; I chose to lie down for pranayama instead of sitting since my spine and hips are achy today. Just so, my breathing calmed me and these feelings of competitiveness with myself and judgments fell away.
Off the mat, I’m practicing a new way to stay present and greet contentment now. When the unpleasantness of some situation or bombardment of someone’s angry words reach me, I assign it a number from 1-10 depending upon how quickly I want to react. I slowly count back from that number and find that my annoyance, anger, reaction, etc. will have gone. It sounds magical, but sometimes I forget to do this and just react, mostly with my most astounding and beautiful daughter, but it is definitely worth a try. I see that santosa is definitely a choice, perhaps easier to carry forth on the mat, when in pain, where residing in a comfortable position in silence to just breathe is marvelous most days.