Practice Santosha on Valentine's Day | iHanuman


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Practice Santosha on Valentine's Day

Many of us can get caught up in the idea that we have to be in a relationship to enjoy Valentine's Day. And many people become depressed or lonely on Valentine's Day. Everyone around us is receiving flowers, candy and invitations to fancy dinners. Even those of us in relationships build up expectations about what we are supposed to receive or perhaps compare our relationships to those of others. We are lead to desire more instead of being content with who we are or what we already have. Instead, perhaps we can see Valentine's Day as an opportunity to practice some of the philosophy of yoga.

Santosha is one of the niyamas or eight limbs of yoga. In sanskrit, it is loosely translated as "contentment". Valentine's Day offers us a chance to practice contentment with ourselves no matter who we are with or how many valentines we receive or don't receive. It is an opportunity to be thankful for who we are and all of the many gifts we already possess. It is a day to send love to ourselves, to our friends and family, and to all of those who are suffering much more than we could ever imagine.

Practice Santosha by finding a quiet space and doing some restorative poses like Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose) folded forward with your head resting on a blanket or pillow. Before dinner, lay in Savasana (corpse pose) with your head resting on a pillow and cover yourself with a blanket. Breathe deeply as you rest your body and your mind for 5-30 minutes. Before going to bed, practice Loving-Kindness Meditation by sitting quietly sending love first to yourself, then to your friends and family, then to those who you know who have caused you pain and then to those who you may not know but are suffering in the world.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.

May we all be at peace.

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