Kimi Marin Yoga

Honor limitations. Transcend Boundaries.

Archive for the tag “yamas”

Life’s Most Daring Adventure: Contentment

kimi beach4

The  saying “the grass is always greener on the other side” sums up humankind’s tendency to grasp the external for pleasure, happiness, and fulfillment. Many of us spend our entire lives looking outside of ourselves to find inner peace. As we do this, we  see how other people’s lives and circumstances seem to look better than our own lives.  As a consequence, we begin to believe that happiness is about acquiring more: bigger houses, more clothes, fancier shoes, busier social lives.   Yet, this insatiable quest to buy or acquire the elusive happiness only leads us to a place of discontent.

The second niyama (an attitude we hold toward ourselves) is Santosha or contentment. Santosha is to find happiness and peace in your present life and not to keep searching for something more, something external, to gain security, joy, and contentment.  Life is not about comparing yourself to your friend, your neighbor, or an ideal society declares your life should look.  Life is rich in experiences to aid you on your inward journey of fulfillment…and your fulfillment, your contentment, is the greatest contribution you can give to the world. When you live from a place of contentment, you attract beneficence to you, and find an ease in which to move through the world.

We are often told that life is not a destination but a journey. Santosha wants to be your companion on your life journey. Santosha does not mean that you are always happy with how things because, honestly, life can sometimes suck. But santosha asks that you embrace that time, realizing each moment will change and your perspective, your attitude will make all the difference in handling difficult circumstances. We are not to live looking for happiness but instead to recognize the gifts of the moment and find contentment within. When we spend our days yearning for something else – a different lover, to be single, to be rich, have more clothes, then we are unhappy. We are unhappy because we have come to believe that we need these things to have a sense of worth and happiness.

If you are not content with as aspect of your life – CHANGE IT. Seriously. Listen to your excuses why you cannot be happy. Listen to how many times you say “but,” “should,” or “would” when focusing on your ideal life.  Personally, I would like to write more but… I can come up with a thousand excuses why I do not write – and all of them are legitimate and hold weight. But the ultimate truth is I am too lazy and too afraid to change my habits to start doing what I really want. My challenge is to dig deep, make small changes to start writing. And those small changes lead me to santosha. Even as I write this I feel a sense of calmness and peace. I am not comparing myself to someone else, I am not berating myself, I am living my life as I want to live.

What in your life is not fulfilling you? What excuses are you making? What are your desires? Is anything keeping you from truly enjoying the present life you are in, or are you too busy making excuses about how you don’t have time? Do you tell yourself you are too busy with the kids, school or are broke? Will there ever be a good time? Right now is the only time you have and if you aren’t truly content, if you aren’t truly happy, it is time to sit with yourself and find out what it is you need from you. Being joyful, being happy, is a state of being, a perspective of the world. Alter yours to be filled with light and love and bestow all that wonderfulness and everyone around you. You are a magnificent being, accept your greatness, smile and shine.

Advertisements

Asteya: The Third Yama

strong quote

This week I am discussing asteya, non-stealing (a= not steya=stealing), the third yama. Yamas are attitudes and restraints we hold to live a deeper, more rewarding and encompassing life.  The first yama is ahimsa, non-violence, and the second is satya, truth. Each yama builds upon each other creating a foundation to live with compassion and contentment.

In my research to see what is already out in the world on asteya, I came across a blog describing each yama. For asteya it basically said “self-explanatory.” I think asteya goes a little deeper than “don’t take shit that doesn’t belong to you.” Asteya to me includes not only the physical removing of items that are not yours but also is taking anything physical, emotional, and energetic that is not yours.  I think of how we take people’s time by being late, being unprepared, or texting and checking email when we are with them. We take from the earth by not recognizing every choice we make from long showers to plastic wrapped food affects the sustainability of this planet and all its inhabitants. We take people’s happiness and good fortune by being jealous, competitive, controlling, or manipulative. We take people’s energy by thinking of our own stuff while someone else talks or saying we will do something and then backing out. We all do this in various ways and these are all forms of stealing.

For a couple of years, I felt lost and unsure of myself. During this time I copied what others were doing. I did this because they seemed successful or happy or sure of themselves. Instead of tapping into my own progress I would compare myself to other people and feel hostile or resentment towards them. When I found my path, all the jealousy and resentment I was holding toward others dissipated. I became happy with what I was doing and could honestly be happy for others. We all must live in balance. When we live in balance, we live with contentment. As many of us know, balance is hard and we are constantly shifting. This constant movement is why we need to stay aware and mindful to what we are doing and how we are doing. Life is in constant motion, we are in always moving. But in the center of the is where our true knowledge and sense of fulfillment rests.

Stealing occurs when we feel a lack for something. We steal from the earth, people, and ourselves when we focus on the external environment to satisfy our desires: we think we need bigger cars, bigger houses, more clothes, more money, more friends, more time. When in fact each of us needs to go within and give to ourselves the gift of presence. This is where the first yama ahimsa, non-violence, says be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to explore, to fail, to wonder, to rest, and to relax. Give yourself permission to feel a sense of lack and then ask “what is it I am lacking?” from there tap in to satya, truth, and again ask “what am I lacking” – until you strip all the layers of illusion (jealousy, ego, competition, comparison, pain, joy, suffering, happiness) and find that you can only say to yourself “I live with abundance.”

Remind yourself when you think you need external validation to make you happier, prettier, thinner, stronger, funnier, more desirable that you live with abundance.

I live with abundance.

I live with abundance.

I live with abundance.

Satya: The Second Yama

This week I touch upon the second yama, Satya or truth. The word Satya comes from Sat which means “being.”  Satya is not only about speaking the truth but on a deeper meaning Satya is the practice of being the truth. Every thought, every word, every action you take is to come from your most authentic, real self. For many of us, our true self is a mystery. We live our life trying to please our ego, please others, and wishing our lives were different. I know that I don’t move always from a place of truth. Honestly, I mainly move from ego and desire. I do this out of habit, fear, and simply being unaware of my thoughts and patterns.

Recently,  I went to a talk at an ashram and the swami speaking reminded each of us that our life is this Now. Every thought, every feeling, everything your senses take in is your life and your reality. Now many of us sit around rushing through life, trying to get things done, trying to please others, trying to get our ego satisfied and the validation that we are a good enough person. Satya says to let all that go, look within and see the truth of your situation. What is the truth of your thoughts? When you strip away all your layers, what is the truth of your motivation? On the most subtle level, what your intention for doing what you are doing?

Gandhi wrote an essay on Truth and said that Truth is God. He said where truth lies so does true knowledge and where there is true knowledge there is bliss. Think about how much better you feel when you make that hard decision that you know is right. To move with Satya is not easy. That is why many of us get in the habit of white lies, not speaking out truths, and not believing in ourselves. As Judith Lasater points out in her article, To Tell the Truth, “the practice of satya is about restraint: about slowing down, filtering, carefully considering our words so that when we choose them, they are in harmony with the first yama, ahimsa.” In my search to understand Satya, I am repeatedly told three questions to ask before speaking: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?

As you go through your day and through your week, stop and ask yourself these three vital questions before you speak and before you act: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?. As you pause to do this, the layers that cover your true intention will be visible. When you peel away the layers of ego, trying to please others, and habitual behaviors, the base of your intention, the truth of your motivation and what you want to convey will be exposed. From this place move forward.

Post Navigation