Good Morning Yogis! Happy September! September is National Self-Improvement Month. I find challenge-focused months super helpful for my own motivation, so we’re going to continue with a daily Asana practice challenge for September.
Please see our Asana Styles page for links to youtube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Santosha Day today, I recommend a Hatha class.
I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without Wifi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Beginner Combination (30 Minute), so I can complete my Beginners Essentials Badge. I would also classify this series as Hatha Style.
We are continuing on with weaving practice of each of the Niyamas into our day. Last time we practiced the second of the Niyamas, Santosha / contentment with ourselves on the mat, by honoring and being gentle with our bodies, and not pushing ourselves to pain… Santosha is the key to avoiding injury during Asanas / Poses, so please make sure to carry this throughout the month if you are participating in the September Asana Challenge! Today we will be focusing on Santosha with our lives, not just our bodies.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to actively exercise Santosha/contentment by focusing on the present moment, ideally in nature. I have heard if we focus on the past we will be depressed, if we focus on the future we will be anxious, and the key to joy is living in the present moment. A couple of the Yamas and Niyamas reflect this secret of happiness hidden in the “now”. I find one of the easiest ways to do this is to get outside and be active! Go on a walk, and perhaps literally stop and smell the roses. Take a run and feel the wind on your face. Being around water is always especially calming for me, maybe head out for a walk down the beach, around a lake, or by a river. Perhaps hike and appreciate the beauty around you rather than focusing on finding a perfect selfie spot. Since we are still in the days of social distancing, maybe pack a picnic and head to the back yard or a nearby park, or read a book on your deck or by the window. Whatever feels like the best way for you to get out of your little bubble, and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.
Also, calmly notice when your thoughts drift back to the past or forward to the future. Try to bring yourself back to the present moment by focusing on the sight, sounds, smells, taste, or feel of your surroundings.
Please comment and share how you did focusing on the present moment today. Did you get outside? Were you able to find contentment in the now? Always remember, be kind!