Yoga Niyamas: Struggling to achieve Santosha and Svadhyaya

Among the 5 Niyamas or self practices, i have found Santosha (contentment) and Svadhyaya (self reflection) the most interesting, partially because it has been challenging for me and also because i had never realized the importance of these attributes until i studied Yoga philosophy.

Santhosa is something that has been truly a challenge for me at many instances and i think it is the same for many of us in Singapore. Why i said this is because in Singapore we are so used to complain about everything and anything, we are very well for this. I cannot deny that often i am guilty of this.  I get angry and complain when i have to wait very long at the bus stop, when the haze prevents me from going out (especially during the whole of September). I complain when i have to get up early in the morning to attend yoga class (haha but now i am getting used to it), i complain when the food in the restaurant does not taste as good as i want it to and the person who receives my complain is my dear husband…haha, i know its not his fault, but what to do, i just need someone to take my frustration. When i was reading about contentment, i was laughing as i realized that it is going to be so hard for me to practise this quality but i do feel that it is really important for someone to be happy in life. This is because if we are content as satisfied with whatever we have or whatever situation we are in, i think we will surely be very happy in life. I think i need to develop more patience in myself.  However i must say there is one strength i have when it comes to practising contentment. I am happy with whatever material things that i have and i do not desire to have expensive items or to have a great holiday. Even a short holiday in Johor makes me happy as long as my husband and baby is with me. I do not need to eat out at an expensive restaurant (but i am particular about taste !) , as long as i am eating out with the people i love, i am happy.

Svadhyaya is also a very interesting and challenging niyama because in our daily lives, we are so busy spending the 24 hours of our lives working, studying, watching tv, going out to watch movie or for sports that we hardly ever have time for self reflection. But it is not difficult for us to spend a few minutes everyday on what went wrong with our actions or how we could improve ourselves. Honestly we just need to get into the practice of it. Just like a scientist becomes better when he studies the result of his experiment, we need to study ourselves and realize our weaknesses and improve on it. Of course we need to understand our strengths as well and be aware of it so we can use it. We need to know ourselves very well so that we can reach our potential. We spend so much time sometimes studying other people and their flaws and strengths but we hardly have time for ourselves. But i am trying to put aside some time now every weekend to reflect on my actions and try and understand what went wrong and what went right so that i can understand myself better.

Tahsina

200hr YTTC September Weekday