Euphoria and Santosha

“Stillness is powerful; not movement,” quipped Master Sree.  

Of course he hadn’t mean the external state. Yoga is a physically dynamic practice, and it can be pretty physically rigorous too, with the plethora of inversions and bends.  

He was referring to the internal state.  

In class, we learnt about Santosha, one of the 5 Niyamas. The term is derived from the Sanskrit sam, meaning “completely” or “altogether,” and tosha, meaning “contentment” or “acceptance.” This niyama is about moderation and stability of mind to receive sadness and happiness the same way. 

However, as someone who believes that to live a life full of passion and vitality, you need to live it with intensity, I have yet to fully accept the idea behind Santosha or integrate it into my life, though I am able to appreciate its perspective. 

A euphoric mood is defined by feelings of strong happiness, excitement, and well-being – well, isn’t that a good thing? Why feel moderately when we can feel euphoric? Is that not living life passionately? Don’t we feel more alive? What’s wrong with being excessively happy, and does it have to comes with excessive sadness?  

These are the questions that kept me pondering after class.