Flexibility on and off the mat

My last year of high school was a very stressful year for me. Between tests, quizzes, final exams, university applications, and deciding what I wanted to do after graduation, I was constantly anxious thinking that if I made a mistake it would affect my future and my life permanently. At the time, I thought that if I worked really hard and designed a plan for every single step of my future, I would feel calm and in control.

However, I was proven wrong. Making plans is indeed necessary for all of us to define our goals and dreams in life and what we must do in order to achieve them, but at the end of the day, life is unpredictable. During the last couple of months, the world has dramatically changed in an unprecedented way and so did all the plans I had carefully crafted. This is how I learnt how important it is to be flexible not only physically but also mentally to be able to adapt to different circumstances and settings.

Santosha is the second of the Niyamas of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga that roughly translates as contentment. It is an attitude of understanding and accepting oneself and one’s environment and circumstances as they come. This concept is not always easy to follow because we often tend to compare ourselves to others or rely on external factors in order to feel happy. During this period, I have been trying to detach myself from my plans and expectations of the future, live one day at the time, and feel grateful for everything that I have on and off the mat.