I recently attended a wonderful yoga retreat at a place called Holland House. The teaching was thought provoking, learning about the importance of lineage in yoga, and we practiced traditional yoga poses, breathing, and meditation.
Our yoga teacher for the day was also an ordained minister in the Church of England so we were able to explore how our Christian faith can intersect with our yoga practice.
We learned about the word santosa and the Yoga Sutras and spent the day trying to find a sense of inner contentment. This word has stayed with me since and I have reflected on how we can retain this sense of inner calm when we return to the “real world.”
Our teacher told us that we can not be separated from santosa, much like we can never be separated from the love of God, as we are made in her image, it is a flame within us that never flickers, we just need to notice it. I found this idea reassuring and have tried to build it into my existing practice, in an attempt to not neglect the meditation aspect of yoga, as it is not really yoga without it.
I now start the day with some taize singing, prayer, meditation and ashtanga. It is a grounding experience and helps me feel ready to face the world with compassion, for myself and others.
Wishing you all much love and peace.