Welcome to Santosha.
Santosha is the second niyama (“virtue”) described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It denotes contentment and a lack of desire for what others have. The term is derived from the Sanskrit sam, meaning “completely” or “altogether,” and tosha, meaning “contentment” or “acceptance.” Definition from Yogapedia.
These past years of my life have certainly been a rollercoaster ride, which surprisingly has brought me to a place of acceptance and deeper contentment. Acceptance because sometimes something just “is”. No amount of screaming, crying, lashing out, moaning or coercion is going to change something that just “is”. Sometimes you need to let go of your perceived outcomes, take a deep breath and accept what “is”. Now that does not mean giving up, it just means accepting that you might have to approach a challenge in a different way, or at a different time. Sometimes it means being patient, nurturing the fire of your dreams, but finding contentment in the now and an acceptance that maybe this moment might not be “the moment”. Take a breath, then another and another…breathe in and out, in and out. Your moment is coming. As a good friend once said to me “every dog has its day”. Today might be yours….
For a number of years, I have suffered with generalised pain in my joints and muscles accompanied by extreme tiredness and fatigue, all which have resulted in my experiencing feelings of anxiety and an inability to motivate myself to engage in regular yoga practice. This has been particularly hard for me as a qualified yoga teacher, as I have the knowledge and appreciation for how much better I could feel if I re-activated my daily practice, but on some days, it takes all my energy to get out of bed.
A few years ago, marriage decided to chew me up and spit me out. This meant that I had to leave my home, my local friends and a project I had thrown countless hours of work into and walk away from a yoga business I had always dreamed of. With my daughter, a couple of suitcases and a broken spirit, I returned home, which was 6,000 miles away from where I had been living. Despite my broken heart, I had a responsibility to my existing students and had to re-structure my business so that it could run online. I also had to find full-time work.
Understanding the importance of workplace well-being.
During the past three years my vague interest in workplace well-being has turned into a passion. Extreme stress from having to work according to how others work (because they believe their way is the only way), dealing with micro-management (from colleagues, not my managers), commuting on the trains (yep, you will be pushed, shoved and on occasion trampled so that someone other than yourself can have a seat) have all tested my resilience to it’s maximum. There have been days where I question why we all choose to live like this and then remember, we have mortgages, rent, bills and for some of us children to feed. Some of you will be doing all this, plus looking after your children…on your own, and if your resilience is to be truly tested, you will be doing this without receiving financial help from your ex. I know what that feels like. The up-side, is, I am probably one of the best financial managers I know! I should be running workshops on budgeting. This experience has also taught me that I am extremely capable. I might have preferred to have learned this lesson another way, but maybe I needed to be thrown into this brutal experience to learn quickly. After-all I have an exciting life to live and I need to get on with living it.
Juggling my life’s calling with “everyday work and embracing change”
Since 2013 I have been sharing the Chilled Out Child programme with individuals who wish to learn how to teach meditation and adapted mindfulness to children and teenagers, but more recently I have felt the time is right to take a break from the current work I am doing and instead allow more time in my life to explore my own yoga practice and passion for well-being, not only in the home, but in the workplace too. After-all, a number, if not all my students are working full-time whilst studying the Chilled Out Child Programme and I would like to take some time out to develop a module on self-care, workplace well-being and resilience which is a big part of running a well-being business successfully.
New yoga teachers throw themselves wholeheartedly into their new roles, revelling in the fantastic work they are doing. But, as I have witnessed with some of my former colleagues abroad, their energy is zapped quickly. One children’s yoga franchise had their teachers teaching up to twenty children’s yoga classes a week in various locations. It’s not sustainable. These enthusiastic yoga teachers burn out in less than a year. They wrangle with the franchise to set themselves free and with a last burst of energy they try and set up classes on their own, only to find that somewhere in the past year they have lost their passion, their energy has haemorrhaged… they are emotionally, physically and energetically drained.
I am very aware that most people will be teaching yoga, mindfulness and meditation part-time whilst juggling a full or part-time role in someone else’s office. With this in mind, the Chilled Out Child programme is going to undergo a creative transformation which I am very much looking forward to. The teacher training programme has to date, focused mainly on meditation and mindfulness and how to teach these skills to children and teenagers, to help them manage stress and anxiety. The new training programme scheduled for release in 2020/21 will incorporate other healing modalities to broaden what you can offer children and teenagers in the way of stress management as well as include a greater component of self-care and workplace well-being, which I believe is essential for all yoga and meditation teachers whether you are lucky enough to teach full-time or are juggling teaching with another job, to support a family.
Therefore, in February 2019, I will run the Chilled Out Child programme for the last time in its current twelve week distance learning format. From 2020/21, a revised teacher training programme will be launched. The current meditation and mindfulness training programme, will become one of the modules of the revised training.
During 2019 and beyond, I will populate this website with information on self-development and living mindfully, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, emotional freedom techniques, essential oils, reflexology, workplace well-being and healthy eating. What I share on this website has been inspired by years of studying holistic therapies, teaching yoga to children and adults, as well as the Chilled Out Child classes, workshops and teacher training programmes run in yoga studios, community centres, schools and online. I am also looking forward to sharing what I have discovered through my work as a workplace “well-being warrior” and mind body champion for two large organisations based in the UK.
I am so excited to be sharing this journey with you and am looking forward to taking some time out to access my creative self and reignite my passion for writing and practicing yoga. Please remember to bookmark this website and pop back every now and then to keep up to date with the latest news, as well as to find out which short courses I have launched on various online learning platforms.
I wish for you a wonderful 2019, filled with peace, acceptance and contentment in daily life, which will lead to better calm, clarity and connection within yourself and with those around you.