Seeking Santosha

I am an avid yoga student.  I owe a lot to yoga and its principles.  About two years ago, my family struggled through a painful year taking care of one of its members who was dying of cancer.  It was devastating to watch and difficult to live through.  There was a lot of support needed and we all did our best to tread water and survive.  Going through all of this was an act of love, but also one that left us all depleted and exhausted.

I went back to what I knew…yoga.

I started going to classes in my neighborhood.  I sat in the back, and basically stayed in child’s pose most of the time.  Early on, I decided that I need to check my ego at the door.  I needed to just show up.  If I stretched a little and took a deeper breath, then the short shallow ones I was using all day, I would be ahead.  Little by little, I grew stronger.  Little by little, I smiled when I walked into the studio and was able to greet the others.

My body changed over the weeks.  I noticed that I got stronger, I was able to hold poses that previously seemed impossible.  I was able to do some of the acrobatics that confounded me before.  My body also physically changed.  I could see a difference in my arms, my midsection, and 52-year-old backside!  I was pleased.

Here is what was also happening, though, that I was unaware of….my mind was changing.  In the yoga classes I was taking, the teachers employed a tactic of “constantly giving verbal cues.”  Aside from the rare break when we were to repeat a sequence by memory, the teacher “cued” us in regards to body placement, but also mind placement.  There were times when I actually got out of my head and could take a break from my worry, and incessant negative thinking.

The teachers used a word that rocked my world - Santosha. 

Santosha stuck with me.  It literally translates to “feeling joy, contentment, and satisfaction.”  This is something that felt so far away from what I was feeling.  Santosha is one of the guiding principles of yoga.  When a teacher used that word, I felt as if there was a huge spirit looking down at me, arms crossed, pursed lips and saying, “Are you listening???  That is for you!”

I heard loud and clear but had trouble incorporating it.  When did I feel entirely content and satisfied?  The answer came in a memory.  I felt completely accepted and comfortable when I was sharing thoughts, ideas or feelings with another soul.  Wow, there it was!!  I needed more of “that!!”  And, when did I do that the most?  When I was drinking Yerba mate with someone.

Pretty soon after all of this happened, I traveled to Argentina to visit my family.  At each house, we drank mate.  We stopped our world, sat, looked each other in the eye, and spilled our soul.  I RARELY did that at home. 

When I got back to the states, I picked up the phone and spoke with my dear friend Pamela Saunders who got it immediately.  She too understood the power of connection with others and joined me on the journey.  We decided to create a business around this.  Bring the ritual of Yerba Mate here and help facilitate these moments for others.

Love From Argentina is more than a Yerba Mate company.  We are a group of people want to connect.  We want to foster healing.  At a time when the world seems to be a bit off kilter, we want to bring back the love.  Come and join us!