One of the gifts of a long-term yoga practice is an ever-growing sense of ease and inner contentment that underlies anything which takes place in the outer world. This is an embodiment of the second niyama, known as samtosha, or contentment.  Here’s an evocative quote that captures this concept:

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival: A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness – comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. They may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice – meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. Rumi.

May you breathe into your own space of contentment, and welcome the gifts that come packaged in challenging situations.


Book Review:  Happy for No Reason –  By Marci Shimoff (Free Press, 2008)

If ancient Eastern philosophies and the current interest in personal growth had a child, it would be this book.

Phrases from the Upanishads (one of the most ancient Indian texts) like, “Happiness for any reason is just another form of misery” can puzzle the Western mind. Shimoff – a teacher from the film The Secret – successfully translates such concepts into compelling and practical suggestions to help you form happiness habits which have the power to radically shift your contentment levels.

If you’re thinking, “Oh sure, it’s easy for a brilliant successful author to spout advice on how to be happy – she has no idea of the challenges I’m facing in my life”, look again. Shimoff compiled a list of “Happy 100” people who live the book’s principles. Some of these people have endured unimaginable hardships, the accounts of which make me feel like I have nothing to complain about,  ever.

This is a book to which I refer again and again, like a breath of fresh air, reconnecting with the bliss within, independent of outer circumstances. There is a contentment that lives beneath everything else that shows up in our lives, as you know if you practice yoga consistently. Happy for No Reason offers multiple paths to that contentment.



 We all strive for happiness in our lives. Have you ever considered starting with loving yourself?

Have a look at this inspirational video from Marci Shimoff about the power of self-love.