Mary Singleton, RYT 200, received her training at Yoga Path in Baton Rouge, LA. There she studied under Kate Suchanek, 500 E-RYT. Her specific area of study focuses on the therapeutic applications of yoga. She teaches Gentle, Basic and Yin classes regularly at Yoga Path and One Heart Yoga Center in Baton Rouge, LA.
"Six years ago I suffered a debilitating neck injury. Washing my hair was a painful and daunting experience. I drove out of my way to avoid speed bumps because of the effect the jolt would have on my spine. It affected every aspect of my life. I was going to the chiropractor 4 times a week and on multiple medications. Determined to get my life back, I started out with only 5 minutes of yoga a day. It was a hard road to recovery. Some days, most days, I so badly wanted to give up. I never thought I would have a normal life again.
Today, I go to the chiropractor once every 2-3 months for maintenance. I had extreme anxiety about when the next pain flair-up would happen. Today I can't remember when the last spasm ocurred. I credit yoga with positively affecting my physical body: giving my spine stability, increasing strength and improving flexibility.
My personal yoga practice has also alleviated the symptoms of depression and anxiety I experienced daily and from the emotional trauma of my injury. Yoga brings awareness of the mind-body connection present in us all. Not fearing our emotions, but instead learning to witness them and cultivating contentment even in the presence of discomfort.
Yoga has changed me."
Santosha is a guiding principle of the yogic path that most closely translates to our concepts of joy, peace, and contentment. But santosha is not just about being happy, especially the happiness we experience when things go our way. Santosha challenges us to find peace in the moment—to accept and appreciate what IS, no matter what that looks like. It’s about looking inward for a sense of fulfillment and trusting that you have everything you need.
Santosha also touches on our yearning to always be in the next thing, to compare ourselves to others, and to constantly seek or avoid things outside ourselves. When we look at what others have or experience and let that define our sense of joy, success, or wellbeing, we invite in disappointment.
Santosha invites us into contentment by taking refuge in the calm, still place within, which is always available to us, no matter what life brings. It also asks us to open our hearts to gratitude for what we do have and make peace with our stories, exactly as they are.