Contentment, or satisfaction, is another discipline that needs to be addressed on two levels, that of achievement and that of the experience of time. Without contentment we cannot hope to be present and mindful. We must find ways of becoming satisfied with our achievements, which is not to say that we must fatalistically accept our lot. If we feel defeated in life, or if we find ourselves in harmful or otherwise detrimental situations, we must take steps to bring about change. If we are ambitious in our lives we must accept our own limitations and not push ourselves mentally or physically beyond them. In either case, the important thing is not to be fixated on any outcome to our efforts, or the lack thereof.

Similarly, we must find ways of managing reverie and expectation. If we are constantly mulling over the past or perpetually anticipating some event that may or may not happen at some point in the future, this shifting of the mind out of the present is tying up our perception of the immediate moment. Even if our situation is painful and fraught, even if it is boring beyond all imagining, the present moment is the only moment in which we can effect change on any level. Furthermore, the only change we can truly effect that is significant to the practice of yoga is our self-awareness. If we are fantasizing or awaiting anxiously, if we are regretting a past shortfall or revisiting some past triumph, we are not aware of our surroundings, our place in the world, our body or our state of mind. Until we are fully present and accounted for, there is no work that can be done.

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