Many yogic texts discuss santosha and it is manifested or practiced on a number of levels:
- Intent: putting one's best efforts into any action, then accepting whatever results come from doing so.
- Inner state: a mindset of contentment also supports other virtues like compassion, non-grasping and non-stealing.
- Expression: the outward manifestation of santosha is the appearance of serenity and total satisfaction, without superfluous desires.
Santosha is closely related to equanimity, in that practicing it allows one to accept whatever circumstances present themselves, including pleasure, pain, success or failure.
It is said that santosha helps the yogi to develop a better relationship with him/herself. They learn to accept and be content with the way they are, rather than making their happiness dependent on achieving certain goals, or changing aspects of themselves.
In yoga, santosha can be exercised through asana practice, by accepting oneself and by accepting the body's limitations, rather than striving for more.