By Charles Fiske, Joe Auriemma, Colin Reddy
Santosha is the eighth limb of Ashtanga – following presence, positive duties, posture, breathing techniques, sense withdrawal, focused concentration, and meditative absorption – and it means contentment. Not the usual use of contentment, meaning having an average level of happiness, but a deeper meaning, truly being content with everything you have and everything you are. As far as I know there is only one place that sells this, and it’s on the third floor of 60 Adams Street in Milton.
Purchased by Noreen Mackenzie in the year 2000, this simple yoga studio instantly became the only Santosha dealer in town. She had no interest in or knowledge of these notions when she graduated from Milton High with a long athletics resume, and two years of exercise physiology and anatomy in college. She later attended the Pilates Institute for one year, learning everything from traditional mat work to learning how to use the full line of the Pilates apparatus. And throughout her life, continued educational workshops in New York City and Santa Fe along with an uncountable amount of Yoga practice from Gurus and Masters all over the world. She wanted to stay active and didn’t want to work at a gym, so she worked at an aerobics club until a friend introduced her to Pilates. Through that she found yoga and it was an instant fit. It is all reward, no risk and it keeps a person very connected to themselves and organized. When the building went up for sale for $25k, Noreen had $8k and believed in her dream and bought it. This small business is only similar to others in that the owner has to work tirelessly and do everything herself in order to be successful.
She was born in Milton and her love for her work and community is so great that it rubs off on everyone that gets to take a class. This business is completely dedicated to changing people’s lives and the community they create in extremely impactful ways. The beautiful combination of the Santosha teachings with the exhaustive physical effort required allows for people to not only lead healthy lives, but completely shatter scientific and medical expectations and doubts. People who couldn’t live their normal lives due to various pains and health issues, people who were told by doctors they would never be able to do certain things ever again, are the only promotional products to ever come out of this studio. With no website, social media, phone or advertising or promotions, word of mouth is the only thing that has kept this business alive and thriving for 23 years. That is all the proof needed to determine just how special the culture in this building truly is.
Noreen has always had the need to stay physical and fit. She walks to work, walks up those three flights, takes care of the entire studio from cleaning, to painting, to financing, and then she does vigorous workouts for a living. She is perfectly content with her business and her life exactly the way it is, she does not need more students, nor could she really even handle them. While she would like to work less, just like everyone else, she cares more about keeping her community strong and being there for her students’ needs. This being said, People age, and things change. She would love to continue on exactly as she has been, but that is not possible.
This article is not looking to touch people that want something to do on their Wednesday mornings, it is aimed at someone who has a burning love, passionate knowledge of Santosha and might be able to continue the legacy of this miracle factory.
Santosha Studio is located at 60 Adams Street, 3rd floor, in Milton, MA.