In the Yoga Sutras 2.46, Maharishi Patanjali writes, “Sthira Sukham Āsanam"
Sthira - steadiness and stability
Sukham - ease and peacefulness
Āsanam - Seat / posture / body shape
Thus, Patanjali tells us that yoga postures are that which are steady and comfortable. My own teacher and mentor constantly reminded us to keep this teaching in mind when we were practicing.
*Can we practice yoga postures in a way that cultivates peace and ease in the body?
*Can we let go of the need to sweat and force in order to get to a level that we think is ideal?
*Can we find balance between making sincere effort & discipline with suffering & pain?
*Can we find our edge and create a easeful relationship with it?
The distorted yoga that we are sold - one that values physical fitness and certain body types above all else - is not rooted in the tradition. Yes, we must try, but we don't need to kill ourselves in making that effort. 💕
The next time you are holding an āsana consider that the first several breaths in any pose are challenging. After this point, reach for steadiness and comfort:
* Look for ease in the body.
* Reach for evenness in the breath.
* Elongate your exhale to cultivate calmness.
* Relax muscle groups where you can.
* Repeat a personal mantra or count along with your breathing.
* Find a focal point and stay fixed on that spot.
* Close your eyes and go within.