Are you sitting comfortably...?

We often unconsciously struggle to hold a pose, with an idea, or an emotion; how it should be ‘performed’, what our body should be able to do. Liberation is to let this energy go, to be free of force and struggle. Letting the body move with the breath, allows the mind to reconnect to the body, rather than be mired within the cacophony of thoughts and emotions that range/rage through our minds from moment to moment.

I often encourage my student’s to smile within the pose, and as we do so, a calm, peaceful energy pervades the body, and we lighten a little, physically and emotionally. Bringing us to a point of ‘sthira sukham asanam’ – introduced by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. This saying loosely translates to “the yoga pose is stable but happy”. I see it as finding the balance between working to our edges, yet with a sense of gentleness and enjoyment.

Originally sthira (stability) sukham (ease) asanam (seat) referred specifically to meditation postures, but in this day and age it is easily applied to all postures.

“The principals of

can be taken off the mat as well. The Yoga Sutra defines asanam to also mean “situation”- how we relate to our surroundings. Sthira-sukham offers ideas for how to be attentive in all situations. Sthira helps steady and clear the mind giving us the courage to face people we need to confront, stay true to ourselves even when our beliefs are not the popular opinion or when experiencing new things. Sukham allows us to go with the flow, have an open mind and remain calm in uncomfortable moments. When we allow ourselves to soften we release the ego and exaggerated feelings of self importance. Sukham grants us an open heart to release control when appropriate and ultimately, to be compassionate.”

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