23: Steadiness and Ease

balance 4Originally Hatha yoga was created to help practitioners sit in comfort for meditation. Postures such as forward fold would cleanse the body of toxins which could create discomfort while sitting for periods of time. Postures to work the spine in all directions helped to relieve stiffness and maintain an erect spine for the duration of sitting. The body should be healthy and tension free so we can forget our body while we sit.

When we practice yoga we should be like steel, strong but flexible. We should be able to find comfort and joy in our poses. This is the same with living our life. Our life should be in a state of equilibrium, between the polarities of engaging and letting go, tension and relaxation, effort and ease.

When I teach yoga I am constantly reminded of how we can apply this principle to our life. In each pose are you pushing too hard? Are you an over achiever with no limits determined to get into the pose even if your body isn’t ready? Or are you not really trying, not exploring your edge? Do you need to put more effort in? As you do your poses so you live your life. If you are too strong and lack flexibility you will not be able to find comfort in a storm.

Sthira Sukham Asanam-Asana is a steady and comfortable posture.

Sthira qualities. Stable, resolute, strong, with fortitude, endurance, ability to pay attention, physical and mental stillness

Sukham qualities. Pleasurable, easy, enjoyable, agreeable, comfortable, happy, prosperous and relaxed.

Life should be a a steady and comfortable posture.

Practice for today: To find equipoise and ease in your life you need to bring into your life the two elements of Sthira and Sukha.  If you find yourself in  a difficult pose today either on the mat or in your life ask yourself, How can I bring balance to this relationship I am in now? How can I bring some comfort and ease while remaining strong?



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