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What makes yoga postures an asana?

Throughout March the teaching theme will be on one of Patanjalis yoga sutras, verse 2.46:

"Sthira Sukha Asanam"

Simply translated these words means that yoga postures (asanas) should be steady and comfortable. The word sthira refers to stability, strength, power and the word sukha refers to comfort, ease and joy.

Sthira and sukha are opposites but equally important qualities to develop in both yoga practice and life in general. It is a common misconception that yoga involves sthira/strong postures and sukha/relaxing postures however according to Patanjali in one of the foundational texts of yoga philosophy both qualities come together to form the asana.

If a posture such as savasana (where we lay down at the end of class) seems to be a sukha posture to you, be open to finding the stability and focus of the mind to stay alert and not in a sleepy state of complete sukha. Likewise in a warrior posture which depicts strength, power and focus we will work to find a little more ease with the breath and softening the shoulders and facial muscles to find that balance.

"Alertness without tension, Relaxation without dullness"

- quote by Desikachar

Lets spring into the next season with a newfound sense of balance. If you do not attend classes at the moment but would like to give it a try do get in touch. I have classes suitable for all abilities.

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