Practicing yoga aids in developing both stability and flexibility. As Sri Swami Satchidananda describes in his translation of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, “What we need is the strength of steel, but with steel’s flexibility: not like crude iron which is very strong and hard but breaks. The body must be so supple it can bend any way you want it to. Such a body will always be healthy and tension-free.”
What we practice on the mat is just that — a practice. Life provides ample opportunities to apply what we learn, to take the yogic teachings deeper and to consciously choose our behavior off of the mat. One empowering result of a steady practice is the cultivation of inner resources that are ready for whatever life brings.
Ancient advice on pursuing a balance of comfort and steadiness appears in sutra 46 of Sadhana Pada: Sthira Sukham Asanam. This is the only sutra referring to asana, or posture. In this sutra, ‘sthira’ means steady or stable, grounded or strong; ‘sukham’ means comfortable or peaceful; it translates as:
Asana is a steady, comfortable posture
In the spirit of deepening your yoga practice, tapping into your inner resources, and bringing this sutra into your daily life, consider the following:
-Imagine your entire day as an asana practice. Kindly observe yourself throughout your journey from waking to sleep.
-Notice, as experiences occur, feelings fluctuate and information is received, does your body maintain stability and comfort during the changes?
-Ask yourself, what action can I take right now to optimize ease and steadiness in my body?
-Reflect and journal at the end of the day...how did my actions today bring more peace into my day and immediate environment?
about chattra blogger Jillian Bobowicz
Jillian writes with a heartfelt intention to support others by sharing insight and information she has gained through 15 years of practicing Yoga and Ayurveda. A lifelong environmentalist and feminist she is passionate about women’s health and aspires to live more deeply in tune with the rhythms of nature as they manifest in her body and surroundings. Jillian holds certifications from YogaWorks(500hrs), The California College of Ayurveda, Cornerstone Doula Training, Karma Kids Yoga, Mama Tree Prenatal Yoga and earned a Bachelors Degree from the University of Delaware focused on History and Journalism. She is currently on hiatus from teaching yoga and building a career in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability with an emphasis on women’s and family health.