Sthira sukham asanam. Essential insight for the practice of yoga postures, these Sanskrit words are meant to guide us. As Mark Stephens explains it, “Sthira means ‘to be stable or firm’, while sukham means ‘to be soft, at ease, relaxed’. Taken together and put into the context of a dynamic practice, we find a blended quality in which one is cultivating steadiness, ease, and presence of mind, breath by breath, within and between the asanas”.
The term asanam, or asana is often simply translated as pose or posture. However, it means so much more. The interpretation I prefer is “being just here, just now, in the present moment” (B.Bouanchaud). I find this description interesting because it is not limiting, meaning, this can be practiced at all times and not just during a yoga class.
By bringing yoga into our lives as a way of living, we become more in tuned with our senses. We can develop a physical awareness that extends and reaches far beyond the body. Everything becomes in sync within us and around us. We find stillness in the incessant movement of Life. We become grounded in our every breath.
Eventually, this space between asanas expands to the space from one practice to the next, bringing this steadiness and ease into our daily lives. And then, as during every practice, we become lighter, filled with inner peace and joy. For this, I am grateful to those in my life who have introduced me to yoga, taught me yoga (here I include my students) and encouraged me to practice it. Namaste.