2.46 – Sthira Sukham Asanam – Asana should be steady and comfortable.
sthira – steady, stable, motionless
sukham – comfortable, ease filled
asanam – meditation posture
It is interesting to notice the root of “asana” – “as” meaning is “to sit”.
Therefore, what Patanjali is telling us, does not apply during an asana practice, but after.
Sthira Sukham Asanam is guiding us toward a meditative posture for the meditation. The Sage Vyasa, commenting on this sutra, names several postures :
(Source : swamiji.com)
When we talk about a comfortable asana it means that the head, neck, trunk, pelvis should be aligned on a same line.
It will be harder and more difficult to reach a meditate state while performing Virabhadrasana I, II or III.
While we are doing our asana practice, we are preparing our body to the practice of pranayamas, through the path of Vinyasa.
Vinyasa is not mean by Chaturanga, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, but simply the number of breath we are taking to go in and out of a posture.
While practicing pranayamas, we are preparing our mind and body to the withdrawal of senses (pratyara).
Once the five senses has been withdrawn (vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch), the focused concentration will be happening (dharana).
Throught the deep concentration, the meditative state will be occuring (dhyana).
Then ONLY, Samadi will be revelaed.
Asanas are the front door to the practice of Yoga.
If the body is not ready physically and mentally speaking, to keep a sitting posture without moving, without any pain in the back, legs, knees, then meditation can not happen.
The asana practice is made to move the body in all of its dimension such as forward fold, backbends, lateral flexion, twist, inversion, balance.
All of theses for one goal: to free all tensions that remains in the body and in the mind.
Most of tensions are coming from unstable mind.
In order to free them, the breathing is elementary.
That is why the Vinyasa is taking place, through the breathing we are coming in and coming out to and from all posture.
What we are doing is only a preparation to the practice of Yoga.
Everything that we are learning in a yoga course or intensive immersion, is only one part of the iceberg.
We are not teaching Yoga, we are teaching, learning and practicing how to practice Yoga universally speaking.
We are not Yoga teachers.
We are practicioners. Searching, seeking for ourself, each steps are mandatory and guiding us to a new door. Wether we want to open it, is our free will.
And this path is a long Path, it take a life time to fulfill it.
One of the major key is Discipline.
And of course the following of the rules such as Yamas and Niyamas.