Sthira Sukham Asanam — The Joy of Effortlessness
My yoga teacher often says the joy of yoga is staying in a particular pose with balance, ease and effortlessness… This is also called sthira sukham asanam, mentioned in the Yoga Sutra by Patanjali, the sage and guru of yore.
Sthira sukham asanam is the final state to be achieved in yoga — a meditative one that is steady and comfortable. A state where the pose or asana gives you complete joy.
Most of life’s activities should eventually result in this state of bliss, where doing it is no longer an effort or ordeal, but a natural state of being, one where you merely enjoy the present moment.
When life’s activities become easy and effortless, we’ve achieved a state of balance, mastery, and sometimes even excellence.
This theory can apply to anything we do...
At a talk I attended recently, the speaker, a memory and learning expert, said: ‘Ignorance makes anything difficult, learning makes it possible, and practice makes it easy.’
Effortlessness thus results from conscientious and consistent effort in learning and practice.
More so, it comes from a state of consciousness or awareness, where what we’re doing and thinking is also observed…ultimately making us more ‘conscious’ learners. We are then able to correct something if wrong, and improvise on it if learned well.
This goes on to become mastery, a stage where you can play with the art form — or activity — and give it your own unique signature style.
Being aware of the learning process is thus an important part of studying or practicing any art or life activity. True mastery comes when we understand the mechanics behind what we do, and don’t blindly follow someone else, or do the same thing repeatedly…
All this is achieved by awareness — awareness to hold on, and let go, to stretch a little, but not so much more...
And finally, awareness of being able to hold that state of balance and alignment… Not rushing to get out of it, and do something else…just staying there, enjoying its stillness, becoming calm, and aligned with the universe…ready to receive what it gives with grace and joy.
A state of calm and bliss leads to a natural flow of expression…expression that emerges from a clear and ‘awakened’ mind.
Let’s aspire for that state of expression… And let’s use all the tools we can to share it with the world. Pink Pinjra is one such platform — your space to express yourself.
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