Balancing Effort and Ease in Your Yoga Practice

By RiversZen | Jamie Saava

A short thought for my yogis,

“Sthira Sukham Asanam” is one of the most quoted Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

 

RiversZen Jamie Savva Yoga

Sthira & Sukha refer to the balance of effort and ease that is the ultimate goal on your mat and within your life. When contemplating sthira in your practice, connect to the moments that ground you to your foundations, ignite your internal fire, and cultivate an empowered breath. On the other side, sukha within your practice can show up in a softened drishti (gaze), a softening in joints, and a flexible mindset.

 

So what does this all mean? Well, imagine yourself in crescent lunge. Front foot grounds down through all four corners of the foot, back toes drill back and down into your mat, all the while your inner
thighs pull in and up to integrate into your core. THIS is sthira – this is strength and grounding, this is power and fire. This yang energy is beautiful and empowering, but it is only half your yoga experience. Now, imagine yourself back in that same crescent lunge, fully grounded through your lower half, your spine is lifting and lengthening to the ceiling, your shoulder blades are softened down around your spine, your jaw is loosened, and your gaze is full of ease. Here is sukha – light and flexibility, patience and stillness.

 

Next time you are in class, take consideration for the presence of sthira and sukha in your practice. Notice where the effort and ease falls in each pose, in each breath. Ideally, we would be balanced creatures with equal measures of both. Of course, we are human and therefore commonly unbalanced. Yoga is all about the noticing of these imbalances and creating presence and a dialogue within your body and mind. Remember that your mat is only but a rehearsal space for your life. Sthira and sukha can be just as powerful in your interactions with others, commitment to your work, and even within your nutrition.

 

I can’t wait to see you in class again!! Just as a reminder, my schedule is as follows:

 

Tuesday 10:30 Illwaco – Flow and Restore
Wednesday 9:00 Astoria – Yin
Wednesday 10:30 Astoria – Flow
Friday 10:30 Astoria – Flow and Restore
Saturday 10:45 Astoria – Flow

 

Namaste!

Jamie

Click Here To Reserve Your Space in Jamie’s RiversZen Classes

 

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