The Practice

{Sthira sukham asanam}  : Strength and ease within the pose

Sthira:  This word translates as firm, stable, resolute, changeless. Sthira speaks not only of challenge, strength, endurance and fortitude, but also vigilance, the ability to pay attention, and to be present. It is the opposite of agitation and refers to both physical and mental stillness: a controlled, fully engaged body and a focused mind.

Sukha:  This word translates as pleasurable, joyful, agreeable, easy, comfortable, happy, prosperous, relaxed. It is the opposite of discomfort, suffering or pain, or resistance.  This also ahimsa, or non-violence and self-acceptance and the nurturing of the self.

Asana:  This word translates as position, posture, seat, or a way of sitting that prepares the body for seated meditation. In the more expanded view of yoga, asana occurs not just on the mat or in meditation, but it is also the foundation from which we act in daily life, which means that we as we live life, we are present in the body, in existing, inhabiting and living fully.

…In yoga, we create unity of all things, including the above terms, for Yoga means “to yoke” or to “create union”.  This the MindBodySpirit connection that is yoga.

It is the ritual of entering and holding the posture without interruption for a period of time, being fully present with all the details, sensations, and experiences that occur in the body/mind. It is the qualities of engagement and letting go, the balance between tension and relaxation, effort and ease.  It is a state of equilibrium that is without agitation or inertia.  It is the marriage of the body, the mind, the spirit, and  all else.

…And as teachers and students, this does not stop here, and it goes much deeper and becomes much more personalized with practice, driving deeper into the heart and soul of the practitioner.  Because this, THIS, is where philosophy meets and unifies with practice.   And THIS is what is yoga.

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