This is Sutra 2.46 from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, one of the main handbooks for hatha yoga. “Sutra” means thread of wisdom, and this book has 4 chapters of distinct Sutras of which only one directly refers to the yoga postures. This Sutra is “Sthira Sukham Asanam,” and it translates to “May our posture be steady and comfortable.”
In today’s blog, we continue from last week when I answered the question “Do I need to be flexible to start my practice of yoga?” I explained that we do not need to be flexible to start our practice of yoga, but it is through the practice of yoga postures that our body naturally becomes more flexible. In previous blogs, I have also described that Hatha Yoga consists of an 8-limbed path and the postures are just 1-limb on that path. As we gain greater flexibility in our body through the practice of postures, we also ripen our mental and emotional flexibility.
When I contemplate this Sutra within the grander concept of yoga, I am reminded of the analogy of “being as flexible as a blade of grass.” So that when the storms come, we are able to bend, flow, and adapt. In our lives, we all experience rainy seasons. It is simply Nature’s tendency to have a rainy season; at the time that I am writing this, we are in Springtime, which is naturally a rainy season. So, not only do we need to be able to adapt physically, but also cultivate flexibility and the ability to adapt mentally and emotionally. The practice of yoga postures helps us cultivate this flexibility, so that when the rain comes, we can bend, flow, and adjust. And, when the rain clears, we stand tall once again, with grace and poise.
What are your thoughts on this Sutra and this idea of being as flexible as a blade of grass? Share your thoughts below!