Sthira and Sukham

The theme for classes this term is the yoga philosophy of Sthira and Sukham.  These sanskrit words can be loosely translated into strength or steadiness and softness or ease.

We will be exploring the different ways we try to balance Sthira and Sukham within our yoga practice:-

– within poses it is important to seek out a balance between strength and softness.  So we look for the parts of the body that we need to hold strong in the pose and then seek out additional tension that we can release without compromising the pose.  When doing sitting poses, the spine needs to be held strong and upright and we need to find a sitting position where our legs can be soft and relaxed.  When doing standing poses our legs need to be strong and grounded but we need to seek out softness in our upper body, our shoulders, our face, and our breath.

– we also need to seek balance between the strength or challenge in the pose and the ease or self-compassion.  We need to challenge ourselves a bit, so we can further our practice, but without straining and ensuring that we listen to our bodies and allow our body to rest when it needs to.

– another way we can bring balance into our yoga practice is by having some strengthening static poses and some dynamic mobilising practices.  When we hold a pose still it is more strenuous on the muscles and it helps us to build strength in muscles and bones.  When we move dynamically in a pose we are helping to mobilise our joints and tendons and maintain our flexibility.

– we will also be investigating how we can balance some stronger poses by practising self-compassion and by using our breath to soften the tension in the body.