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Understanding the famous Sutras,"Sthiram Sukham Asanam"

Understanding the famous Sutras,"Sthiram Sukham Asanam"

Compiled by the Sage Patanjali, the Yoga Sutras serve as the cornerstone of classical yoga philosophy, offering timeless guidance on various aspects of yoga practice and spiritual growth. They act as a comprehensive framework, outlining a path towards self-realization and inner transformation. Through concise and profound teachings, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali provide systematic guidance on various aspects of yoga practice, including ethical principles (Yamas and Niyamas), physical postures (Asanas), breath control (Pranayama), concentration (Dharana), meditation (Dhyana), and ultimate liberation (Samadhi). 

Consisting of 196 lines, the Patanjali Yoga Sutras offer guidance not only for physical practice but also for life off the mat. Among these, the sutra "Sthiram Sukham Asanam" stands out when we discuss Asanas, encapsulating the essence of finding stability and ease in posture. Let's delve into the depths of this sutra, exploring its meaning, application in yoga practice, relevance beyond the mat, and its significance in today's modern world.

Meaning of the Sutra "Sthiram Sukham Asanam"

"Sthiram Sukham Asanam" when translated means means "steadiness (sthira) and ease (sukha) in posture (asana)." This simple yet profound statement holds the key to achieving balance and harmony in physical practice. In essence, "sthira" refers to stability, strength, and firmness, while "sukha" denotes comfort, ease, and relaxation. Together, they emphasize the importance of finding a balance between effort and ease, strength and flexibility, in every posture or asana.

Application in Yoga Practice

In the practice of yoga, "Sthiram Sukham Asanam" serves as a guiding principle for individuals to practice asanas with mindfulness and awareness in each posture. 

Physical Alignment

Seasoned yoga teachers will encourage practitioners to stay in the present moment, aligning their bodies mindfully, finding the optimal balance between stability and comfort. This involves engaging the muscles to create a firm foundation (sthira) while simultaneously allowing for softness and relaxation (sukha) in the posture.

Breath Awareness

Conscious breathing plays a pivotal role in yoga practice, irrespective of the style of practice (Hatha, Ashtanga Vinyasa, etc.). By syncing breath with movement, practitioners can enhance their sense of stability and ease in each asana. Deep, steady breaths help to calm the mind, making it easier to find comfort within the pose.

Mindfulness Practice

"Sthiram Sukham Asanam" invites practitioners to cultivate present-moment awareness during yoga practice. By focusing attention on the sensations arising in the body and observing the fluctuations of the mind, one can deepen their experience of each posture, finding a balance between effort and surrender.

Relevance of "Sthiram Sukham Asanam" Beyond the Mat

The learnings from "Sthiram Sukham Asanam" extend far beyond the confines of the yoga mat, offering valuable insights for navigating the complexities of everyday life. In many ways, this Sutra is relevant across the board - personal relationships, professional life, calming and stabilizing the “monkey-mind”, and emotional turbulence, etc.

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Work-Life Balance

Just as in yoga, finding stability (sthira) and ease (sukha) is essential in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. By striving for equilibrium between professional responsibilities and personal well-being, individuals can enhance their overall quality of life.


Relationships require a delicate balance of stability and ease. Cultivating a strong foundation (sthira) of trust, communication, and mutual respect provides the stability necessary for healthy connections, while allowing for flexibility and adaptability (sukha) fosters harmony and growth within relationships.

Emotional Resilience

Life often presents challenges that require both strength and flexibility. By embodying the principles of "Sthiram Sukham Asanam," individuals can develop emotional resilience, learning to navigate difficulties with grace and equanimity.

Calming the “monkey-mind”

By anchoring one’s attention to the present moment through mindful alignment and conscious breathing, practitioners find a refuge from the incessant chatter of thoughts. This union of steadiness and comfort cultivates a tranquil state of mind, allowing the practitioner to observe the fluctuations of the mind without getting entangled in them, ultimately leading to a sense of inner peace and mental clarity.

Significance of "Sthiram Sukham Asanam" in today’s Modern World

In today's fast-paced world, the wisdom of ancient sutras like "Sthiram Sukham Asanam" may seem daunting to grasp. However, simplifying its essence and applying it in practical ways helps one benefit from this ancient knowledge. One of the strongest ways to do this is to incorporate mindfulness into everyday activities, such as walking, sitting, or even washing dishes. Pay attention to posture, breath, and bodily sensations, aiming to find a balance between stability and ease in each moment.

Moreover, taking regular breaks throughout the day to pause, breathe, and check-in with yourself helps individuals stay balanced and grounded. Notice any areas of tension or discomfort, and consciously release them with each exhale, inviting a sense of ease into the body and mind. Cultivating self-awareness and self-compassion by prioritizing self-care practices that promote both physical and emotional well-being are also helpful. Whether it's through yoga, meditation, or simply taking time for activities you enjoy, honor your need for both stability and ease in life.

Ultimately, "Sthiram Sukham Asanam" serves as a timeless reminder of the delicate balance between stability and ease, effort and surrender, in both yoga practice and life at large. By adapting these principles, we can cultivate greater mindfulness, resilience, and well-being, both on and off the mat. As we navigate the complexities of modern living, may we find inspiration in this ancient sutra, guiding us towards a life of harmony, balance, and inner peace. 

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What is the meaning of Sthiram Sukam Asanam?
"Sthiram Sukham Asanam" when translated means means "steadiness (sthira) and ease (sukha) in posture (asana)."
Is "Sthiram Sukham Asanam" relevant only for asanas?
No, "Sthiram Sukham Asanam" is a powerful sutra that can be applied on and off the mat, during your yoga practice and in everyday situations in life.
How to apply "Sthiram Sukham Asanam" off the mat?
One of the strongest ways to do this is to incorporate mindfulness into everyday activities, such as walking, sitting, or even washing dishes. Pay attention to posture, breath, and bodily sensations, aiming to find a balance between stability and ease in each moment.
Understanding the famous Sutras,"Sthiram Sukham Asanam"
Arunima Singhdeo

Arunima is the Founder & CEO of Shvasa. She was the cofounder and COO of which raised approx $20mn in funding from Accel Partners and Tiger Global, which was later acquired by The Mahindra Group. She was also a Vice President at Infoedge India - a successfully listed Internet company. Arunima is a Master Yoga & Meditation teacher with over 2000 hrs of practice and 1000 hrs of teaching Yoga. Her two passions are yoga and the internet.

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