Steady and comfortable: The two essential characteristics of the sitting posture for meditation are that it must be:
- Steady, stable, motionless
- Comfortable, or filled with ease
Do you have too much sukha in your body, are you very flexible? In that case you should focus more on improving your strength to balance your flexibility.
If you are a athletic or sporty person when you come to yoga, you might notice the muscles in your body are very stiff. This is more sthira and so you will have to work on your flexibility to create this balance. In section 2, verse 46 Pantanjali states (in Sanskrit)… sthira-sukham-asanam
Sthira – to be conscious, steady, alert, present, firm, stable
Sukha(m) – to be relaxed, happy, gentle, at ease, comfortable, soft
Asanam – yoga posture, way of sitting, being seated, place
Pantanjali is saying “every posture must contain both of these qualities to the same degree in order for the asana to be yoga.”
“The posture is firm and soft” ~ Bernard Bouanchaud
“Asana must have the dual qualities of alertness and relaxation… alertness without tension and relaxation without dullness or heaviness.” ~ T.K.V. Desikachar
Intended as an expression of balance between effort and ease. Holding body, energy and mind in balance. In fact, some translations of this sutra state that unless this balance exists in the posture, it isn’t yoga.