The principle of Sthira and Sukha in yogic philosophy speaks to our ability to find harmony, the paradoxical yet completely balanced nature of life.
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a collection of 196 Sutras (precepts) dealing with the theory and practice of yoga, these two tenets are two of many presented to aid in navigating the study of yoga.
Sthira corresponds to security, purpose, and power. Historically, the word has its origins in the Sanskrit root stha, which means “to stand, to be firm”.
Sukha relates to ease, freedom, and spaciousness, and the simplest translation is “good space,” from the root words su (good) and kha (space).
We too, as humans, rotate through the highs and lows of our days, years and lives—the Sthira/Effort and the Sukha/Ease. Change is the only constant and the more you can explore the shifts in the midst of transition the wiser you walk through the shifting currents of life.
Light versus dark, strength versus weakness, good versus evil are integral parts of life. Yoga and life’s lessons often teach us that harmony lies in balance, and this is apparent in the teachings of yoga and life’s lessons. It can be witnessed in the cycle of the Moon, the tides of the oceans as they ebb and flow, and the seasons as they shift and change.
Sukha and Sthira can be found in the physical aspect of the practice, with equal attention on the strength of a posture as well as space for support, observing Sukha and Sthira in the mental space brings balance to internal inspection without judgement or labeling.