My favorite Friday reflection questions:
Was it a fast or slow week? Did this week require a lot of effort or did it hold a lot of ease?
Let’s dive into how the yoga philosophy of effort and ease or “Sthira” and “Sukha” can actually show up in your everyday life…..
You may or may not have heard us mention this concept in class, but the concept is all about the push and pull, effort and ease, and the harmonizing of resilience and gratitude. Sthira and Sukha are Sanskrit terms that represent two essential qualities that can help create balance and contentment in our lives.
STHIRA: The ability to hold steady, and create strength and stability. The practice of “sthira” can involve cultivating resilience, discipline, and determination. Through “sthira,” one can develop inner strength to persevere through difficult times and continue to maintain their goals. (Example in yoga class: Being able to hold tree and maintain your focus and not fall over as your yoga instructor keeps pacing around the room.)
SUKHA: The ability to create happiness, ease, and comfort. It’s about finding joy and contentment in the simple things. It encourages being in the present moment and cultivating gratitude. Through “sukha” your goals are aligned with your passions. (Example in yoga class: That moment of gratitude when the instructor turns the lights off and you know the end of class is coming!)
The play between “sthira” and “sukha” can lead to a more harmonious and fulfilling life. Striking the right balance between these two can mean navigating challenges with resilience while also taking the time to enjoy life’s pleasures. This balance is key to avoiding burnout, creating a positive outlooks, and achieving personal growth.
In my opinion, one of my favorite ways to create the physical representation of this in my body is through standing forward fold or “ragdoll.” Noticing the strength of the legs “sthira” with the flow and ease of my upper body folded over my lower body “sukha,” truly lets me embody this concept and philosophy.
So, knowing what you know now…reflect again: did this past week require a lot of effort or hold a lot of ease? Where can you bring in more “sthira” and “sukha” into your week ahead?