What is Yoga Sutra 2.46?
Yoga Sutra 2.46 from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali states….
The posture for yoga meditation should be steady, stable, and comfortable
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What does Yoga Sutra 2.46 mean?
When I hear Yoga Sutra 2.46, I think of the ability to stay cool, calm, and collected while doing yoga.
Sometimes, I have a student in my class that pushes themselves way too far in postures. They are red in the face, breathing heavily, shaking uncontrollably, etc. So I nonchalantly walk up to this person, have them come out of the pose, then guide them back in but to a level that is appropriate for them.
Immediately when I walk away from that person they almost always go back to the complicated version of the pose and as a result, they start huffing and puffing and turning red in the face. Rather than finding a steady, stable, and comfortable asana, some people would rather push themselves past their limit.
While it’s great to want to push yourself, this is not yoga. In yoga, you should feel steady, stable, and comfortable. Yoga is about your body and mind becoming one. In order to do this, you need to be in a state of comfort. When you feel discomfort, your mind is distracted and can only focus on getting rid of the discomfort.
There are very few students like the one I mentioned above. However, almost all of my students struggle with this sutra in another way. They constantly adjust their postures.
It seems to be human nature, to constantly fidget and make changes to our current state. But in yoga, we want to refrain from doing this and instead be content with our present state.
While teaching, I often give adjustment cues and then tell my students that once they find their pose to become as still as possible. This can be surprisingly challenging for most people. But, it enhances our practice greatly when we can accomplish this state.
More on the Yoga Sutras
The yoga sutras are the principles and basic teachings of yoga, broken up into short verses. They are at least 4,000 years old but can still be easily applied to our lives today.
If you are interested in the Yoga Sutras, you will be happy to know that I am posting about several of them. Check out Yoga Sutra 2.33 and The Happiness Trap.