Patañjali defines āsana, the physical postures of yoga, as a state where the dual qualities of sthira – firmness, steadiness, stillness and effort – and sukha – softness, openness, lightness and comfort – are both present together.
It is an expression of the mind, body and breath working together in a balanced manner to achieve a balanced result.
How do we achieve this balance between attentive steadiness and open space in āsana?
The breath in āsana is a particularly important indicator of sthira and sukha. If it becomes short and laboured, or so easy that our minds wander, we know we are not practicing yoga.
Recognising our limitations, adapting the posture appropriately and focussing our attention and awareness will create this balance.
Do I balance firmness with softness, strictness with ease, and stability with letting go?
And how can I develop these opposing yet complementary qualities in my daily life?
The 2013 IYS workshop dates and venue are now confirmed!
After visiting many central Cambridge locations, the venue for the 2013 courses has been chosen for its closeness to the train station, excellent parking, its tranquil and comfortable space with full facilities.
We are delighted to confirm that the first 2013 IYS workshop will be held at St John's Church , Hills Road, Cambridge.
See the St John's website for location and other information at
2013 course dates
5 and 12 January 2013
9 and 16 March 2013
9 and 16 November 2013
Paul has been a student and teacher of Yoga, as well as other Indian traditions such as Vedic Chant, Samkhya, Bhagavad Gita and Ayurveda lifestyle skills for several decades. Undertaking a personal inquiry and formal Yoga practice in 1972 he began meeting teachers and exploring the practice and theory of asana and pranayama.
The aim of Dharma Downloads is to honour the commitment and dedication to the continuing interest in the teachings of Sri T Krishnamacharya as received from his students, especially his longest serving students TKV Desikachar and S Ramswami. TKV Desikachar once described dharma as having three aspects: “Dharma is that which supports you. Dharma is that which stops you from falling. Dharma is that which enables you to pick yourself up after falling.”