Sthira Sukhamasanam (st-heera sook-ham-ahs-an-um)

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Let's twist and bend ourselves into pretzel-like shapes because that's what yoga is all about, right?

Ummm, no. Not really.

Handed down through generations of wise gurus, the yoga sutra 'sthira sukhamasanam' means to find a seat of comfort and ease in which to contemplate how one might become more 'at one' with the universe. (The word 'yoga' is derived from the Sanskrit 'yui', which means to yolk or unite. Did you know that?) We practice the physical aspect of yoga in order to both exercise and cleanse our bodies and to still our mind in readiness for meditation - to ready ourselves for a more spiritual practise.

Have you ever tried to meditate? To sit for just a few minutes and concentrate on having your mind completely clear? It's tricky because our minds chatter all the time. Meditation is a practice and it's a skill that people spend years learning. BUT the great thing is that anyone can do it and even sitting for just a couple of minutes a day with nothing to do but enjoy the breath can benefit you in so many ways. You should give it a go and even though it's benefits are so profound, it doesn't have to be a big deal; you can do it at your desk, in the shower or at the bus stop. All you need to do is concentrate on your inhale, notice the pause and concentrate on the exhale. Don't beat yourself up if you find yourself wondering what you'll be eating for lunch, just encourage your mind to focus on the next breath instead. You can think about your meal later.

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