Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 46

स्थिरसुखमासनम् ॥४६॥

sthira-sukham-āsanam ||46||

Steady and comfortable is posture.

sthira - steady, firm, not wavering or tottering; fixed, immovable, motionless, still, calmsukha - pleasure; happiness; agreeable; ease; comfortable; pleasantāsana - particular posture; sitting, sitting down; seat, place, stool; abiding, dwelling

Commentaries and Reflections

Commentary by T Krishnamacharya:

Commentary by TKV Desikachar:

Sthira Sukha should both be present in Āsana.
It also implies one should be able to choose the breath ratio.”

Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 46 Sthira Sukham Āsanam
“Means what happens before and after a posture.
One should be able to move to another posture with ease.

Sthira is the absence of Rajas.”

“In the Yoga Sūtra,
Āsana is basically something linked to Prāṇāyāma,
since Prāṇāyāma is a very important practice there,
linked to Dhāraṇā.”

“Whatever is called Yoga
must have some characteristic
of Sthira and Sukha, whether it is
Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Pratyāhāra, or Dhāraṇā.”

Commentary by Paul Harvey:

“This verse is commenting on the attainment of an Āsana as
an appurtenance, or foundation for more subtle practices.
Better not to confuse the vehicle with the direction.”

Āsana, according to this verse, needs to correlate the
two qualities of steady attentiveness and spacious clarity.
However, we are being offered qualities that are actually
the fruits or outcome of the practice guidelines in the next verse.
Hence this verse is a definition, but one that arises as an outcome
of an attitude around the way we go about exploring Āsana.
Although it could be added that this definition also relates
to the direction of one’s Āsana practice as a whole.”

“The experience known as Sthira Sukham Āsanam,
described in Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 46,
arises as a fruit of Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 47,
from melding the mastery of outer stillness in the world,
described as Prayatna Śaithilya, or relaxation of continued effort,
with the mystery of inner openness to the beyond,
described as Ananta Samāpatti, or unity in the infinite.”

“Just because you can perform a posture,
doesn’t automatically mean you can
experience the posture as an Āsana.
To experience a posture as an Āsana
implies some other factors are involved.
Such as how to facilitate a decreasing
resistance within the confines of the body,
and integrating a transcendent involvement
with the mystery of what is beyond the body.”