Sutra 2.47: Prayatna Saithilya (Finding Effortless & the Infinite)

Sutra 2.47: Prayatna Saithilya (Finding Effortless & the Infinite)

Our focus and work in asana practice is typically on the body’s alignment and engagement in the pose. While it is critical to make a excellent, robust and secure shape with the body, overemphasizing the physical engagement can limit your progression in yoga. In Yoga Sutra 2.47, Patanjali asks us to unwind our work and exertion to let our interest to merge with the infinite. This enables us to uncover an inner calm that will assistance us progress additional into the poses. This is not an quick activity, but we have gathered some suggestions and assistance to assistance you soften the work and expand your awareness in the course of meditation or hatha yoga.

Patanjali’s aphorisms on asana

Patanjali’s yoga sutras, thought of 1 of the foundational texts on yoga, only discusses the physical posture twice. In sutra 2.46 we discover that a yoga posture should really have a balance involving sthira—stillness and stability, and sukham—ease, comfort, and openness. The following aphorism, prayatna shaithilya ananta samapattibhyam, discusses the perfection of asana, effortless work, and merging with the infinite.

We frequently get caught up in the work of attaining the best shaped pose. Patanjali asks us to let go our work and exertion to let our interest expand beyond our bodies to unite with the infinite. This is not an quick activity, specifically for novices. It requires practice to uncover this state of effortless work, so do not be discouraged if it does not come about suitable away.

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What does Prayatna Shaithilya Ananta Samapattibhyam imply?

In Yoga Sutra 2.47, “prayatna shaithilya ananta samapattibhyam,” is translated as “Perfection in an asana is attained by the relaxation of effort and the total absorption of awareness on the infinite.” The word-for-word translation of this sutra is:

Prayatna = work, tension, exertion

Shaithilya = letting go of, relaxing, loosen

Ananta = infinite, boundless, eternal, endless, essential nature

Samapattibhyam = uniting with, focusing on, fusing, coming collectively, merging, focusing interest on

There are quite a few diverse techniques Sutra 2.47 has been translated more than the centuries. Reading diverse translations, interpretations and commentaries on a sutra can provide a superior understanding than relying on a single supply. Here are a handful of of the most well known translations:

  • “Perfection in an asana is achieved when the effortful effort to perform it becomes effortless, and the infinite being within is reached.” BKS Iyengar.
  • “By lessening the natural tendency for restlessness and by meditating on the infinite, posture is mastered.” Sri Swami Satchidananda
  • “By loosening of effort and by meditation on the serpent ananta, asana is mastered.” Swami Satyananda Saraswati
  • “As the body yields all efforts and holdings, the infinite within is revealed.” Nischala Joy Devi
  • “Posture becomes firm and relaxed through control of the natural tendencies of the body, and through meditation on the infinite.” — Swami Prabhavananda
  • “By slight effort and meditating on the unlimited (posture becomes firm and pleasant).” — Swami Vivekananda

How to accomplish Prayatna Saithilya

The word prayatna implies “effort, exertion or force.” The word saithilya implies “letting go of.” Therefore prayatna saithilya is defined as “the letting go of the need to do with force or effort.” It is a state of active and focused work without the need of tension or any unnecessary work.

In order to attain this state in asana, 1 have to 1st realize how to soften your want, unwind further work, and accept what you can’t alter. Cultivate this softening and non–efforting by obtaining the space inside the engagement of the shape, and accepting your body and the pose as it is. Work towards letting go of attempting to make anything come about, and rather permitting what is to unfold naturally. This is correct no matter if we’re carrying out a forward fold, downward dog, or any other yogic practice. In every case, we’re mastering to accept the practice and our body as it is, rather than forcing ourselves to attempt to alter it.

It’s quick to get caught up in thoughts like “I should be able to do this”, “I’m not good enough”, or “This isn’t working”. These thoughts build unnecessary tension and tension in our bodies, and protect against us from progressing in the practice. By releasing these damaging thoughts, we free of charge our minds to focus on the present moment to uncover the right quantity of work in the asana.

We have to also place work into building a excellent, secure and aligned shape with our body on our yoga mats. When we practice excellent alignment, right kind and suitable work, we’re cultivating mindfulness, self-awareness and concentration. We’re also strengthening our muscle tissues, escalating flexibility and enhancing our all round overall health.

In Light on Life, B.K.S. Iyengar describes prayatna saithilya as the highest state 1 can accomplish in the posture. “In asana, we are trying to broach the mass of our gross body, to break up the molecules and divide them into atoms that will allow our vision to penetrate within… Initially we need to exert ourselves more as resistance is greater. Of the two aspects of asana, exertion of our body and penetration of our mind, the latter is eventually more important. Penetration of our minds is our goal, but in the beginning to set things in motion, there is no substitute for sweat. When effort becomes effortless, asana is at its highest level.”

It requires time, patience and compassion to discover how to let go of the will need to push oneself. You may well uncover oneself obtaining frustrated if you do not really feel like you are producing progress. Don’t be concerned! It’s typical to have moments of aggravation. You can counteract damaging feelings with pondering positive thoughts, affirmations and intentions. Incorporating kindness, compassion, patience and acceptance into our practice will assistance us cultivate a more relaxed attitude towards our bodies and poses. As we discover to let go of our expectations and desires, we naturally cultivate more effortless work.

How to knowledge Ananta Samapattibhyam

The word “prayatna” implies “the ultimate truth” or “the infinite oneness”. The word “samapattibhyam” implies “connected” or “united”. It refers to the state of becoming connected to the infinite or our highest self. This is accomplished by abiding in our correct nature, surrendering to the divine will and permitting spirit to guide our actions.

When we are in a state of prayatna samapattibhyam, we are totally present in the moment and are open to what ever unfolds ahead of us. We are not resisting or pushing against something. We are merely becoming. Letting go into the infinite is an act of surrendering manage more than your life. You give up your ego and come to be portion of anything larger than oneself.

To accomplish this state of ananta samapattibhyam demands that we 1st release our attachment to outcomes. Our want to achieve mastery more than the asanas have to dissolve. We have to quit attempting to prove ourselves each on and off our yoga mats. We have to let go of our worry of failure and embrace the unknown. We have to trust the universe to show us the path.

As we let go of our attachments, we commence to see issues differently. We come to realize that we are not separate from the globe about us. We are not separate from the folks who surround us. We are moving towards the ultimate aim of yoga– to come to be united with the ultimate truth and the infinite oneness.

How to practice Ananta Samapattibhyam

The practice of ananta samapattibhyam demands us to expand our awareness from the physical to the subtle energies of the body and universe. This can be practiced in the course of seated meditation or in the course of a extended posture hold. There are 4 key actions to practice and knowledge ananta samapattabhyam.

  1. The 1st step is to expand your awareness from the body to the breath. Focus on your inhale and exhale. Notice exactly where you really feel the air getting into and leaving your nostrils. Feel the sensations in your nose, mouth, throat and chest. Observe the rise and fall of your abdomen. As you breathe deeply, you connect with the air and space about you. Use your breath to really feel oneself resting, softening, widening and deepening gently and comfortably into Yoga.
  2. Next, focus on the thoughts. Notice the place and high-quality of your thoughts. Observe your thoughts without the need of judgment, watching them float away like clouds in the sky. Do not attempt to alter them. Just observe and watch them as separate entities. Consciously let your thoughts to soften and dissolve. Experience your Thoughts as short-term phenomena—let them flow by way of you like waves on the ocean. As your thoughts dissolve expand your focus and awareness beyond your thoughts, body and breath.
  3. Keep expanding your awareness farther, to your spirit or soul, the supply of witness consciousness. As you expand beyond the physical realm, notice your body becoming lighter, softer and more peaceful. Allow your awareness to witness all that is taking place at once—in your body and all about you. Allow oneself to knowledge the reality of now.
  4. Lastly, think about that you are absolutely nothing more than pure power and pure consciousness. Feel the power coursing by way of your complete body. Feel it flowing out of your head and down your spine. Feel it pulsating by way of all seven chakras and Feel it moving by way of your hands and feet. Let your complete body be filled with this feeling of bliss. Let go of all attachment to the physical body and Imagine that you are the supply of all existence. Allow your awareness to come to be united with the infinite oneness.


Effortless work is the important to awaken the spiritual elements of the practice of yoga. You can use these approaches in your yoga poses as just tools to assistance us transcend the physical realm and connect with greater states of consciousness. Effortless work enables you to surrender into the method, connect with the infinite and leads to higher self-awareness and in the end to correct freedom.

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