The great sage Patanjali talks of cultivating sthira (steadiness, firmness) and sukha (gentleness, softness) in yoga practice.
The qualities denoted by these two little sanskrit words can be applied to the whole of the asana practice - from the opening warm-ups and sun salutations, to the more dynamic sequences and softer finishing poses.
Cultivating sthira requires a connection to the earth beneath us - a sense of grounding and rooting.
Yet by cultivating sukha, we incorporate a light, mindful approach to the postures - always maintaining a sense of ease and equilibrium that is free of force.
Sthira and sukha are opposite - but equally important - qualities to nurture on, and off, the mat; the delicate balance of yin and yang.