The power of steadiness or immobility is one of the different types of Spiritual Power or siddhis outlined in the Vibhuti Pada (Book III) of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. We hear of many tales about yogis, saints, and buddhas who can sit in meditation for hours and even days at a time without being disturbed by any external distractions. One of my favorite stories is that of the Buddha.
It is said that when Siddharta Gautama reached enlightenment, he spent a whole week in front of a tree, gazing at it with gratitude and his eyes fully opened the whole time. A shrine was later erected on the spot where he stood and the tree is famously known today as the Bodhi Tree.
Sri Aurobindo explains how this can be possible:
“The greatest exertions are made with the breath held in; the faster the breathing, the more the dissipation of energy. He who in action can cease from breathing,—naturally, spontaneously,—is the master of Prana, the energy that acts and creates throughout the universe. It is a common experience of the Yogin that when thought ceases, breathing ceases,—the entire kumbhak effected by the Hathayogin with infinite trouble and gigantic effort, establishes itself easily and happily,—but when thought begins again, the breath resumes its activity. But when the thought flows without the resumption of the inbreathing and outbreathing, then the Prana is truly conquered. This is a law of Nature. When we strive to act, the forces of Nature do their will with us; when we grow still, we become their master. But there are two kinds of stillness—the helpless stillness of inertia, which heralds dissolution, and the stillness of assured sovereignty which commands the harmony of life. It is the sovereign stillness which is the calm of the Yogin. The more complete the calm, the mightier the yogic power, the greater the force in action.”
— The Strength of Stillness, Sri Aurobindo
To understand how this can be achieved through the practice of yoga, let's look at the sutra that corresponds to this siddhi.
"(By performing Samyama) on the Kurma-nadi steadiness."
— I.K. Taimni, The Science Of Yoga
"Focusing with perfect discipline on the ‘tortoise channel’, one cultivates steadiness."
— Chip Hartranft, The Yoga-Sûtra of Patañjali
"By perfectly concentrated Meditation on the centre of force in the channel called the "tortoise-formed," comes steadfastness."
— Charles Johnston, The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali: The Book of the Spiritual Man
Steadiness or immobility can be attained by performing Samyama Meditation on the Kurma Nadi. The Kurma Nadi is a subtle tortoise-shaped energy channel which is situated at the base of the throat. However, since it appears that the physical correspondence of the Kurma Nadi appears as a collection of nerves in the shape of a tortoise at the location of the heart, other interpreters believe that Patanjali’s sutra was also referring to the Heart Chakra.
Another thing that should be considered here is whether Patanjali was referring to the steadiness of the body or steadiness of the mind. I guess it is both. Calming the breath makes the body motionless. This then leads to the mind becoming motionless. A steady state of mind leads to a steady state of the body, and vice versa.
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