Prayatna saithilya forms part of one of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which is “Prayatna Saithilya Ananta Samapatibhyam.” Individually, these words can be translated as:
- Prayatna, meaning “effort”
- Saithilya, meaning “loosen”
- Ananta, meaning “infinite”
- Samapatibhyam, meaning “fusing”
Thus, this whole sutra is thought to describe the technique yogis should use to make their asana firm, yet still comfortable. It suggests that the yogi should slacken the effort in order to find connection with the Infinite. An alternative complete translation is, “Perfection in asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the Infinite is reached."
Some yogis also take this sutra and the concept of prayatna saithilya as a reminder that every day they need to put in continuous effort and be absorbed in the posture in order to find the effortless connection with the Divine, which is the goal of yoga.