Yoga Sutra 1: Yoga is Now

For training class, we need to know the first two sutras, so at the very least I’ll go over those with you this week.

The first sutra is “Atha Yogānuśāsanam,” but Sanskrit is an old, dead language so let’s break it down.

*“Atha” means “now.”

*“Yoga” means “Yoga.”

*“Anuśāsanam” means “exposition or instruction.”

So, if we put it all together we get, *“Now the exposition of Yoga is being made.” However, that doesn’t read so nice, so for our purposes, we’ll say the first sutra is “Yoga is now.”

Plain and simple, right? There is no better time and place to practice Yoga than right now, a bit like we talked with meditation.

Although we changed it to “Yoga is now,” the exposition or instruction bit is important. It implies that there is meant to be instruction, you’re not just meant to go at it alone. This also implies that this is not just philosophy, we need to physically practice in order to reach the end goal, Nirvana.

This sutra also implies that you must practice, practice, practice! Not everything comes easy, and that’s ok! With time and continual practice, you will get better. Continual practice of yoga will bring you closer to the fullest extent of each pose, even if you’re not there yet. Can’t touch your toes? Keep practicing, you’ll get there eventually.

I like this one because it’s something I try to live my life by, now, something my mom has taught me. “There’s no better time than right now.”

Occasionally my mom seems absolutely insane. She’ll be in the middle of something, a conversation, cooking, or maybe reading emails, and she’ll suddenly get up and rush around like a crazy person. In reality, she’s just remembered something important, and if she doesn’t get up and do it the moment she remembers, she knows she’ll forget again. It’s just part of her philosophy: Do it NOW. Just like the yoga sutra, “Now the exposition (or instruction) of yoga is being made,” “Yoga is now.”

*Translation has been taken from The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda.

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