Yoga Sutra 1.1: The Power of Now

So reads the first stanza (sutra) of Patanjali’s 2,000-year-old yoga guidebook, the Yoga Sutra.It’s quite possibly among the very well-known opening lines in all of Hindu religiousliterature, but most enthusiastic pupils, intent on getting to the sexier parts of theteachings, sail past the first word, “now” (in Sanskrit atha, pronounced ah-tah) without a secondthought.

But wait! It’s there to capture your attention: I’m prepared to instruct, Patanjaliis saying, so listen up. But atha also indicates of whatyou’re about to dive into the worth. You are able to flipthrough the Yoga Sutra when you please, and return it to the shelf, these days, but it took a long period of preparation just to get access to it. The study of classical yoga was serious company that neededcommitment.

At some point the teacher established that—atha, “now”—the beginner wasqualified enough for instruction. It has to happen to be an exhilarating momentwhen students left behind their regular identities to assume a fresh role
as religious aspirants.

Atha whispers a subtle website reminder that all yoga teaching appears from and leads us back tothe classic, ever-present now. Say it mutely, before you begin the next practice if it draws you to the present and see. Ifyou’re extremely blessed, you might feel, in the words of Patanjali, that imperfectionsand the “layers concealing truth” are washed away, your genuine self and ” is revealed.
You’re often asked to chant Sanskrit in course, but there’s nothing wrong withchanting in English if the words evoke meaning for you personally. Sit with your back straight,shut your eyes, and slow your breathing. With each exhalation, say the word “now” to yourself, drawing the “w.” out Believe how the present moment becomes frozen even as time passes and transforms into another instant of now.

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