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Yoga Sutra I.1

Patanjali's Yoga Sutra

अथ योगानुशासनम्॥१॥

 atha yoga-anuśāsanam ॥1॥

Now, begins the discipline of yoga.

  • atha = now, at this auspicious moment, with blessings. Having reached this point after prior preparation, this is a transition point for the student to begin his practice or instruction of yoga. It calls for the student’s attention to the instructions that follow.
  • yoga = from the root Sanskrit word yuj meaning ‘to yoke’ or unite with the Universe within and without. This refers also to being absorbed in the state of samadhi, to become one.
  • anushasanam = discipline, instruction, training, teaching, explanation. This implies the teaching of yoga in a disciplined manner. 

As per B.K.S.Iyengar (Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) this sutra may be taken to mean: ‘the disciplines of integration are here expounded through experience, and are given to humanity for the exploration and recognition of that hidden part of man which is beyond the awareness of the senses’.