Thought Bite: Atha

The first of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is atha yoga anushashanam, of which one translation is “Now begins the discipline of yoga according to the ancient tradition.”

One meaning of the word “now” is the eternal now, that is, the never changing now around which every-thing is changing. If you think about it, the complete experience of this eternal now is what we are seeking in Yoga.

If our mind were so one-pointed that we dwelt in that eternal now, rather than the imagined future or remembered past -- if one’s mind is absolutely present with all of his or her life energy NOW, then he or she has reached the state of yoga.

As the great commentator of the yoga sutras, Vyāsa said, yoga is samādhi. In other words, yoga is the state where the mind is so one pointedly and unwaveringly concentrated on a single object of cognition that the object is all one is aware of, and there isn’t even any self (little self) awareness.

That state is yoga, that “now” is yoga, and we get there by practicing the disciplines of yoga according to the tradition.

So, the first sutra of yoga expresses the goal of yoga as well as telling us how to get there.

In your life, you can begin seeking to bring your entire mind and life force into each moment. This is one way we can practice yoga when in the world.


19 Dec 2021;
07:00PM - 08:00PM
Full Moon Meditation 2020