Atha yoga anushasanam
Now the teachings of Yoga begin
– Yoga Sutra 1.1
It’s my first blog post, and I thought what better topic than Yoga Sutra 1.1. It’s such an unceremonious yet introspective way to start things. In plain language it says now, the teachings of yoga begin. It conveys (among other things) the point that yoga can only happen in the present moment. When we go to a yoga class, we don’t just do yoga for an hour and then leave and forget about it. There is no start and no end, we practice yoga in order to bring the teachings and the good feelings we have after class into the rest of our life. Through the continued practice of yoga we realize that in order to feel perfect, whole, and complete we have to be present and appreciate each individual moment. It’s easy to let the mind wander, thinking about the future or mulling over the past, but we work in our yoga practice to keep the mind steady and calm.
Think about the times when you are most grounded, stable and present. For me it’s generally after I (try to) meditate, or when I’m lying in savasana after an asana class. It’s only then that I get a taste of stillness and ease. My mind is completely calm. That five minutes of stillness is like dipping my toe in yoga the pond. There’s alway more to be learned, the practice never ends!