Now begins the instruction of yoga.
ATHA YOGA-ANUŚĀSANAM Sutra1.1
This is the very first teaching of classical or Rāja yoga or perhaps even you know it or have heard of it as Patanjalis yoga.
Regardless of the name, this is the foundational text in which most of our modern day yoga stems from and is the teaching of learning to control the mind!
The word ATHA (now) demands our attention and asks us to show up, to be here now, not yesterday and not tomorrow but right here NOW in the very moment, thus giving you the very first hint at the aspects of the teaching of Rāja yoga- to steady the mind with the act of discipline, as I am sure you are aware being fully present is no easy task, but demands practise and awareness.
Yoga stems from the word yoke, but what are we yoking? In this method of yoga, we are learning to reign the mind to be able to understand who we are, where we came from and what we can become. Yoga is mastery of the mind.
Is this relevant to my daily existence? Of course!! How can you be fully present today? Notice how many times you mindlessly move through your chores, or listen without really listening, get lost in your thoughts and distracted.
Teachers, how can you integrate this teaching into your classes, and extend your knowledge to your students?