Interested in starting yoga? Take a cue from Yoga Sutra I.1—there's no time like the present.
Often translated as "now," athacan also mean a blessing, turning point, or commitment. It implies that regardless of what we were doing before, now that we've made a decision to practice yoga, yoga can meet us and serve us right where we are, whatever our age, interest, or ability. In addition to meeting us wherever we are, yoga is designed to keep serving us throughout our journey, as long as we choose to take it. The last word in the sutra is anusasanam. Anu can be translated as "continuous," and sasanam indicates a practical experience.
Though yoga is designed for the mind, the practice is not merely a mental exercise. We are meant to apply the principles and incorporate the practices into our everyday lives for as long as we choose to practice. We can begin our practice at any time, at any age, and yoga will continue to serve us until our very last breath, if we so wish. It is truly a universal practice. Yoga Sutra I.1 Now we undertake the study of yoga.
See also Yoga for Beginners
Kate Holcombe's teachings apply the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali to daily life. She is the founder and co-director of the Healing Yoga Foundation in San Francisco.