Atha Yoga Anushasanam

“An introduction to yoga in the here and now” or “now, an introduction to the experience of unity.”  I love this sutra.  It is truly applicable every moment of every day.  Right now is the perfect time to open yourself to yoga, whether by practicing asanas, yamas and niyamas, or something as simple as listening to your breath as you walk to the MRT.  Every moment of every day offers the opportunity to move closer to a state of enlightenment.  Every time we blink our eyes, we have a second of looking inward; every time we give up a seat to someone who needs it more, we practice karma yoga; every time we tell the truth, we observe our niyamas.  All people have the capacity to be great yogis, if we open ourselves to it.  It takes strength, self-control, and devotion, but at the end of the day, so do most things.  Letting go of ourselves, of our egos and perceptions is ultimately less exhausting and restrictive than holding tight to our narrow worlds.
What better time is there to start yoga than right now?  The beauty of yoga is that you can be as gung-ho or laid-back as suits you.  You don’t have to prove your yoga-ness to anyone else, you don’t have to demonstrate your dedication to the 8 limbs of Ashtanga.  At the end of the day, yoga is a reflection of acceptance and respect.  If you accept and respect yourself, you will be poised to accept and respect others where they stand.  One of my Christian friends says that when you feel yourself overflowing with God’s love, you will find yourself pouring that love and acceptance on others.  I take that to mean that when you embrace yourself, where you are now and where you will be down the road, you are open to other people’s paths, even if they don’t parallel your own.

 

So now, every moment of every day is an introduction to yourself, to the wonderful world around you, to yoga.  Embrace the opportunity and find yourself blossoming.