1.1 And now, the teachings of yoga.

Sutra 1-1 card
“Often this very first sutra is read quickly or even disregarded, which is unfortunate since this sutra is placed first to set the tone.”

— Nischala Joy Devi, The Secret Power of Yoga

Atha here means beginning the study of who we are, where we are, and how we can make incremental changes to our inner and outer self in order to be less involved with material objects and more in tune with how we feel and how our actions affect those around us.

Learning, practicing, and integrating the various aspects of yoga happens over a long period of time and requires patience and perseverance.”

— Nicolai Bachman, The Path of the Yoga Sutras

“According to Patanjali, Yoga is discipline. This is indicated by the very first sutra, wherein Patanjali explains that the discipline of yoga has been followed from time immemorial without interruption, maintaining its lineage.”

— B. K. S. Iyengar, Core of the Yoga Sutras

“Patanjali indicates that, while the subject matter is of ancient origin and he is not the source, he has studied and practiced it to an appropriate depth under his own teacher and is now competent to share his understanding….”

— TKV Desikachar, Reflections on Yoga Sutra-s of Patanjal

“…it is not mere philosophy that Patanjali is about to expound, but rather direct instruction on how to practice Yoga.”

–Sri Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

“Not later, not soon: now. If we wish to understand the principles of Yoga, our minds can’t be bogged down in the past or fretting about the future. With all other concerns at least temporarily put aside, our minds are free to be completely in the moment.”

— Reverend Jaganath Carrera, Inside the Yoga Sutras