Atha and the preparation for yoga
- The first word of yoga sutras is "atha" which means "now", though a particular "now" which implies that one has done the preparation to begin the path and process of yoga. Most people claiming to practice yoga are still in the preparation phase. There is nothing wrong with the preparation phase; it is needed. However, the preparation phase to begin yoga is not, itself, yoga. The preparation phase has become known as "yoga". In our modern times, there is no longer a need for this preparation phase. Now we just say that we are practicing yoga and that's it; whatever we say is yoga is suddenly called yoga.