Atha, the first word in the Yoga Sutra is filled with a depth of meaning. It implies beginning an endeavor we want to learn or experience and the willingness to put forth the effort to receive the gift of that knowledge. The ability to learn can start and continue throughout our life and is not dependent on age.
Thank goodness I am still learning and growing. Four years ago I decided to learn French. Couldn’t speak or read a word. Today I can read a little and speak about the same. One day I asked my 27 year old French teacher “Why was I moving so slowly? Was I just not getting it?” With the wisdom of an elder he said “Are you in a hurry?” He is so patient. He looks at each student individually and knows that if I am open to learning it will come in my own time. Not his or anyone else. The atha is the beginning and the effort towards receiving, not about the time frame. It reminds me of the yogic saying “If the student is not ready they will not learn.” This reminds me to be open and accepting of where I am on this journey.
A couple of weeks ago I met with our SoundYoga sutra class. We discuss the philosophy of Yoga through the Yoga Sutras. We are just beginning the four books again and as we start the process I am starting the first steps all over again with a new awareness. What is different this time? There are new students who offer new insights and help me to see the sutras in a new light. Looking at it from a fresh perspective gives me new awareness and I get to enjoy the process all over again. If you are interested in joining us our next get together is June 3 from 10am to 12pm.