We used the 1st sutra of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali
अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥ atha yoga-anuśāsanam ||1|
Here are some note about the using sutra 1.1 during the practice:
Yoga is an invitation –atha yoga-anuśāsanam
Atha is Now. Right here in the perfection of this moment you have been chosen, invited to participate in the practice of yoga.
In showing up you are saying yes to the invitation. Now- atha, you are ready to begin this journey called yoga
This invitation underlines 2 important distinctions:
1- In atha, there is a very important silent agreement as part of this invitation. For you to be ready to experience the process and goal of yoga implies that you are worthy enough of receiving this very secretive highest knowledge. We accept the responsibility of realizing our own greatness. So it is from knowing who we truly are in essence (with the awakening- shaktipat) as perfect that we can begin the journey of releasing the karmic seeds and samskara or past impressions so we can become fully established in the experience of our true essence as satchitananda- existence, consciousness and bliss.
2- When ever you are being invited somewhere there is an expectation from you host. When you go visit your friends and family you agree to follow the rules of their home. If they ask you to remove your shoes you do so, if you use their bathrooms you leave it clean, if they serve you a meal you accept it and thank them for their generosity. You may also bring a small gift to express your gratitude.
Atha-Now that you have been invited to practice yoga, what is the expectation?
In atha yoga-anuśāsanam there is the word anuśāsanam just like the word anusara in anusara yoga, the prefix anu invite you to participate fully in the process of yoga; not only showing up with your physical body but also with your mind and your heart. The invitation implies you are offered to be a student of yoga. Studenship requires for you to be open to new ways and new concepts, to move passed your limitations and to give your very best. On the heart level fullness implies that we are filled of devotion and gratitude for the teaching and the teacher-Guru. In the Anusara Invocation the 1st phrase is dedicated to expressing our devotion and gratitude: Om namah shivaya Gurave.
Now we begin with the remembrance of our infinite perfection and greatness for we have been chosen to be part of the process of yoga or merging with our essence which is Ananda- bliss. What a gift, what an invitation, we have accumulated so many good karma that we have bee granted the gift of yoga.
In Anusara we express our bhakti (bhakti yoga) and jnana with hatha Yoga.
The term Hatha has been translated as Ha = sun and tha = moon, meaning the balancing of opposites called in Anusara Yoga: Balance Action. Yoga invite us to have the experience of our divinity while being in this embodiment. It is an experience. By exploring and experiencing the contrary complement we find the place in the middle and Allow it to expand. That’s Anusara.