Now, the teachings of yoga [is presented] / Atha anusasanam (in Sanskrit)
The Yoga Sutras - Chapter 1, Sutra #1
The Yoga Sutras begin with this verse, which has much more meaning than just a short introduction. The word “atha” translates as “now" and has several meanings that are important for the beginning of the sutra. This "now" implies several things.
First of all, the word "now" means that now the teacher is ready to teach and the student is willing to learn. In addition, this means that the student has already learned a lot on his own and is now fully prepared to begin the difficult teaching of classical yoga. Finally, the concept of "now" is one of the most important aspects of the study of yoga, since yoga brings a person to the present moment, to the "now". Presence is the essence of yoga teaching, therefore the word "now" is the very first world of the Yoga Sutras.
The second word is "anusasanam", which is translated from Sanskrit as "teaching". Yoga is a consistent discipline that requires focus, attention, and determination. That is why Patanjali begins the Yoga Sutras with this first verse, bearing in mind that this progress in yoga does not come by accident.
I hope that this series of Yoga Sutras explanations will help you to better understand the philosophy of yoga and move forward on the path of learning yoga!