I-1 Atha-yogānuśāsanam Now, let’s start our study of Yoga as it has been practiced, experienced, applied, and only then passed down from teacher to student throughout the centuries. May it be an auspicious beginning for the benefit of all future generations of Yogi-s.
Atha Atha creates an auspicious atmosphere for a new beginning. Something significant is going to happen. You have passed through the prerequisite to this new beginning, and now are ready to move on to something new. You are going to transform so get ready!
Nothing starts without a prayer in India, so Patanjali’s YS are no different. Instead of OM, however, here he uses Atha, which is non-religious and thus, for everyone - theists, atheists, and agnostics alike.