The 'Yoga Sutras of Patanajali' consist of 195 Sanskrit aphorisms written by the Sage Patanjali. Those who are serious students of Yoga are familiar with this work and use it as a tool in their practice and teaching.
Chapter 1 Verse 1 of the Sutras - "Atha yoganusasanam"
This sutra is an introduction of what is to be extolled. In Sanskrit, any auspicious undertaking is first started with the word "atha", which can be translated to mean "now begins". It introduces to us that a subject will now be explained. By using this term Patanjali is noting the auspiciousness of the explanations to follow on what Yoga is. He is grabbing the attention of the reader by declaring "atha", NOW, not later, not tomorrow, not next week... but the importance of taking hold of being present. Now, also meaning that there need not be any qualifications needed to study Yoga, as it is available and needed for everyone. So, what will be explained? "Yoganusasanam", which can be translated to mean following the path of instruction by the ancient sages on Yoga. So the phrase becomes, "Now begins the instruction on Yoga, as laid down by the ancient sages, that is available to everyone". This first verse should not just be taken lightly to mean "now begins the study of Yoga". It means that anyone who wants to can approach the task by taking the responsibility to begin the path of Yoga... or more simply, in today's context, reconnecting the body with mind and soul to achieve a sense of freedom.
When people think of Yoga they think of poses like Warrior I, Tree, Eagle, Triangle but Yoga does not mean postures or asanas. Rather, asanas are just a part of Yoga. The practice of Yoga encompasses other aspects of practice in conjuction with asanas such as meditation, breath control, and diet to name a few. Yoga is a way of conscious living. Yoga, in the context of the Yoga Sutras means samadhi or loosely translated as freedom. Yoga can also mean union. There are many different meanings of Yoga but they all refer back to as TKV Desikachar beautifully put it, "the means by which we can make the changes we desire in our lives."
We have become so dead to our emotions and what happens in our own bodies that illness (both mental and physical) takes over a large percentage of the population and that large population. We have forgotten what it means to sit quietly and reflect. Use the present to begin your path to a new you, anyone who is willing can do it. Will that path be an easy one? No, probably not, but I can guarantee that you will look back on your old self with a bemusement and wisdom that will only lead to greater santosha or contentment with one's Self.