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We begin where we are and how we are, and whatever happens, happens.

“Books or yoga classes often give the impression that there are prerequisites for the study of yoga. We may be told that we should not smoke, or that we should be vegetarian, or that we should give away all our worldly good. Such ways of behaving are admirable only if they originate within us – and they may as a result of yoga – but not if they are imposed from outside. For instance, many people who smoke give up the habit once they begin a yoga practice. As result of their practice they no longer want to smoke; they do not give up smoking in order to practice yoga. We begin where we are and how we are, and whatever happens, happens.”

(excerpt from The heart of the yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar)

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Where and how does the practice of yoga begin?

“Where and how does the practice of yoga begin? Should we always begins on the physical level? I would say that where we begin depends on our personal interests. There are many ways of practicing yoga, and gradually the interest in one path will lead to another. So it could be that we begin by studying the Yoga Sutra or by meditating. Or we may instead begin with practicing asanas and so start to understand yoga through the experience of the body. We can also begin with pranayama, feeling the breath as the movement of our inner being. There are no prescriptions regarding where and how our practice should begin.”

(excerpt from The heart of the yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar)