I wish, as a yoga teacher, I had more sway with my students in encouraging them to do their own practice. It’s not that I want them to disappear from the classes I teach. It’s more that I feel there are such riches in doing yoga and living the yogic way that I would like as many people to experience this as I do.
One of the main benefits I experience is the sense that the philosophy I subscribe to in yoga and the practices I do help me move in the directions I want to in life, for example: being a kind and loving person; maintaining as much health as possible; expressing a positive outlook and accepting myself even when I don’t deliver on my aim.
Sutra IV-12 is a description of time and how being more conscious of it has us be more discerning about what we do with it. B.K.S. Iyengar says:
The negative effects of time are … pride, lack of spiritual knowledge, attachment to pleasure, aversion to pain, the desire to cling to life.
The positive effect is the acquisition of knowledge [whereby] the experience of the past supports the present, and progress in the present builds a sound foundation for the future.
The prize, Iyengar says, is that the yogi will have developed powers of discrimination, alertness and awareness that enable him to rest in the present, with desires kept in abeyance.
On the yoga path, age can work in your favour because it gives you time to practice discipline and garner wisdom along the way.
Atita anagatam svarupatah asti adhvabhedat dharmanam
The existence of the past and the future is as real as that of the present. As moments roll into movements which have yet to appear as the future, the quality of knowledge in one’s intellect and consciousness is affected.*
*Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, translation and commentary by B.K.S. Iyengar.