Hatha yoga is a means to bring about a balance between the solar energy and lunar energy within you or Ida or Pingala in you. The lunar energy is aligned with Ida and solar energy with Pingala. These Ida and Pingala represent the basic duality of existence. Between the Ida and Pingala Nadi lies the Sushumna Nadi. The Ida Nadi begins on the left side of the Sushumna Nadi whereas the Pingala Nadi begins and ends on the right side of the Sushumna Nadi. The Ida Nadi represents the moon within us which is cool and nurturing in nature. The solar energy is represented with the Pingala responsible for all the vital somatic processes within our bodies. The ultimate goal of hatha yoga is to unite the solar and lunar energy within our bodies so as to awaken the kundalini power. This balance further results in higher consciousness and harmony between the mind-body complex.
The balance between the different energy channels, body and mind are achieved through the practice of physical asanas, pranayama (breath control) and meditation (dhyana) preparing the individual for higher spiritual practices. The hatha yoga benefits are as follows:
1. Gives a boost to Immunity: The lymphatic system is responsible for removal of toxins and purification of the body while transporting a cargo of infection-fighting cells. The practice of hatha yoga stretches your muscles; give a gentle massage to your internal organs which increases the drainage of lymph. This stimulates the functioning of the lymphatic system and helps fight infections, destroys cancerous cells, and disposes of the toxic waste.
2. Rejuvenates the mind and relaxes the body: Impaired musculoskeletal system, sore back muscles, rigidity in neck and shoulders are responses to a modern life. Inactive lifestyle, hectic schedules, improper nutrition takes a toll on a person’s health. On a psychic level, disturbed focus, stress, anxiety, and poor concentration aggravate the situation. The hatha yoga movements ease frayed muscles and increase flexibility. The breath control helps you focus on your breath which relaxes the mind. The practice of corpse pose at the end of the toiling hatha yoga series brings relaxation to the body and mind.
3. Strengthens and tones the spine: Major nerves branch out from the spine to other parts of the body. The spine supports the body weight and is responsible for the movements. Daily monotonous life, several medical conditions lead to rigid spine thereby obstructing the free flow of nerve impulses through the body and weakening of the internal organs. Rigid spine makes us feel old and supple spine means free flow of energy. The practice of yoga asanas strengthens and tones the spine making your nerves strong and maintaining your health.
4. Enhances Flexibility: Increased elasticity of connective tissues, lubricated joints, stretched muscle fibers results in greater flexibility and movement. Practicing incredible bending poses, headstands stretches the hamstrings, calves, thighs and increases the flexibility in a person.
5. Keeps bad health habits at bay: The unbalanced body and uncontrollable cravings for overeating, oversleeping, drinking and smoking are closely interlinked. The accumulation of toxins within the body causes undesirable cravings. Eliminate toxins in your body with the help of hatha yoga and gradually you will notice that the cravings go away.
6. Healthy Body: The slightest pain in a toe or a tooth does not allow us to think of anything else. Imagine the magnitude of distraction caused by the improper functioning of a major organ? It impacts our business and personal life. A healthy body is what we crave for then which can be significantly achieved through the practice of hatha yoga. Yoga postures foster immunity to resist ailments, and prevent diseases.
7. Maintaining Healthy Endocrine glands: The endocrine, pituitary, adrenal glands have an important role in safeguarding the harmonious functioning of the body. These glands also secrete hormones which provide multifarious physical and psychological benefits. The practice of hatha yoga poses such as Sarvangasana, bow pose, etc. and breathing techniques help keep the endocrine gland and other glands in healthy condition.
8. Amplifies joint mobility: Inactive physical life makes our joint stiff and limits our movements and motion. Increase joint mobility through the practice of hatha yoga which diligently works on your joints in multiple directions and enhances its flexibility and range of motion.
Incorporating the science of hatha yoga in your daily life does a wealth of good for your organs, joints, and also it prepares the practitioner for higher consciousness where one experiences stability.