What is Hatha Yoga


Introduction to Hatha Yoga:

Hatha yoga is an all-encompassing term which can be used to describe almost all forms of physical yoga styles such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Bikram, etc. Hatha yoga is a popular branch of yoga that uses the physical practices including asanas, breathwork, dietary selection to develop a better control of our thoughts and to ultimately move towards one-mindedness and spirituality. The practice of hatha yoga helps an individual overcome the hindrances to the spiritual development. Hatha yoga is aimed at harmonizing the solar and lunar energies within the body allowing us to attain a higher consciousness in life.

What is Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is not just a system of physical practice, instead, it is designed to alleviate the negative habits, stress, and patterned identifications with self-limitations. This activates the individual’s highest creative potential as a living expression integrated into all our relations. Hatha yoga can be explained as a way of reclaiming your heart and body, empowering yourself, healing yourself, gaining confidence and authoritatively knowing what is good and what is bad. This is the divine effect of Hatha yoga.

Hatha yoga aims to liberate its practitioners from the bondage of limited thoughts and fabrications. It sets us free from materialistic environment, hollowness and lead us to love, peace, higher state of consciousness. Hatha yoga does this through the awakening of kundalini yoga (creative energy).

Harmonizing of the energy forces with Hatha yoga: Just as there should be harmony between the brakes, accelerator, steering, etc. for a proper functioning of the car, there should be a proper balance between the two principal forms of energy lying dormant within the body. From a scientific point of view, lunar energy corresponds to mental functions such as thinking, reasoning, remembering, etc. Whereas the solar energy encompasses movement, breathing, digestion, secretion etc. However, it is difficult to spot a harmony between two energies. We are either dominated by solar energy or lunar energy. Higher solar energy makes a person restless and violent whereas a person high in lunar energy falls into the realms of depression and frustration. Maintaining a balance between the two forces is imperative to achieve higher energies, mental composure, and serenity. In modern scientific terms, these energies are referred to as sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system which controls the functioning of the body. Maintaining a balance between them is imperative for a smooth functioning of the human system.

Purification of the Nadis For Stimulation of Creative Energy: According to the Hatha yoga pradipika, there are 72,000 nadis or energy flow circuits within the body that control the entire bodily functions. Blockages in the nadis are a representation of physical and mental weakness. The flow of negative, unnecessary thoughts through the mind makes these energy circuits weak and incapable of conducting the pranic shakti to various organs of the body. The hatha yoga is effective in the purification of the nadis. So, the hatha yoga not only addresses the superficial cleansing of the skin, instead is much deeper. It is a means to dislodge the toxins, noxious influences within the mind-body complex. The purification of the nadis stimulates the creative and energy flow.

Asanas and Pranayama For Mind-Body Complex: Asanas (yoga poses) and pranayama (breathwork) practices specified in hatha yoga texts help us achieve self-control. The hatha yoga asanas is an important framework for the kundalini yoga as it awakens the chakras. The practice of pranayama balances the pranic energy in the various dimension of the body. It is much more than the breathing exercise, it increases vitality and enhances health.

Understanding prana: Prana is the vital force that sustains life. Understanding prana and its functioning is the key that unlocks new levels of health and well-being. Prana (breath) is the non-physical energy flowing through our bodies that is responsible for vitality. The pranayama techniques are designed to improve the quality of prana and therefore, in hatha yoga, pranayama is considered to be supreme. Also, chakras are an important aspect of the pranic body and balanced energy flow through these chakras results in good health.

Prana and Kundalini: The science of hatha yoga aims to unite the Sushumna with Ida and Pingala. This unison leads the practitioner to the ultimate destination which is an awakening of the prana. Awakening of the kundalini or prana unites one with the cosmic energy which is a harbinger of blissfulness.

The science of hatha yoga is powerful in an awakening of spiritual energies within the body of an individual.

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