The Many Facets of Hatha Yoga


Hatha Yoga

It can be quite overwhelming and confusing to someone new to yoga trying to figure out the differences between all the many aspects of the practice.

What Exactly is it?

The word Hatha means "sun and moon." Ha is sun, Tha is moon. It signifies bringing union to opposing forces. It is the culmination and blending of yoga movement known as asana, breath control known as pranayama, and meditation known as Dhyana.

The practice can be looked at as the scientific blending of different aspects of yoga with the purpose of creating balance. In the quest for enlightenment we must first purify and strengthen the body to enable the purification of the mind. Greater mental and spiritual awareness can be brought about with a healthy and pure body. When balance is created, there is the possibility for greater evolution of human consciousness.

The physical movements, known as asanas, require attention to posture and alignment to create strength and flexibility. The breathing capacity and the life force, known as Prana, is increased through the practice of Pranayama - various forms of rhythmic breathing.

The practice of Meditation can then be practiced and perfected once the body is strong, flexible and able to sit for periods of time necessary to achieve Samadhi , the unification of body, mind, breath and the ultimate experience of oneness with the highest cosmic consciousness.

Hatha yoga is a discipline that harnesses and combines different currents and energies of the body. It combines non-competitive, but sometimes challenging physical poses, breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation methods in order to traverse deeper into the inner structures of the body, mind and spirit in the quest and achievement of spiritual enlightenment. It is a discipline that focuses on eventually awakening and raising Kundalini energy, known as Shakti, the infinite divine power that lies at the base of the spine waiting to be awakened.

The Many Different "Styles"

On my Eight Limbs of Yoga page , I have outlined basic information on a few of the different syles of yoga. Styles of teaching varies by different teachers.

For instance, the method of Hatha Yoga that B.K.S. Iyengar teaches focuses intensely on precision and alignment of many poses, whereas Bikram Yoga has a set of 26 poses performed twice in a heated room.

Different teachers adopt different styles, but it is all Hatha Yoga when it combines movement with breath and relaxation techniques.

Many health care facilities are providing patients with Yoga Therapy, a combination of Yoga and the best of modern medical care.

Trying out different teachers, classes and videos will give you a better understanding and will lead you into which style is best suited for you.

Read about Kundalini Yoga and Kundalini Energy.



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