Have you ever wondered what Hatha Yoga really means? Where did the ideas come from and why is it called The Yoga of Postures? There are a lot of yoga styles but how different is Hatha Yoga from the others? Scroll through and take a good read on The Yoga of Postures: Hatha Yoga Defined.
The Yoga of Postures: Hatha Yoga Defined
Expounded From Ages to Present…
Hatha Yoga is “yoga” itself. It is the most popular one in all styles of yoga practices. In Sanskrit term, Hatha refers to “forceful” or “strong,” moreover, “ha” means sun and “tha” means moon. It is of finding balance and transformation. It embodies the opposites, positive and negative currents of the system. In the Eight Limbs of Yoga, Hatha focuses on the third and fourth limb, Asana and Pranayama.
It is said that the practice has been traced back in the 11th-century a.d. but its techniques are believed to be a thousand years older where it was known as a forceful practice the early yoga gurus did not want to involve themselves in. It was then during the 15th century, when it was introduced by a yogic sage, Yogi Svatmamara in Northern India, based on his compilation of Hathapradipika which was on the eight-fold path, combining techniques and methods that the practice became popular and was brought to teaching in the West.
As Hatha is defined, it strives to achieve the balance between the body and mind as well as to find liberation through postures and breathing. Furthermore, some yoga masters or yogis claimed that Hatha was developed to help people survive the Age of Kali, or what the Hindus believed as the age of darkness. Hence, Hatha is practiced to release subtle spiritual elements.
The focus of Hatha yoga is on the 3rd and 4th limb from the Eight Limbs of Yoga which is physical postures and breathing techniques.
Asana is defined as a posture, and its literal meaning is sitting. Asanas are various positions which were originally practiced for health purposes through meditation and is scientifically developed to increase circulation in all parts of the body which help remove diseases from the subtle bodies. It is more relevant as it is also relative to divinity. It helps yogis be more aware of their body, mind, and environment.
Pranayama, on the other hand, is the fourth limb. It is the control of breath. “Prana” refers to the universal life force and “ayama” means to lengthen or control. Pranayama is one component in Hatha which is crucial as the early yogis believed that controlling your breath is the key to controlling your mind. Thus, there is science in breathing in which it is the yogic practice of proper breathing techniques.
Yoga is assumed for its ability to improve one’s health in various conditions such as backaches, heart diseases, asthma, constipation, hypertension, and more. With daily practice, Hatha can help you recognize your inner potential. Through continued performance and practice of Asanas and Pranayama, you will gain flexibility and strength, improve your health, and your energy.
The relaxation you get from the routine will allow you to get your spiritual energy flowing freely. It can pervade aspects of a person’s life, developing confidence and awareness. Moreover, Hatha yoga will improve your focus and prepare yourself for meditation, in search for enlightenment.
If you wish to see how and more to Hatha Yoga, here’s a video from Christine of ExhaleRelax to give you help in making your Hatha Yoga routine easier:
Hatha Yoga is a practice for everyone. Not only is it easy, it also has a lot to give in terms of your mind and body. It makes you flexible. It helps you gain deep control of your mind through breathing. Additionally, it also alters your life and your perspectives which helps you become a much better person with a good outlook on life and love for oneself.
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Featured image via Body Soul Yoga
Originally posted on July 26, 2016 @ 2:00 AM