What is Hatha Yoga?
Hatha Yoga is a fairly slow-paced, gentle and mellow form of Yoga which focuses on simple poses that comfortably flow from one to the other. It’ s a good type of yoga for beginners to start with or for winding down at the end of a hard day.
There are several variations on the exact definition of Hatha Yoga. Some translate it asforceful yoga, while others define Hatha as sun/male and the as moon/female thus referring to the integration of opposites into a complete union. Like all forms of yoga, the goal of Hatha Yoga is to unite the mind, body and spirit.
Hatha Yoga is comprised of the following elements:
– Postures (asanas)
– Cleansing practices (dhauti or shodhana)
– Breath control (pranayama)
– Locks (bhandas)
– Hand gestures (mudras)
Hatha Yoga was originally introduced by Yogi Swatmarama, a 15th century sage from India. It is the basis from which many other styles of yoga developed, including Ashtanga, Bikram and Kundalini. Today, Hatha Yoga is one of the most popular and well-known styles of yoga in the West. It is primarily practiced for health and vitality, offering an excellent way to exercise and stretch the body and reduce stress.
Hatha Yoga was
introduced by Yogi Swatmarama, a 15th century sage from India. This style of Yoga is the most popular in the West. It has developed into other styles
like Ashtanga, Bikram and Kundalini.
Yoga is derived from Buddhism, as well as the Tantra:
The Hinayana (narrow path) + The Sahajayana (spontaneous
Mahayana (great path) + Vajrayana (sexual matters)
Hatha Yoga represents the physical part of Raja Yoga, there is a difference in
the approach between the old school, the Hatha Yoga by Swatmarama, and the
newest school, the Raja Yoga of Patanjali. This difference can be appreciated
in these sentences:
of the physical as leading to the purification of the mind. Hatha Yoga by
of the mind and spirit, then comes to the body via body postures, asanas, and
breath control, Pranayama. Raja Yoga of Patanjali
The Asanas, as
Patanjali mentions, are just the beginning in the Yoga Path.
Internal purity, the external physical body (diet, hygiene), and the mind are also
part of Hatha Yoga.
Hatha Yoga Table of Contents