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Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is a system which involves many different practices that align the physical and subtle bodies. It is utilized as a preparation for the state of yoga (union with the divine Self). The word “hatha” is made from two Sanskrit words: “ha” (moon) and “tha” (sun). These represent the twin forces that exist in all of nature. Through the practice of hatha yoga, these two forces are merged in harmony.

Hatha yoga is intended to strengthen the physical body and expand the subtle body so that it can receive and transmit higher frequencies. In this way, the sacred instrument of the body moves toward alignment with the Supreme.

According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika “Traditionally, hatha yoga consisted only of six kriyas [cleansing techniques] known as shatkarmas. These were the practices of dhauti [stomach cleansing], basti [bowel cleansing], neti [nose cleaning], trataka [eye cleansing], kapalbhati [cleansing of brain hemispheres], nauli [abdominal cleansing]. “Later hatha yoga also included asana [posture], pranayamas [breathing techniques], mudra [gestures], bandha [muscular locks].

These practices influence physical strength and flexibility, bodily secretions (including hormones), brain waves, breath and prana. Thereby the body becomes an instrument for expressing the joy of being. These practices also prepare the physical and subtle bodies to sit with stability and comfort for meditation. They also aid in reducing the obstacles to meditation.




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