Hatha Yoga - An Ancient Program of Balance, Harmony and Purification
Hatha Yoga originated in the 15th century in India as part of a program of purification of the body incorporated along with meditation. Hatha is the Hindu word for "sun and , while "Yoga" is the word for "yoke" or uniting of body, mind and environment. Hatha Yoga places great significance on achieving balance between physical, mental, spiritual and emotional states in harmony with earth, water, sun and moon.
Basic Tenets of Hatha Yoga Program
The basic tenets of the Hatha Yoga Program is comprised of several aspects:
Asana which focuses on posture similar to the postures of T'ai Chi and Chi Gong
Prayanamas where subtle energy control is the focus, a very important aspect of Hatha Yoga
Chakras which are the centers of energy
Kundalini which encompasses muscle force
Kryas which promotes the mastering of kundalini techniques
Shakti, the sacred force
Nadis which are channels
Mudras, which are symbolic gestures similar to those in T'ai Chi.
Shatkarma, purification, begins with freeing up the mind by freeing up the body through holistic lifestyle, yoga practice daily and metaphysical re-adaptation.
Self-Improvement Through Hatha Yoga
Within asanas, also known as "sun signs", movements are performed and practiced that rely on focused mental concentration in order to achieve maximum benefits. Practitioners of Hatha Yoga find a new sense of physical balance and strength as a result of consistent use of asanas. Thus, Hatha Yoga retards the aging process by infusing mind and body with continual renewal of strength and balance. Most people who practice Hatha Yoga find that it's necessary to also take inventory of their dietary and lifestyle predilections. This is a very natural emanation of alterations to a less healthy lifestyle.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga
The benefits of Hatha Yoga are a sense of wholeness and overall good health. Through the balance of mind and body effected by Hatha Yoga, a new harmony evolves from within and allows the individual to experience less stress and tension as a result. Yet, the adaptability to Hatha Yoga lifestyle is relatively easy because of the simplicity of its core fundamentals.
Meditation and Hatha Yoga
Meditation is an element of nearly all religions, holistic programs and cultural lifestyles. Meditation is also one of the oldest forms of self-recognition. Discovering the wealth of knowledge, ideas and inspirations within the unconscious mind is often obliterated by details stored in the conscious mind. This creates a conflict in the body when conscious messages block out unconscious messages intended as metaphysical protection from conscious deliberate negative actions. Quieting the mind sufficiently in meditation also requires the body to be receptively postured for best results. This is the basis of Hatha Yoga.
Lessons of Hatha Yoga for All Ages
Teaching children from young ages to adapt to the holistic program of Hatha Yoga creates a permanent direction for mental stability and good physical health. It is also the very best time for the practice of Hatha Yoga to begin. Those who choose Hatha Yoga in their senior years may find several of the asanas, i.e., the candle, the Lotus Position, physically challenging. For this age group, modified asanas are taught.