An Introduction to Hatha Yoga

woman practicing warrior pose

Hatha Yoga is the way to rediscover your true self which is called Inner-Self. There is a common misconception that Hatha Yoga is an exercise method. Hatha yoga is not an exercise method; it’s a discipline, a lifestyle. Some people think Hatha Yoga is the destination. Hatha Yoga is not the destination, it’s a journey. A journey not towards heaven, rather towards Inner-Self. Buddhists call this Inner-Self the living Buddha within; Hindus, Isvara or the Brahma in his Brahmapura or Brahma-city — the cosmic spirit in the human being; Christians, the I AM or the Immanent Christ. The journey to the inner self usually starts with efforts at self-purification, which may include physical techniques, such as various forms of yoga, abstinence from recreational drugs, and eating foods which will do the least harm to our fellow creatures. If we don’t take care, however, these efforts may become yet another type of self-indulgence.

It starts with respect for what it is and respecting your limits. Hatha yoga teaches you to respect your limits, to understand the nature of your limitations and helps you to overcome these limitations. Hatha yoga affects each and every aspect of human life- physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Hatha Yoga is a combination of balanced postures (asanas) with conscious breathing. The longer you practice hatha yoga, the faster your body supple and simultaneously learn to focus inwards. The peace that comes through the practice of Hatha Yoga energizes and creates a balance between mind and body. Hatha Yoga is also the most common form of yoga in the West. The breath is seen as the connecting factor between mind and body, and breath helps you do the exercises at a deeper level experience. Through yoga postures make your body more flexible and learn to discover where you hold tension and how deeply relax. You learn re-listen to your body.

The word hatha is composed of two Sanskrit words, ha and tha ie sun and moon.” Hatha Yoga is commonly translated as the yoga that brings union “of the pairs of opposites. The sun stands for action, the moon for internalization. Hatha Yoga stands for the union of the specific energies of the sun and moon, also called solar and lunar. Hatha Yoga is based largely on Asana (posture) and Pranayama (breathing exercises). It is indeed a strong physical approach to yoga. All branches of yoga aims at the same goal: enlightenment. Hatha yoga approaches this goal through the body, rather than the mind or emotions. That’s why Hatha yoga is called the yoga of physical discipline. The first obvious source of Hatha Yoga is a fifteenth-century document -Hatha Yoga Pradipika, which is still called the Bible of Yoga.


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