Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga: What it is?

Hatha yoga is commonly described as the yoga which brings union "of the pairs of opposites”. The word ‘Hatha’ is formed from the words ‘ha’ meaning ‘sun’ and ‘tha’ meaning ‘moon’. This refers to the balance of masculine and feminine aspects (hotness of sun and coolness of moon), within all of us. It is also known as ‘Forceful yoga’ as it involves lot of effort. This yoga mainly focuses on physical and mental strength building exercises and postures. These yoga postures have been primarily described in three texts of Hinduism.

1.   Hatha Yoga Pradipika -  Yogi Swatmarama (15th century)

2.    Shiva Samhita – unknown author (before 15th century or late 17th century)

3.      Gheranda Samhita - Yogi Gheranda (late 17th century) 

The hatha yoga asanas or postures are mainly designed to open many channels of human body, especially the main channel, i.e. spine, which helps smooth energy flow. Hatha yoga is a great tool for self transformation. It mainly concentrates on proper breathing, which in turn helps to achieve better concentration.


As per the legend, Hindu god Lord Shiva is considered to be the creator of Hatha yoga. It is said that he gave this knowledge to his wife, goddess Parvati, on a lonely island. But a fish (Matsya) heard it and later became a siddha, known as Matsyendranath. Matsyendranath, later transferred its knowledge about to his disciple Gorakshanath and to a limbless man, Chaurangi. 

What Is Needed?

Firstly, you must be curious to begin with. You must make up your mind to follow this practice regularly and have faith in it. Secondly, having a pair of sweat pants or shorts, and t-shirts is helpful. No special footgear is needed as you need to be barefoot while doing yoga. Other helpful stuff include a face towel and a yoga mat. Most of these things may already be provided if you visit a yoga center.

Benefits of Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga has many benefits. Some of them have been mentioned below.

1.      Helps you gain more focus and calmness. 2.      Helps keep body in shape. 
3.      Improve breathing. 
4.      Cures back pains, knee pains, neck pains, etc. 
5.      Helps gain flexibility.

The overall long term benefits of hatha yoga are amazing, and it must be exercised by people of any age group. It helps almost everyone.

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