Hatha Yoga - Art And Science Of Hatha Yoga
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Different Styles of Yoga

Hatha Yoga

Art And Science Of Hatha Yoga - Hatha Yoga Poses and Positions


The philosophy of Hatha yoga believes in practicing the control on Prana and perfecting the body by maintaining the practices of yogic asanas. This is considered to be the most apparent form of yoga and is practiced by many people all around the globe. In fact this seems to be the most acceptable form of yoga in the Western countries. Hatha yoga seems also to be the embodiment of all that yoga is understood to be. This however is a very superficial interpretation of yoga as a complete methodology of attaining the ultimate wisdom. Hatha yoga mainly deals with the tools that are prescribed in the whole art and science of yoga to cater to the purification and control of the body. Hatha yoga actually has very little to do with developing the mind so that the thought process gets directed towards the path of complete release.

The science of Hatha yoga is based on the fact that the mind cannot be fully receptive to the divine wisdom until and unless the body is ready as a fertile ground to receive the seeds of wisdom. This follows the age old axiom that a healthy mind lives in a healthy body. For strengthening the body a two fold methodology is practiced. One path is to arouse the Prana or the vital air that enters the system. This is a process of controlled breathing called Pranayama. The vital air is the chord of life that runs through all the living beings and unites them. It is the sole characteristic that separates a living entity from a non-living one. The other pathway is of strengthening all the systems of the body by practicing yogic asanas.

Yogic asanas are not just any exercise forms. They are scientifically designed postures that give the body capacity for great endurance and sustainability. These postures are scientifically designed according to the basic infrastructure of the body. The yogic asanas are also believed to be having great therapeutic value but many doctors do not agree to prescribe them as a cure for diseases. This may either be due to their ignorance of yogic practices or a general disinterest in the process of yoga. Although the ancient texts do not make any therapeutic claims regarding the yogic asanas it is a well known fact that the yogic asanas stretch and exercise pressure on the body in such a way that enhances the natural fortitude and survival capacity of the body. For instance the yogic asanas exercise such pressure over the vertebral column that it strengthens the spinal cord thereby strengthening the nervous system. Similarly the digestive system gets benefited tremendously by practicing yogic asanas. The same is true for all the other systems too.

Hatha yoga is practiced and generally prescribed to purify the mind and body by the gurus of Raj yoga to their students who qualify as Madhyama and Adhama Adhikaris. These are classes of aspiring students of yoga who are not yet prepared in mind and body to receive the messages of the supreme consciousness. They have to increase their physical capacities and mental faculties so that they can be ready to attain the ultimate divine consciousness. This is found to ultimately prove true in numerous situations. The people who practice Hatha yoga for some time start realizing the invoking of Kundalini or Chakras. This is the ultimate movement of energy positions from the navel of the body to the forehead and finally creates the merger of the consciousness of the self into the divine consciousness. Many people claim this experience after some years of practice of Hatha yoga. There is firm scientific foundation for these experiences.

Hatha word is made up of two syllables. 'Ha' syllable means the sun and 'Tha' syllable stands for the moon. They stand for Pingala nadi or right nostril and Ida nadi or left nostril also, which again is indicative of positive and negative energy. This is analytical representation of incorporation of elements of sun's energy or the positive energy and the moon's energy or the negative energy into Hatha yoga practices. This further means that the methodology of Hatha yoga relies upon combining the elements of negative and positive energies found in the human body and bringing the whole energy bracket on a balanced platform of optimum existence.

Indeed, Hatha yoga prepares the body for the ultimate realization of God consciousness, but this certainly is not the sole reason for the popularity of this form of yoga over the others. The reason for the immense popularity is mainly because people get all sorts of health related relief through the practice of Hatha yoga almost instantly. This kind of benefit is to be seen immediately rather than the benefits of union with the divine powers, which is not so easily achieved.

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