What is Hatha Yoga and is it for you?
Hatha Yoga is the brand of yoga that I primarily practice but I enjoy many different types. Actually, all the different types of yoga today come from Hatha; variant practitioners took the original practice and put a different focus into it.
“It is said that two people cannot satisfy their thirst from the same fountain and have a different taste in their mouth. There is only one yoga, even though there are many brand names for it.”- Sharon Gannon
Hatha as defined by The Hatha Yoga Pradipika states that Hatha yoga means the union of the pranic and mental forces. This will lead to the awakening of higher consciousness. The reason that Yoga, or the physical practice of yoga (asana), began was so that monks could sit in meditation longer and more comfortably, each reaching enlightenment somewhat differently. Although yoga has proven to be very effective in the treatment of many impossible and incurable diseases, the therapeutic effects of yoga prove to be only a byproduct and incidental. That being said, the yoga that we practice in our western civilization is not the same as that practiced when Hatha yoga first began.
“The main objective of hatha yoga is to create an absolute balance of the interacting activities and processes of the physical body, mind and energy. “ – Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Thus, I do believe this is still held as a main objective in our Hatha yoga to this day, or at least in my class. I hope to aid my students achieve balance through the various asana or yoga poses. By focusing the mind through our practice with the use of the breath, we find balance not only in our bodies but in our minds as well. With a clear mind you will find that your energy is more calm and steady vs the fractious energy that can come with coffee or cardio and a hard crash afterward. The energy that comes from our practice will last you long after the practice is over.
Yoga by definition means union, union of the body and mind. So, when we stretch and release the tension of the body we also release the stress of the mind, and with less stress we live a happier life. Not only will you feel better in your body, but you will experience a more fluid life. Hatha yoga may not be for everybody but it has more than changed my life for the better, and this is why I have dedicated my life trying to share this beautiful gift with all that are willing to give it a chance.