In Hatha Yoga, when the Ida and Pingal Nadi, Vam and Dakshina vowels start moving in the same way, the Sushumna is awakened. When Sushumna starts moving continuously, then the Kundalini energy present in the body in a subtle form is awakened. When the Kundalini enters the Sahasrar and meets Param Shiva by piercing the arrowheads, then this is the meaning of Hatha Yoga in the spiritual sense.
Hatha Yoga is believed to have been practiced by yogis and sages in ancient times. But over time it became quite popular among the common people as well. Like other yoga postures, hatha yoga also works to remove various disorders of the body and restore the lost mental peace and calm the mind, increase will power and awaken the mysterious powers of the soul.
Definition – Hatha
Hatha Yoga is a series of yoga asanas of several types. Combining “Ha” and “Tha” of the word “Hatha” means the Sun and the Moon energy of the body. When one practice Hatha Yoga, then these two energies remain balanced. They are considered to be the two pillars of the human body. The life force of the Sun, entering through the heart of a person, teaches to control the breath and circulates the blood.
Different Hatha Yoga Poses
There are many types of postures under hatha yoga. Which are practiced in different ways. The practice of the postures of hatha yoga is also dependent on the disorders and problems of the body. Each posture of Hatha Yoga is known to relieve different types of disorders. Therefore, on the basis of the problem a person is suffering from, it is advised to do Hatha Yoga mudra. Some of the popular postures of Hatha Yoga are as follows.
- Vrikshana (Tree Pose)
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
- Adho Mukha Savasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
- Baddha Konasana (Cobbler Pose)
- Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose)
- Setu Bandha Asana (Bridge Pose)
- Balasana (Child Pose)
- Shalabhasana (Locust Pose)
- Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
How to practice Hatha Yoga?
As we have already mentioned, hatha yoga is a series of several postures. Hence hatha yoga is done sequentially. Hatha yoga is a difficult practice and should be practiced only after learning the right way to do it. That’s why you can join a hatha yoga class. This helps in learning the finest way of it.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga
The practice of Hatha Yoga comes with lots of benefits. Since it is a combination of many types of asanas, a person feels very quick and effective benefits from practicing it. However, it is extremely important to practice Hatha Yoga regularly to reap these benefits. Let us know the benefits of hatha yoga.
- It improves health
- It cures many diseases and illnesses
- It awakens Dormant Consciousness
- It helps in personality development
- It supports spiritual progress
- It balances body, mind, and soul
Prime & Ancient Texts Describing Hatha Yoga
1. Hatha Pradipika
Hathapradipika is a treatise on Hatha Yoga propounded by Swami Swatmaram. It is the most influential text of Hatha Yoga that was composed in the 15th century.
There are four chapters in this book in which topics like Asana, Pranayama, Chakra, Kundalini, Bandha, Kriya, Shakti, Nadi, Mudra etc. are described. The names of its four precepts are as follows-
- Prathamopadesha (First Sermon) – It describes the rugs
- Dritiya Upadesha (Second Sermon) – It describes Pranayama
- Tritupadesha (Third Sermon) – It describes yoga postures.
- Chaturopadesha (Fourth Sermon) – It describes Samadhi.
2. Gherand Samhita
Gherand Samhita was composed by Swami Swatmaram. It is said that king Chandikapali went to Maharishi Gherand’s hut and bowed down and asked a question.
That is, O Yogeshwar, I am interested to know the Dhatastha Yoga which is the cause of Tattva Gyan, O Lord, please tell it to me.
On which, Maharishi Gherandak says –
I praise you for your question. I tell you about the subject you have inquired about. Thus King Chinkapali asks the question and Maharishi Gherand answers. The entire Gherand Samhita has been written in the style of answering this question. No one knows who Maharishi Gherand was, the first copy is from 1804. Maharishi Gherand seems to have been a Vaishnava saint, he has discussed Vishnu in many verses. It may be that along with being a Vaishnava saint, he has adopted hatha yoga. Gherand Samhita is also known by the name of Saptang Yoga.
3. Shiva Samhita
Shiva Samhita is one of the main texts of Yoga, it is said that it was composed by Adinath Shiva himself. Many scholars have translated the language of Shiva Samhita. Shiva Samhita is also known as the ‘Panch Case’.
The description of various subjects of yoga is found in the Shiva Samhita, in which the knowledge and science of the sadhak’s (or seeker) routine and method of spiritual practice is contained. There is a detailed description of Nadi Gyan, Chakra and Kundalini.