With ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon,” Hatha Yoga is commonly translated as the yoga that brings union “of the pairs of opposites.” Sometimes Hatha Yoga is also translated as the “forcefull yoga”, because it requires a lot of physical effort. Hatha Yoga is certainly the yoga that is the best known in the West, which is part of the reason why so many definitions of Hatha Yoga exist.
According to some practitioners, Hatha yoga dates back to the 15th century. Scholars refer to a treatise or publication known as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, where some elements of Hatha yoga are indicated. Hatha yoga was a specific type of yoga activity that, in earlier times, prepared participants for meditating for a very long time.
In the indian tradition, Hatha Yoga is one of the four main traditions of Tantra Yoga. Hatha Yoga is first of all concentrating on the practice of postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama) to energize the subtle channels (nadis). Thus one might say Hatha Yoga concentrates on the third and fourth steps of the eight-fold path of Ashtanga Yoga. The objective of Hatha Yoga is obviously to remove the obstacles to address the further steps of Pratyahara (sense-withdrawal), Dharana (Concentration), Dhyana (Meditation) and Samadhi (Balance).
Hatha yoga combines physical exercise and mental discipline, with the goal of integrating and invigorating both body and mind. It consists primarily of poses designed to increase strength and flexibility, known as asana, and controlled breathing, known as pranayama. Hatha yoga poses range from novice-level poses to poses that can challenge even an experienced practitioner. Movement and breathing are used together to help you flow smoothly from one pose to the other.
Excercising postures in Hatha Yoga has two essential objectives. The first is that to practice any real meditation, one needs at the least one posture in which one can be perfectly comfortable for a longer period of time. The more such postures one can master, the better the basis for developing the inner meditation techniques. The second objective of excercising asanas in Hatha Yoga is to bring health and energy to body and mind by opening the nadis. When such excercises are regularly perfomed, the path of hatha yoga is opened automatically, though one still has to follow it further. The mere mastering of postures is no objective in itself, though mastering various postures certainly strengthens the power of will and concentration and the habit of not paying too much attention to the information input by the senses. Thus practicing asanas in Hatha Yoga directly opens the path to Prathyahara and Dharana.
These days, hatha is most often used to describe gentle, basic classes with no flow between poses. A hatha class will likely be a slow-paced stretching class with some simple breathing exercises and perhaps seated meditation. This is a good place to learn beginners poses, relaxation techniques, and become comfortable with yoga.
Those who take the time to study this ancient yoga art understand that there are some specific benefits of becoming adept at practicing Hatha yoga style. One of the main ones stems from one of the pillars of the Hatha style: breathing. Controlling breath can help improve oxygenation of the body and alleviate stress in some forms. Other elements of Hatha yoga also help with relaxing the body and fighting the stresses of the modern world. As a historical preparation for intensive meditation, Hatha yoga has a lot to offer a modern Western audience.
Hatha yoga has been shown to reduce stress, improve balance and flexibility, increase strength and reduce the risk of injury in daily life. It can reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and can help manage chronic diseases such as cancer, insomnia and chronic pain. Its psychological benefits can assist in weight loss by helping to control appetite.
With ha meaning sun and tha meaning moon Hatha Yoga
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