The main objective of this platform is to provide an online resource of Hatha Yoga Practice and Philosophy. Hatha Yoga Philosophy involves the basic understanding of hatha yoga texts. Before attempting the practice, it is advisable to have an insight into its meaning, origin, history, and benefits.
Moreover, solitary place, moderate diet, and sleep are essential for yoga practice. Similarly, the aspirant should have knowledge of myths and realities. He can achieve these only through yoga texts. Hence, one should understand the philosophy of yoga first.
As far as the practice is concerned, the flow of hatha yoga should be in the specific order as prescribed in the yoga texts. Therefore, the knowledge of yoga philosophy is a must for any aspirant.
However, for an aspirant who approaches yoga just for a specific health motive, the philosophical knowledge is not required. But for a yoga teacher and a systemic learner, it is required.
Hatha Yoga Practice Sequence
Hatha Yoga Sequence involves Purification Techniques, Postures, Breath control, Seals and Locks, and Samadhi. Let us have a brief introduction to these topics just to have an idea. However, the order of the sequence may vary. Also the purification practices are often included in Breath control.
Shatkarma or Six-Fold Purification
Shatkarma is also known as Shatkriyas. It means six techniques. According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, these techniques are not mandatory for all. If the Hatha Yoga aspirant has excess fat and phlegm in his body, it is mandatory for him to start with Shatkarma. Otherwise, it is optional. The benefits are detoxification, increase in appetite, and good health. Moreover, the text claims that the divine sound in the body is activated.
- Dhauti or digestive tract cleaning
- Basti or purification of the lower abdomen
- Neti or purification of the nasal cavity
- Tratak or purification from distraction
- Nauli or purification of the abdomen
- Kapala Bhati or purification of skull
Hatha Yoga Practice: Asana
Unlike Raja Yoga Postures, Hatha Yoga Postures are many. Yoga texts claim that there are 8.4 million yoga postures. Eighty-four postures are more important than others. We describe every asana here.
Hatha Yoga Practice: Pranayama
Pranayama is a set of breath control techniques. By the control of breath, one gets control over the mind. Similarly, control of the mind gives focus and concentration. Likewise, concentration is essential for further progress in yoga. Breath control techniques are many. Among these, ten are important ones.
Hatha Yoga Practice: Mudras and Bandhas
Mudras are specific gestures and Bandhas are locks. Alternatively, mudras are Seals. These seals and locks are the techniques for awakening Kundalini. Advanced breath control techniques should be coupled with seals and locks.
Hatha Yoga: Samadhi
Simply put, Samadhi is a state where mind merges with Atman or Self. In Samadhi, the mind dissolves completely and merges with the Self. Unlike a Raja Yogi, Hatha Yogi attains Samadhi through Seals and Locks. When Kundalini awakens, Prana enters the middle channel and the mind becomes absorbed.
The following articles aim to provide a systemic approach to the in-depth learning of Hatha Yoga.