Ha means “sun” and tha means “moon,” Hatha Yoga commonly is translated into the yoga that will bring a union “of opposites and pairs.” Hatha Yoga is can even be translated as “forcefull yoga” This is because it requires the practitioners a great deal of physical effort. Hatha Yoga is the most popular yoga in the West. This is one of the reasons so many definitions of Hatha Yoga come about. When practiced in India, Hatha Yoga is one of the four traditions that make up the Tantra Yoga. Hatha Yoga concentrates on the practice of asanas, or postures. It also focuses on breath control or pranayama.
Breath control helps give energy to ethereal channels. This might lead someone to say that Hatha Yoga focuses on the third and fourth steps of the eight-fold path. The third step of the Eightfold Path is right speech and the fourth step is right action or right conduct. The initial goal of Hatha Yoga is to remove obstacles that block your ability to continue the steps of sense-withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and balance.
Choosing Hatha Yoga
Many people do not consider Hatha yoga an exercise. If you understand the mechanisms of your body, you can create a specific atmosphere, and use body postures and poses as a means to drive your energy in certain directions. This is what Hatha yoga is all about. Asana, meaning posture, the kind of asana you allow yourself to reach is the higher nature of your yogasana. There are a myriad of ways for you to complete this task, but the simplest way is just by analyzing the way someone is sitting. By observing this you can almost know what is happening to them. Think about this, you have seen yourself when you are angry, happy, and depressed, and you have different seating positions for all of them. Your body has to assume different postures for every mental or emotional situation that you may go through. This is the complicated science of asanas. If you can get your body into various postures, then you will be able to elevate your consciousness.
Your body can either become the flower pot for spiritual growth or it can become an annoying barrier. For example, if some parts of your body such as your leg, back or hand is in pain. When it begins to hurt worse you think about dealing with anything higher because that will become the biggest factor. If you happen to have a headache right now, the biggest factor in the universe for you right now is that headache. Nobody else will understand because you are the only person going through it at the moment. If God happens to appear in front of you, the first thing you will ask of him is to make your headache go away. If you are not performing good enough, it will take away all of your aspirations in life. Whatever you may like, all of your wishes, and dreams will not exist to you anymore once your body starts to hurt. The reason is to look beyond it requires a lot of strength which most people do not have.
Millions of people who have developed spinal problems, have fixed this by doing simple poses. Doctors often recommend to them that they should go through with a surgery. Many never even had to. By using asanas you can restore your back to excellent condition. You will not even need to see a chiropractor. Your spine will not only become more flexible, but you as a person will also become more flexible. When your flexibility increases you will be more willing to listen, not just to someone’s speech, but you will be more willing to hear what life has to offer. A valuable essence to a life with sense is learning how to listen. Also you should put in a lot of time and effort into making sure that your body does not become your barrier. A body in pain can be a huge obstacle, so can a body with too many compulsions. Compulsions of simplicity such as your body just wanting a break can rule you so dominantly and take over your mind. Thus affecting how you look beyond. Always remember, the body is just one part of you, it should never become the whole of you.
Another feature of practicing Hatha yoga, is that it allows the practitioner to get deeper into meditation dimensions. This allows you to get a higher possibility for more energy. You should want your energies to rush in an upwards flow. It is extremely important that the channel of the body is promoting it. If it happens to be blocked or thwarted it will not work, thus the pipeline in your body will burst. You should prepare your body adequately before you enter intense forms of meditation. This is very important to remember, that way Hatha yoga can make sure that your body takes it with happiness and bliss. Spiritual growth can happen with a lot of pain if the person does prepare their body properly. This happens when human beings allow themselves to live in a terrible external situation that directs and mold them into who they become.
It can either be wisdom of the spiritual or world possibilities they get only when they hit rock bottom. At that point some will either become wise or wounded. The possibility of turning a potential wound into a source of wisdom is one that leads a person to mental freedom. However, if you have not put in the necessary steps to prepare, it will not be a very pleasant experience, and you will not experience a wonderful growth. The great thing about this that for a vast amount of people on earth, this growth happens without pain. It was only becoming normal for growth to be painful because both the mind and body were not prepared, thus creating difficulties. This is why practicing poses can help you grow before you follow through with this major transformation. It will help you by creating a solid foundation for you to start on.
In this day and age Hatha yoga is not being learned in its full depth of classical form and dimension. Hatha is now often taught in the “studio yoga” in very large groups. With this you can only see the physical aspects of it and not the mental and emotional. If you only teach the physical aspect of it, it is like giving birth to a stillborn baby, this is a tragedy. If you want Hatha to be an empowering live experience, it has to be taught in a certain way.
When a person learns and experiences everything in their consciousness, they are now in yoga. They must maintain the unity within themselves, and there are many ways to do this. You can first work with your body, then you can move on to your breath, then your thoughts or mind, and last but definitely not least, your inner self. It is obvious that many steps were created, however they are only different channels that promotes yoga. Ultimately, there is really no separation because yoga engages all forms of who you really are.