Hatha Yoga

April 12, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hatha Yoga

There is often confusion in the western mind, regarding this branch of Yoga.  Many people think that Hatha Yoga refers only to asanas (poses)– or to asanas and pranayama (breathing).  The goal of practicing asanas and pranayama is the same as for all other forms of Yoga sadhana (spiritual practice) – that goal is the experience of Union or God-Realization.

Yoga, Healing, Truth, Self-realization, God, Meditation, Spiritual Awakening, EnlightenmentAsanas a nd pranayama are tools for harnessing the mind and prana (vital energy) to facilitate the attainment of this goal. Good health, flexible body, and all of the other wonderful benefits, are the “side-effects”.

Asanas and pranayama are only the first two steps of Hatha Yoga.  Also included is a lifestyle that is in accordance with the ethical and moral basis of Yoga, as well as a regular practice of meditation. Hatha Yoga begins with the physical body.  By gaining control of  the physical, the practitioner gains control of the prana, and by controlling the prana, one gains control of the mind, which is actually where true release and freedom begin. In this sense, “control” means simply bringing the full awareness of the mind into every moment, every cell, and seeing the body as it truly is, a thought in the mind.

For this reason, the teaching of yoga is not a profession, but a sadhana (spiritual practice or service).  It is a manner of transmitting the direct personal experience and divine energy from teacher to student, according to the ancient system of Guru Parampara, inspiring the remembrance in each individual of the knowledge of their radiant wholeness and true, eternal Self.

-With excerpts from the Sivananda Yoga Teacher’s Training Manual
by Swami Vishnu-devananda

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“You can’t deprive yourself of your Self.”

“Talk as much philosophy as you please, worship as many gods as you like, observe all ceremonies, sing devoted praises to any number of divine beings — liberation never comes, even at the end of a hundred aeons, without the realization of the Oneness of Self.”

–Sankara, Crest Jewel of Discrimination

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