The word Hatha is quoted in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as the syllable ‘Ha’ represents the sun and the ‘Tha’ represents the moon. This is a conjunction known as the yoga of the sun and the moon. This is only the philosophical principles which are rooted in the teachings and practices of the ancient India. This corresponds to the ida and pingla channels which are having the cold and warm aspects respectively. The cold is represented with the moon and the warm is represented with the sun.
According to Patanjali yoga sutra, there are eight main steps in the process of this form. These eight steps are further divided into two stages that are the inner stages and the outer stages.
The outer stages are
1. Abstinence which are truth, non-violence, non-possession etc. (There are 10 abstinences according to the Upanishads)
3. Sitting postures
4. Breath control which includes pranayama, kapalbathi, etc.
The inner stages are
1. Withdrawal of mind from the unwanted desires
The first stages of the hatha yoga are the practice of the abstinences and the observances which destroy all the mental and the physical disorders which create the mental power and the physical strength. As one takes the path of this ancient techniques, the disorders have to be eradicated and should have the perfect health which is obligatory for the success. For the detailed notes on the above stages please refer to the text entitled with such practices.
What is Hatha Yoga?
The hatha yoga is the widely practiced yoga in the world which mainly deals with the physical exercises that are known as postures or asanas. Presently thousands of asanas are practiced under hatha yoga. The origin of hatha yoga is not clearly mentioned. In some texts, it is stated that Matsyendernath, a Siddha in ancient India was the first man to practice hatha yoga.
Famous asana postures, bandhas, and mudras are practiced under hatha yoga. The major role of hatha yoga is to purify the human body. It is concerned with the purification of Nadis and thereby to arouse the kundalini power in the body.
Health Benefits of Hatha yoga
Health benefits of hatha yoga are mainly concerned with the physical body whereas its ultimate goal is to lead one’s soul to attain salvation. Regular practice of hatha yoga certainly can bring health benefits to the mind and body. It has a total control over the bodily functions and responsible for the high immunity power in the body. This reduces stress, controls blood pressure and overall it maintains a healthy body free from various diseases. The various postures of hatha yoga are focused on maintaining the flexibility in the body and releasing the blockages present in them. This help the mind to become steady where the practice of pranayama helps to focus the mind inwards. (see 10 Benefits of Practicing Kundalini Yoga and Meditation)
The energy levels of the participants are increased by preserving and energizing the human vital force which is known as the subtle aspect of semen. Energizing the human vital force is the initial step towards the proper kundalini arousal.
The book “Why Kundalini Meditation So Special?” gives a clear understanding of such practices and more over a guide for those who seek the path in this field.