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Hatha Yoga - History and Theory

by matth02
Yoga is one of the most popular exercises in the world today. People all over the world use yoga to tone and meditate. There are many types of yoga that can be practiced, among them Hatha yoga.

Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning 'union'. Yoga experts believe this union to be that of the inner soul and the cosmos. Yoga originated between five thousand to eight thousand years ago in India. Through the years, yoga experts, referred to as Yogis or Yoginis, created practical yoga techniques to help an individual on their journey to this union. The classical yoga period ushered in the creation of the Yoga Sutra written by Patanjali in the second century. This Sutra is the foundation for all types of yoga. The best-known form of yoga in the west is Hatha yoga and it is often what people think of when they think of yoga.

Yogi Swami Swatmarama introduced Hatha yoga. In Sanskrit 'ha' means sun or hot and 'tha' means moon or cold. Hatha yoga is the union of the opposite forces. This yoga is meant to prepare you for a higher yoga form. It consists of breathing techniques (pranayama), special postures(asanas), and meditation. It is believed that by balancing the positive and negative forces in our body, we can regulate our vital force (prana), clear our mind and experience subconscious states. It is the most physical of all the yoga forms practiced today.

Hatha yoga begins with a cleansing process, which tries to open up psychic (pranic) channels. Ancient yogis believed by mastering our breathing patterns, we can clear the way to mastering the mind. This is believed to bring the body into a disease free state, since opening blocked channels will allow for a body and mind balancing state. They saw breathing as one of the most important functions of the body. Since prana is in the air, breathing correctly can provide us with good health.

The next step is the asanas (poses). These are used to control and extend the vital energy in each of us. Asanas are special body positions which can give you qualities either you are lacking or don't have. These poses can balance the nervous, circulatory and endocrine systems. In this respect, they have been known to have healing effects. Originally asanas were used to produce the ability to sit in one position comfortably for a long period of time, aiding in meditation. Today, we can see that they provide flexibility, strength, and balance. In doing so, they can address health problems by promoting the body's own healing ability.

Hatha yoga prepares the mind and the body, so that meditation can be achieved. For true meditation to occur, we must have a clear mind. This is difficult to achieve since we have many thoughts going through our minds constantly. It is believed through asanas, we can release our restlessness and our emotions.

Hatha yoga is beneficial to the body both mentally and physically. It creates a balance in our physical and mental states. It reduces stress, rejuvenates us and improves circulation. By following the steps contained in Hatha yoga you can achieve a supreme state of spiritual happiness. You can reach the ultimate goal of yoga, which is a self-awareness and union with the self and the universe.

About the Author

More Hatha Yoga Articles at http://www.eYoga-Today.com. Learn how to operate a Successful Niche Website Network at http://eWebCreator.com. Matthew Hick has been designing profitable Adsense Websites for over 5 years.


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