Change, from the inside out,with one pose, one breath at a time as we cultivate mindfulness .
I came to Hatha Yoga later in life, at the age of 57 ,and found that this style is perfect for me and others like me. It is not about being bendy ,it is about finding a good alignment for each asana (Pose) it is about feeling the body, and using our breath to turn inward ,and finding depth within our body,and stillness within the mind . Working with one pose at a time, gives us time to move into spaces within our self to cultivate stillness, to connect to parts of our self that may have been waiting for us to awaken . Hatha yoga allows each person to cultivate healing within, no matter if you are ultra bendy or confined to a chair, it is perfect for those that enjoy mindfulness as they work with the breath during each pose. With this style we allow our body to open up to us rather than forcing the body into a pose. Working with the correct edge of tension ,and pausing until our body freely opens up a little at a time to deepen the stretch,and finding newness within. As a Hatha Yoga Teacher It is my passion to help you cultivate freedom for your mind, body ,and spirit, Allowing time and space within each pose and each breath to feel ,and be in the moment, to uncover the hidden joy and ultimate self love. To Be organic with our self and to fall in love with who you are ,releasing the long held patterns that once kept you safe ,but now keep you bound in discomfort. A spiritual path inward to your soul, to awaken the heart and to live in love, to know the all encompassing energy of the Divine within and with out, to who you are. What is Hatha Yoga? Hatha Yoga (ha="sun" tha="moon") attains the union of mind-body-spirit though a practice of asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (yoga breathing), mudra (body gestures) and shatkarma (internal cleansing). These body centered practices are used to purify the body and cultivate prana and activate kundalini, the subtle energies of the body. Modern Hatha Yoga does not emphasize many of these esoteric practices and focuses primarily on the physical yoga postures.
Book of Hatha yoga Pradipika
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is a medieval scripture written in 1350. The Nath Yogi Swatmarama is the author. The meaning of the title is interesting to consider if one wishes to begin to understand the book’s content.
Pradipika means “light” or “to illuminate”, ha means “sun”, tha means “moon” and yoga or yug means to “join”. So the title suggests: light on how to join the sun and the moon, or another way we could say is how to go beyond all limitations posed by living in a mundane reality where Nature and Spirit are kept separate. When viewed from this perspective, hatha yoga is a tantric practice as it attempts to bring about a harmony between the two energies of life: the pranic and the mental. This pair can also be described as the shakti, or female, cool current which travels through the ida nadi, and the mind, or male, hot current which travels through the pingala nadi. When their union takes place in the central channel (sushumna nadi) it is the union of body and mind, and this is the awakening of higher consciousness.
History of Hatha Yoga
In the history of yoga, hatha yoga is fairly recent technique that was developed from Tantra Yoga. The tantrics embraced the physical body as the means to achieve enlightenment and developed the physical-spiritual connections and body centered practices that lead to Hatha Yoga. But Hatha Yoga is uniquely focused on transforming the physical body through purification and the cultivation of the life force energy of prana. And all of the techniques of Hatha Yoga are seen as preliminary steps to achieving the deeper states of meditation and enlightenment found in the path of Raja Yoga (meditation). The oldest and most widely used ancient text on the physical practices of Hatha Yoga is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. This book was composed in 15th century CE by Swami Swatamarama and is derived from older Sanskrit texts, the teachings from well-known teachers, and from Swatamarama’s own yogic experiences. The main goal of this text is to illuminate the physical disciplines and practices of Hatha Yoga and integrate these with the higher spiritual goals of Raja Yoga. Swatamarama begins with explaining the relationship between Hatha Yoga and Raja yoga, informing us that Hatha is a preliminary practice for Raja Yoga. He tells us that obtaining self-control and self-discipline is much easier when we start with the physical and energetic body, verses trying to directly control the mind as in Raja Yoga. Through the mastery of the prana, or energy of the body, we can then easily master the control of the mind and obtain success with Raja Yoga.
It was not until the 1920s when Hatha Yoga became popularized and promoted in India with the work of T. Krishnamacharya and a few other brave and determined yogis. Krishnamacharya traveled through India giving demonstrations of yoga poses and with other pioneering yogis promoted hatha yoga through its strong healing and other positive benefits. Since then, many more western and Indian teachers have become pioneers, popularizing hatha yoga and gaining millions of followers. Hatha Yoga now has many different schools or styles, all emphasizing the many different aspects of the practice.