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Hatha Yoga(1)



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               Hatha Yoga
Patanjali collected the yoga knowledge
available in 2 A.D. and wrote a treatise
called 'Yoga Sutra.' The yoga of Patanjali
has 8 limbs to be practiced in sequence.
They are Yama (restraint), Niyama
(observance), Asana (posture), Pranayama
(breathing), Pratyahara (withdrawal of
senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana
(meditation) and Samadhi (ecstasy). The end
of yoga after Samadhi would be the union of
individual consciousness with the universal
In the modern age, yoga has come to mean
basically 'Hatha Yoga,' 'Ha' meaning sun and
'Tha' meaning moon unites in Hatha Yoga. It
is the symbolic union of active and passive
energies, the opposites. The Hatha Yoga aims
to unite harmoniously the body, mind and
spirit, and create a healthy, supple and
strong body and a relaxed, stress free mind.
In the late 19th century, T.
Krishnamacharya, a yoga teacher in Mysore
Palace in south India, was the source of
most modern Hatha Yoga. His disciples B.K.S.
Iyengar, K.Pattabhi Jois and Indira Devi,
and his son T.K.V. Desikachar, were
instrumental in setting up their schools and
spreading Yoga throughout the world,
particularly in America.
Each one has its own name, but it is only a
matter of stress rather than substance. They
are Ashtanga Yoga of Pattabhi Jois, Iyengar
Yoga of B.K.S. Iyengar, Vishnu Yoga of
T.K.V. Desikachar, Bikram Yoga of Bikram
Choudhry, Sivananda Yoga of Vishnu
Sivandandam, Integral Yoga of Swami
Sachidananda and Ananda Yoga of Swami
Yoga as an exercise is vastly different from
calisthenics or aerobics. In yoga the body
does not do any movement, but holds
different postures that are designed to
direct the life energy to all parts of the
body. The respiratory and pulse rate drops.
The endocrine system increases activity.
The benefits of yoga are many. It helps in
managing many illnesses for which there are
no cures. It helps in building a supple and
strong body. But its major contribution is
in relaxing the body and mind, relieving
stress and rejuvenating the energy level.
Positive thinking and feel-good factors
increase amongst practitioners of yoga. The
degree of concentration in yoga students is
very high.
With some amount of commitment and regular
practice of Hatha Yoga, there will be a
substantial difference to the quality of
life in the modern age.

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