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The Roots of Hatha Yoga

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       The Roots of Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is the yoga that most people know
as simply, "yoga." Practiced for emotional
and physical health and wellness, Hatha Yoga
focuses on both the purification of the mind
and the body, aiming to pave a path to
vitality and wholeness.
Hatha Yoga was introduced by a man named
Yogi Swatmarama, a yoga sage in 15th and
16th century India. Known for calmness and
peacefulness, Yogi Swatmarama is a name that
has now become synonymous with delight, one
who paved the way for an exercise that
enhances the mind, body and spirit. He began
with Hatha Yoga by writing the Hatha Yoga
Pradipika, a Sanskrit that was based on
Swatmarama's own experiences as well as the
words of older Sanskrit texts. It details
information about asanas, bandhas, kriyas,
shakti, pranayama, and several other areas.
The book, as well as Hatha Yoga itself, is
rich with hints of Hinduism. Perhaps the
oldest religion in the world, Hinduism is a
religion based on acceptance, building its
foundation on a plethora of text and
scriptures. It aims to teach people mystical
truths, while providing guidance on how a
person can grow to become morally,
spiritually, and physically whole. Hinduism
also believes the "Heaven on Earth" concept,
noting it's possible to achieve salvation
while alive rather than only in death.
Part of this salvation is achieved through
balance. Because the word "Hatha" is derived
from Sanskrit words meaning sun ("Ha") and
moon ("Tha") it only makes sense that Hatha
Yoga places a lot of concept on the focus
of balance. A type of yoga that teeters
between two streams (the Ida (mental) and
the Pingala (body) currents), Hatha Yoga
uses the Shushumna Nadi (the current of the
self) to open up various Chakras (cosmic
points within the body that are awaiting
release). Once this happens, a state of
quieted thought and a still mind occurs
while consciousness remains. This is called
Samadhi and it is known as a stated of
bliss.
Hatha Yoga is based on holistic principles,
moral disciplines and physical exercise. It
focuses greatly on poses (Asanas), breathing
techniques (Pranayama) and meditation.
Similar to the sun versus moon concept upon
which its name is based, Hatha Yoga take
energies that are in opposition - dark and
light, yin and yang, fire and ice - and uses
them to find a balance between the mind,
body, spirit, and external forces of life.
A variety of breathing techniques,
meditations, and poses all help to drive the
person doing Hatha Yoga to a path of
enlightenment. Among some of the most
practiced poses are Bhujangasana, also known
as the Cobra; the Eka Pada, also known as
the one-legged king; the Halasana, also
known as the Plow; the Padmasana, also known
as the Lotus; and the Simhasana, also known
as the Lion.
Hatha Yoga, like the word "yoga" itself,
greatly uses the concept of unity, the unity
between man and nature as well as the unity
within each person: without unity between
the mind and the body, it's hard to
accomplish anything. Depending on the
individual, Hatha Yoga may be used to unite
people with different things. For some,
Hatha Yoga may be used to form a union with
God, the Self, ones True Nature, or the
Divine. For others, Hatha Yoga may be used
to unite them with a much needed recovery
from a stress in their life. Still for
others, Hatha Yoga may be used simply as a
way to unite them with themselves.
Hatha Yoga, having been around for hundreds
of years, is rooted in principles that will
never change, however as times are always
changing these ancient principles can be
evolved and applied to the 21st Century.
Overall the roots of yoga teach people to
obtain what everyone seeks: physical and
emotional health, a clear mental state-of-
mind, and a life driven not by worries, but
simply by joy.
TWISTED is a medical yoga studio at the
Center for Osteopathic Medicine in Boulder,
Colorado. Twisted integrates osteopathic
medicine, hatha yoga and mindfulness
practices to teach optimal balance between
physical, mental, and emotional health. It
aims to
educate and help people to live a healthy
life from the inside out. Rehabilitation
programs offer a comprehensive treatment
regime for the whole being, empowering each
person one breath at a time to stimulate the
body's natural healing potential.

				
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posted:9/4/2011
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