Hatha Yoga is the science of balancing the solar-lunar and the opposites that exist within each of us to reach a more intimate connection with the Self.
Hatha yoga is a tool used for physical and mental transformation. The word “Hatha” comes from the Sanskrit terms “Ha” and “Tha” that represent the “Sun” and the “Moon” respectively.
Hatha Yoga is the science of balancing the solar-lunar and the opposites that exist within each of us to reach a more intimate connection with the Self. According to the sacred texts on Hatha Yoga, it is the art of opening the Sushumna Nadi , thus awakening the Kundalini which is the path to higher consciousness and enlightenment.
How is the hatha yoga practice?
The practice involves breathing, body and mind, and classes are usually 45 minutes to 90 minutes of breathing, yoga and meditation postures, which are its three components:
Physical postures (asana): each of the different body postures that aim to act on the body and mind. They provide lightness and strength, as well as flexibility, endurance and health. The body is conquered by the asanas and make it a suitable vehicle for the spirit.
Breathing techniques (pranayama): Prana is a single Sanskrit word for breathing, life and cosmic energy. Yama can be translated as restriction. Pranayama helps you to know and control your breath through breathing exercises so that prana or vital energy circulates in a certain way through the body.
Meditation (dhyana): It is associated with visualization and three types have been defined: Visualization on a “coarse” object (sthula), for example the detailed visualization of a deity; visualization on a “subtle” object (sukshma), for example the visualization of the Absolute in the original point form of the universe (bindu); Contemplation of the Absolute as light (jyotish).
Benefits of Hatha Yoga
- Healthy heart: Hatha Yoga improves blood flow to the heart and decreases the chances of heart disease. The regular Hatha Yoga practice is effective in controlling hypertension, one of the main causes of heart problems and heart attacks.
- Strengthens and tones the muscles. The maintenance of yoga postures for different periods of time strengthens the muscles.
- Strengthens the abdomen: The asanas contribute to stimulate and strengthen the middle section of the body consisting of the transverse abdomen, the erector of the spine, the obliques and the posterior sides.
- Lubricates the joints: Hatha Yoga works effectively on the multiple joints of the body helping them to obtain their full range of motion. In a sedentary lifestyle, the joints do not work at maximum capacity, and as a result, they tend to harden.
- Better bone density: the Hatha Yoga system includes several yoga poses that support weight, such as the tree’s posture, the warrior’s posture, the triangle’s posture, which help reverse bone loss by building bone density, developing mass bone in column and the rest of the bone system.
- Back pain relief: By giving mobility to the bone structure of the spine and strengthening the linked muscles, Hatha Yoga postures along with their variations and modifications are powerful in the treatment of symptoms of low back pain and other back problems. Healthy skin: Hatha Yoga practices purify and deeply oxygenate the body from the inside out and cardiovascular exercise works as a detoxifying agent giving the skin a healthy and shiny appearance.
- Stress relief: the regulation of breathing together with cardiovascular exercise works as an excellent natural remedy against stress. Each asana of Hatha Yoga directs towards peace of mind and positivity.
- Improves the immune system: by contracting and stretching the muscles, the organs move, when entering and leaving the different yoga positions, the lymph drainage is increased. This helps the lymphatic system fight infections, destroy cancer cells and eliminate toxic wastes from cellular functioning.
- Tones the spine: all our nerves branch out from the spine and connect the various organ systems with the brain. It is said that if the spine is rigid, nerve impulses cannot flow freely through the body and internal organs become weak and subject to disease.
- Increase flexibility: there are two major schools of scientific thought about what actually limits flexibility more and what needs to be done to improve it. The first school focuses not on stretching the muscle fiber itself but on increasing the elasticity of the connective tissues, the cells that bind the muscle fibers, encapsulate them and connect them with other organs; the second addresses the “stretch reflex” and other functions of the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. Yoga works in both. That’s why it is such an effective method to increase flexibility