Hatha Yoga is undoubtedly the most famous form of Yoga practice in modern times. Hatha Yoga is the system of bodily postures and for most people, doing these postures (Asanas) alone is Yoga. But Hatha Yoga is just one of the means to the goal of Yoga. The ‘Ha’ of Hatha Yoga signifies the Sun and ‘Tha’ signifies the Moon which represents the two energy flows on either sides of the body. The goal of Hatha Yoga is to bring about a balance in these energies so that we have the necessary chemistry in the body for meditation.
Hatha Yoga deals primarily with the physical body and breath and is for bringing these subtle energies into balance. The main accessories of Hatha Yoga are Asanas (physical postures); Pranayama (Breathing techniques); Mudras and Bandhas (Gestures and Locks). According to Hatha Yoga when steadiness is attained in body and breath through regular practice of these, the mind becomes calm and one can then advance his practice to Meditation and Contemplation to reach the ultimate goal of Yoga- Self realization.
Hatha Yoga classes emphasize on the importance of bodily alignment and breathing. According to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, this alignment can be compared to the antenna of a television. When the antenna is adjusted properly, the display on the television is much clearer. Similarly when the body is aligned in certain ways by doing postures, cosmic energy is downloaded in to our system to make it more fertile for gaining inner clarity.
The Hatha Yoga practices which were designed by the Rishis and sages of old, for the evolution of mankind, are now unfortunately being understood and utilized for building stamina and beauty. Hatha Yoga is used today as the Health and Fitness system of choice. This is just a side effect of Hatha Yoga. It is the mind and not the body that is the target of all Hatha Yoga and other Yoga practices. According to Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, to regard Yoga as a set of practices for increasing strength and flexibility while calming the nervous system is to mistake the husk for the kernel! Thus, if Hatha Yoga is not used as a means to meditate and to recognize our true nature, its objective is lost.
At Shreyas, Hatha Yoga classes are conducted regularly keeping the ultimate goal of Yoga in mind. Irrespective of the package chosen by the Guests, Hatha Yoga classes are conducted to prepare the body. Other awareness and meditation classes are done to come to terms with one’s strengths and weaknesses and one’s relation with the world within and without. The light vegetarian food, the serene atmosphere, the no alcohol policy etc are all conducive to the Guests’ journey to Self Discovery.
By: ShreyasRetreat.com – One of finest yoga retreats around the world.
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