Yoga and Drug Free Living

Health is the core of human development.

Hatha Yoga

In contrast to the focus on mind in Yoga Suthra, later traditions of Yoga like Hatha yoga focus more on asanas or body postures.

Hatha Yoga is a preparatory process in Yoga. 'Ha' means sun and 'tha' means moon. 'Hatha Yoga' means the Yoga which brings balance between the sun and the moon or the Pingala and the Ida Nadis in a person.

Though higher states are possible through specific asanas, mudras and bandas in Hatha Yoga, basically Hatha Yoga is used as a preparatory tool.

In 15th century AD, an Indian Yogi, Swami Swatmarama (a disciple of Swami Goraknath) wrote the 'Hatha Yoga Pradipika' (Light on Hatha Yoga).

Many eminent Yogis who came later, wrote comments on Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Here is a good book,  'Hatha Yoga Pradipika of Swatmarama' by Swami Shailendra Sharma who comes in the lineage of great immortal Yogi Babaji.

This book describes in detail about all steps towards self realization. It can also be called a Manual of Kriya Yoga for advanced practitioners.



In India, get this book here.


In USA, get this book here.



The original work by Swami Swatmarama has four chapters and below is the list with a brief overview of each chapter.

Chapter 1 - Asana
Lists the names and descriptions of the asanas along with proper dietary habits that support the practice.

Chapter 2 - Shathkarma and Pranayama
Explains Pranayama, the effects it has on the mind and the nadis. And introduces Six Karmas (acts of purification) which are preparatory exercises for the practice.

Chapter 3 - Mudhra and Bandha
Explains ten different Mudhras and Bandhas.

Chapter 4 - Samadhi
Discusses Samadhi - the ultimate state of self realization.

To get an insight into Hatha Yoga Pradipika check out the links below:

Hatha Yoga Pradipika Link1

Hatha Yoga Pradipika Link2


Though Yoga has higher limbs which can elevate human consciousness to greater levels, the word 'Yoga' means just Yogasanas to many people who give importance to its physical aspects. Nevertheless Yogasanas (or asanas) have definite physical and mental benefits. No doubt in that !

 

Yogasana Poses by Yogi Ram

Yogasana poses by Yogi Ram, Founder, SREE SAKTHI YOGA

Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA
 

Benefits of Yogasanas (body postures)

  • Over-all fitness
  • Weight loss
  • Stronger back
  • Stress relief
  • Deep relaxation
  • Inner peace
  • Improved immunity
  • Greater awareness
  • Better relationships
  • Increased energy
  • Better flexibility and posture
  • Better intuition
  • Better time management
  • Good sleep
  • Improved concentration


Pranayama (breathing technique) and its benefits

Pranayama = Prana + ayama
‘Prana’ means life force and ‘ayama’ means to regulate or lengthen.

Pranayama

Pranayama

There are different types of Pranayamas as listed below:

  • Anuloma Viloma Pranayama (or) Naadi shodhana (or) Suha Pranayama (or) Naadi Shuddhi (or) Alternate Nostril Breathing
  • Ujjayi Pranayama
  • Bhramari Pranayama
  • Sitkari Pranayama
  • Sitali Pranayama
  • Kapalabhati

Pranayama in general,

  • Enhances the quantity and quality of life force
  • Clears blocked energy channels
  • Harmonizes the body, mind and spirit
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Rejuvenates the body and mind
  • Slows down the ageing process


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