(Last Updated on : 03/08/2015)
Hatha Yoga is that branch of the Yogi Philosophy which deals with the health of the physical body and all that tends to keep it in its natural and normal state of health. It is a holistic yogic approach which includes moral disciplines as well as physical postures. It teaches a natural mode of living. It is also believed that Hatha Yoga is a stress reducing practice. Hatha Yoga is an important branch of philosophy, because it gives man a healthy body and a good instrument with which to work and a fitting temple for the Spirit. Hatha Yoga preaches a sane, natural, normal manner of living and life, which, if followed will benefit anyone. It keeps close to nature and returns to natural methods in preference to those which have grown up around us in our artificial habits of living. Hatha Yoga is devoted to this care of the physical body.
It has been said by the Yogis that the body is an instrument in which and by which the Spirit manifests and works. They know that the fleshly covering is necessary for man's manifestation and growth in this particular stage of his development. They know that the body is the Temple of the Spirit. And they, consequently, believe that the care and development of the body is as worthy a task as is the development of some of the higher parts of man, for with an unhealthy and imperfectly developed physical body the mind cannot function properly, nor can the instrument be used to the best advantage by its master, the Spirit. In fact that is the reason as to why care of the physical body or Hatha Yoga has gained a lot of prominence among the Yogis.
The word Hatha represents opposing energies. In fact it can be said that Hatha Yoga is an attempt to balance both mind and body with the help of physical postures or asanas. It includes purification processes, controlled breathing and calming and relaxing of the mind and the body. The physical postures which are a part of Hatha Yoga includes asanas which gives poise, strength and balance to the physical as well as the mental existence of the body. It is said that as the body gains physical balance the mind gets prepared for the path of enlightenment.
Hatha Yoga includes six kinds of limbs. The six limbs of Hatha Yoga are Asana, Pranayama
, Pratyahara, Dharana
. Awakening of the Kundalini is an important part of the Hatha Yoga. It can be said that with the practice of Hatha Yoga an individual is able to gain slender body, cheerful and happy face, bright eyes, a sense of well being, control over the bindu and purification of the nadis.