“Body is the bow, asana is the arrow and the soul is the target.” B.K.S Iyenger
Yoga Begins propagate the true purpose of Yoga, which is to rejuvenate one’s body, mind and soul, hence the teaching is simple and for everyone. A Yoga class includes-
Yoga is among the six philosophies of India and it aims to help students form a deeper connection and appreciation of Yoga wisdom and spirituality, in addition to strengthening their practice and give them profound foundation.
Yoga is a Sanskrit word which means ‘Union’ and the ultimate goal of Yoga is to unite individual self with the universal self and attain “Samadhi”, the purest state of consciousness.
Hatha Yoga is a system of Yoga introduced by yogi Swatmarama, a sage in the 15th century in India. From Hath Yoga originated several other styles of Yoga including the Power Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, and Kundalini Yoga. Hath Yoga teaches a Sadhaka (Student), to master over his body, so that he can reach the final goal, Samadhi (trance), of Raja Yoga.
Hatha Yoga is not a form of exercise. Understanding the workings of the body, creating a certain ambiance, and then using the body postures and breath to drive human energy in a specific direction is what Hatha Yoga is about.
Hatha yoga is a preliminary process of Yoga.The word “Ha” means sun; “Tha” means the moon. “Hatha” means the Yoga to bring balance between the two opposite, i.e. the sun (pingala) and the moon (ida) in a human body. You can explore Hatha Yoga in ways that take you beyond certain limitations, but essentially, it is a physical preparation preparing the body for higher possibility.
Components of Hatha Yoga
Swami Swatmarama has explained five limbs or body-centered practices of Hatha Yoga. These practices purify the body, cultivate prana and ultimately awaken kundalini (subtle energy), further advancing to an experience of a deep meditative absorption.
- Shat Kriya is the cleansing or purification process of the body. These practices are neti, dhauti, basti, nauli, kapalbhati and trataka.
- Asanas prepare you for growth and transformation by equipping you with a solid foundation. The purpose of asana is defined in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as “Kuryaat tadaasanam sthairyamaarayogyam cha anglaaghavam” meaning one must perform asanas to gain steadiness of body and mind, freedom from disease and lightness of limbs.
- Pranayama follows thereafter and is the technique of controlling the breath which helps in purifying nadis or energy channels to increase the flow of prana (vital life force),eventually leading the mind into meditation
- Mudras and Bandhas help to harmonize the pranas and the mind, and they complete the practice of Hatha Yoga.
The body can become a means for spiritual growth or it can become a major barrier. Hatha Yoga’s postures and breathing techniques purify the physical body allowing our energies to surge upwards and help in moving into deeper dimensions of meditation. The practice of Hatha Yoga enables a deeper understanding of the functions of the body and through a continuous practice of this profound science; you can change your thinking process thereby taking charge of your feeling and experience of life. Regular practice of Hatha Yoga not only improves health and well-being but also significantly enhances the experience of other elevated practices of Yoga.
Meditation refers to the ancient technique of relaxation and concentration where our body is at rest and the mind completely empty, resulting is self-realization, and a crystal clear vision of life and the world around. It is an enabler for unlocking the spiritual potential and finding inner happiness and contentment.
Meditation is defined in the second yogic sutra, incorporated in the third phase of Patanjali (Father of Yoga) Yoga Sutra as –
“Tatra pratyaya ekatanata dhyanam” – a balance, continuous flow of attention, directed towards a certain point or objects and is the seventh of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga.
Relaxation (Yoga Nidra)
Yoga Nidra means Yogic sleep, the state of conscious deep sleep. It is a systematic procedure of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation.
Yoga Nidra brings an unbelievable calmness and clarity in mind. It is one of the deepest of all meditations, leading awareness through many levels of mental process to a state of supreme silence and bliss.