Monday, December 04, 2006

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga

When the word 'Yoga' is talked about there is always confusion with regard to the usage of words like Hatha Yoga ,Ashtanga Yoga , Raja Yoga , Patanjali Yoga etc . My current messages are to clear the confusion of such terms .First let us deal with Hatha Yoga .

What is Hatha Yoga ?

Hatha Yoga is the practical side of Yoga that involves all the yogic practices like Asanas , Pranayama , Bandhas , Mudras ,Krisyas etc . out of these Asanas and Pranayama are quite commonly practiced and we will be dealing with them first .A person is said to be practising Hatha Yoga is he/she is practising Asanas and Pranayama .However there are various schools of Yoga and each prescribe different set of Asanas/Pranayama to be practiced and there is no uniformity in this .However the aim of every school of Hatha Yoga is to keep a person fit , full relaxed and have a supple and energetic body and a clam mind .Some of the Popular Schools of Hatha Yoga are :1 ) Sivananda 2) Ashtanga 3) Iyengar 4) Bikram 5) Power Yoga 6) Jeeva Mukthi 7) Anusara 8) Integral 9) viniYoga etc .These schools vary in degree with regard to the intensity of their yoga practice for eg : Ashtanga ,Power Yoga and Bikram Yoga are quite intense in their work out and are very popular in West . Sivananda is a moderate system and more focussed on the spiritual side of Yoga and has its students world over . Iyengar is also popular and more emphasis is here on precision and alignment . Viniyoga is a very mild system and popularised by the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram .They lay more emphasis on Patanjai Yoga Sutras .
So according to your taste of whether u prefer intense , moderate or mild yoga practice you can choose any particluar school .Some schools like Sivananda focuses on making yoga a spiritual sadhana and not just as another form of exercise so if you are intersted in progressing spiritually using yoga as a tool then the Sivananda System is the best .The founder of the Sivavnada System ,Swami Vishnu devananda has built Ashrams in various parts of the world where there is a prescribed Ashram program along his philosophy of "Five Points of Yoga " (dealt earlier in my blog) .By immersing yourself in the Yoga Sadhana in an ashram like environment you can see wonderful results on the benefits of Hatha Yoga on yourself quickly .

More about this in my next message .


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