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Below are descriptions of Hatha Yoga supplied by the Online Wellness Network wellness providers listed on this web site.

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Hatha yoga is the physical branch of yoga yet in the West is associated with a gentle approach to the physical aspects of yoga.

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Hatha Yoga focuses on flexibility, breath, balance and incorporation postures that allow us to stretch and fully use our bodies in a supportive atmosphere with individually modified poses. It is great for beginners and those who are advanced in their practice. If your body is too tight, too stressed, overused and abused, Hatha is the place for you.

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Kripalu Yoga is similar to Hatha Yoga. It has three major components which are; pranayama (breath work), Asanas (Postures/Poses), and Relaxation/Meditation. It works the body; toning, strengthening and de-toxing, mind; de-stressing and rejuvenating and comforts the soul. There are all different levels to Kripalu Yoga from beginner to advanced.

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Hatha yoga is a practice that includes awareness of the physical body as the path to health and enlightenment.

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Hatha yoga is a yoga of balance. This ancient practice promotes the incorporation of health and vitality into your everyday life. Offering balance through asanas, pranayama (proper breathing) and meditation.

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Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy that enhances personal growth and well-being. Yoga is not a religion, but complementary with most spiritual paths. Yoga is a practice that teaches discipline of mind, body, and spirit. It consists of poses that stretch and strengthen muscles, increase circulation, and calm the mind. The teacher demonstrates correct alignment and guides students to modify the poses if a more difficult or an easier workout is desired. The use of breathing exercises and guided r
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Yoga that incorporates movement, breath and meditation to attain an inner peace and releive stress.

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Hatha Yoga is a simultaneous energizing and relaxing asana and meditation practice.

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Hatha Yoga involves stretching, breathing and total relaxation. It is appropriate for everyone because it is easily modified. After practicing Hatha yoga, one is left with a feeling of tremendous peace and tranquility.

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Yoga postures, breathing, and meditation are integrated into each class.

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Hatha Yoga Description

* This article is updated daily from Wikipedia. It may contain minor formatting errors.
For the original content and references, click here. Last update: 8/21/2013.

Hatha yoga ( , ), also called hatha vidya (?), is a system of yoga described by Yogi Swatmarama, a Hinduism|Hindu sage of 15th century India, and compiler of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

Swatmarama introduces his system as preparatory stage of physical purification that the body practices for higher meditation or Raja Yoga|Yoga. It is based on asanas and pranayama (breathing techniques).

Origins

The most comprehensive text of hatha yoga is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Yogi Swatmarama. This work is nonetheless derived from older Sanskrit texts on yoga besides Yogi Swatmarama's own yogic experiences. It includes information about shatkarma (purification), asana, pranayama (subtle energy control), chakras (centers of energy), kundalini (instinct), Bandha (Yoga)|bandhas (muscle force), kriyas (techniques; manifestations of kundalini), shakti (sacred force), nadi (yoga)|nadis (channels), and mudras (symbolic gestures) among other topics.

Traditionally, Lord Shiva is credited with propounding hatha yoga. It is said that on a lonely island, assuming nobody else would hear him, he gave the knowledge of hatha yoga to Goddess Parvati, but a fish heard the entire discourse, remaining still throughout. Lord Shiva took mercy on the fish (Matsya) and made him a siddha, who came to be known as Matsyendranaatha. Matsyendranaatha taught hatha yoga to Chaurangi, a limbless man who was given hands and feet by Matsyendranaatha just by looking at him. Hatha Yoga Pradipika mentions Adi Natha, Matsyendranath, Gorakshanath and many other yogis who became famous hatha yogis.

Many modern schools of hatha yoga derive from the school of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who taught from 1924 until his death in 1989. Among his students prominent in popularizing yoga in the West were K. Pattabhi Jois, famous for popularizing the vigorous Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga style, B. K. S. Iyengar who emphasizes alignment and the use of props, Indra Devi and Krishnamacharya's son T. K. V. Desikachar who developed the Viniyoga style. Desikachar founded the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, with the aim of making available the heritage of yoga as taught by Krishnamacharya.

Another major stream of influence was Sivananda Saraswati|Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh (1887-1963) and his many disciples including, among others, Swami Vishnu-devananda — founder of International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres; Satyananda Saraswati|Swami Satyananda — of the Bihar School of Yoga; and Swami Satchidananda of Integral Yoga.

Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati

The Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati is a very early extant Hatha yoga Sanskrit text attributed to Gorakshanath by the indigenous tradition which contains much content on the avadhuta, as Georg Feuerstein|Feuerstein (1991: p.105) relates:

Concept

Traditional hatha yoga is a holistic yogic path, including disciplines, postures (asana), purification procedures (Shatkarma|shatkriya), gestures (mudra), breathing (pranayama), and meditation. The hatha yoga predominantly practiced in the West consists of mostly asanas understood as physical exercises. It is also recognized as a stress-reducing practice.

Hatha yoga is one of the two branches of yoga that focuses on the physical culture, the other one being raja yoga. Both of these are commonly referred to as sadanga yoga, i.e., yoga of six parts ('sad' meaning six and 'anga' meaning limbs). Svatmarama emphasizes many times in his Hathapradipika text that there is no raja yoga without hatha yoga and no hatha yoga without raja yoga. The main difference is that raja yoga uses asanas mainly to get the body ready for prolonged meditation, and hence focuses more on the meditative asanas: Lotus Posture (Lotus position|padmasana), Accomplished Posture (siddhasana), Easy Posture (sukhasana) and Pelvic Posture (Vajrasana (yoga)|vajrasana). Hatha yoga utilizes not only meditative postures but also cultural postures. Similarly, raja yoga's use of pranayama is also devoid of extensive locks (Bandha (Yoga)|bandha).

Hatha represents opposing energies: hot and cold (fire and water, following similar concept as yin-yang), male and female, positive and negative. Hatha yoga attempts to balance mind and body via physical postures or "asanas", purification practices, controlled breathing, and the calming of the mind through relaxation and meditation. Asanas teach poise, balance and strength and are practiced to improve the body's physical health and clear the mind in preparation for meditation. However if an individual has too much phlegm or fat then purification procedures are a necessity before undertaking pranayama.

Ashtanga is the yoga of Pata˝jali, the compiler of the Yoga Sutras of Pata˝jali|Yoga Sutras. It is composed of eight limbs: Yamas|yama and Niyama, which are ethical observations; asana; pranayama, which is breath control; pratyahara, which is sense withdrawal; dharana, which is concentration; Dhyana in Hinduism|dhyana, which is meditation; and Samadhi (Buddhism)|samadhi, which is a high state of concentration, mastery of the mind.* The eight limbs are more precisely viewed as eight levels of progress, each level providing benefits in and of itself and also laying the foundation for the higher levels. Frequently ashtanga yoga of Patanjali is being confused with raja yoga, Patanjali nowhere in his sutras uses the term raja yoga.

Hatha yoga consists of six limbs focused on attaining samadhi. In this scheme, the six limbs of hatha yoga are defined as asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. The basic text of hatha yoga is Hathapradipika by Swatmarama, a grand disciple of Sahajananda (from the lineage of Sopana, the younger brother of Dnyaneshwar Maharaj of Alandi near Pune). An important part of hatha practices is awakening of Kundalini. The signs of success in hatha yoga are slenderness of the body, cheerful face, hearing mystical sound, bright eyes, sense of well-being, control over the bindu (symbol)|bindu, increase in gastric fire and purification of the nadi (yoga)|nadis.

Pra?ayama

The words pra?a (life-force) and ayama (to lengthen or regulate) make up Pranayama|pra?ayama. Pra?ayama seeks to lengthen, control and regulate the breath. In one variation, the rechak (exhaled air), poorak (inhalation) and kumbhak (retention during normal inhaling and exhaling) are the three parts of the breath that are regulated. Pranayama is practiced to develop mental, physical and spiritual strength.

Health benefits ascribed to yogasana practice

Yoga's combined focus on mindfulness, breathing and physical movements brings health benefits with regular participation. Yoga participants report better sleep, increased energy levels and muscle tone, relief from muscle pain and stiffness, improved circulation and overall better general health. The breathing aspect of yoga can benefit heart rate and blood pressure.*The 2008 "Yoga in America" survey, conducted by Yoga Journal, shows that the number of adult practitioners in the US is 15.8 million, and 9.4 million people will definitely try yoga within the next year.*

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* This article is updated daily from Wikipedia. It may contain minor formatting errors.
For the original content and references, click here. Last update: 8/21/2013.

 
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