MEANING OF HATHA
Hatha is made up of two words- “Ha” or sun and “Tha” or moon. Hence, in Hatha yoga you experience a balance of self. The practice of Hatha calms your spirit, mind and body and thereby prepares you for further meditative activities. Another translation of the word “Hatha” is “forceful” or “wilful” which makes it an yoga of activity. In simple terms, Hatha means the practice of physical yoga posture. Therefore, the Power Yoga, Iyengar, Vinyasa and Ashtanga are all different examples of Hatha Yoga.
In yogic kriya the effect can be observed to develop very slowly. When you are in yoga, you can experience in your consciousness everything as oneness. You actually start with the body then you gradually move to the breath, later to the mind and finally to the inner self. There are many steps created like this to reach inner awareness, but they are the different facets of yoga. It is very important to note that all of them should be addressed in a very balanced way, simultaneously, and as a single unit. The human body is the major part of the wholeness of a person. The process of employing the body to accelerate the evolutionary system is “Hatha Yoga”. Each body has its own ego, attitude and nature. Like, you may decide to start a particular work and finish within a certain time frame, but your body says to forget it and relax, you may do it afterwards. This is indiscipline. Hatha yoga is the process to prepare the body to purify and discipline it for higher level of possibilities and energies.
SCIENCE OF HATHA YOGA
Hatha yoga is about the process to understand the mechanics of your body to create a certain atmosphere and by using specific body postures to direct your energy in a particular direction. The meaning of “asana” is “posture”. The types of postures which allow a person to reach a higher nature is called “yogasana”. If you are a good observer, you can deduce the existing emotional state of a person just by seeing (observing) the way he or she is sitting, provided you knew that person for a decent interval of time. For each different level of emotional and mental situation or consciousness that a person goes through, the body automatically tends to assume specific postures. The science of asana is the inverse of this. If you specifically put your body in a particular posture, you can elevate your consciousness. This way you have a control over your emotions and can actually instigate the emotional state you want to be in. It is up to you how you treat and discipline your body. The body may become either a means of spiritual growth or it can become a barrier. For a normal person the body commands over his mind. For example, if you have severe pain in some part of your body, hand, feet, stomach, back or head, all you want at that time is how to get over that pain and nothing else. It becomes the most urgent need of the moment. The physical body has such a power over your brain the all other aspiration are forgotten from your mind if certain part of your body is hurting. It needs an enormous amount of strength, almost a Herculean task to look beyond the existing pain which is not possible for most of us.
Some simple asanas have cured thousands of people with spinal problems, even in cases where doctors had recommended surgeries. The Hatha Yoga has such a positive effect on your back that you are not required to go to a chiropractor. Besides bringing flexibility to your spine, your body and mind also becomes very flexible, and you start becoming recpetive to new ideas and begin cherishing life.
HATHA YOGA PREPARES THE BODY
When a person wants to move into deeper dimension of meditation the hatha yoga allows for a higher possibility of energy. If one wants the body to move upwards, it is important that the pipe line of the body be conductive. It would not work if it is blocked, otherwise something would burst. Prior to going for more intensive form of meditation it is very important to prepare the body sufficiently. Hatha yoga makes sure that the body takes the yoga postures very gently and joyfully. When the necessary preparation is not done most people suffer spiritual growth in a painful manner. When the necessary preparation is properly done you shall find very pleasant and wonderful experiences of growth. To-day what people are learning is not the hatha yoga in its classical form. Unfortunately it is just the physical part of it. Asana prepares the body and mind for growth and transformation for equipping you with a solid foundation. The live process of hatha yoga needs to be taught in a certain way. People should burst with joy and shed tears of ecstasy just by doing asana in a proper manner.