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Hatha yoga in India

Hatha Yoga Yoga has become one of the best alternative medicines in this fast-paced world. There are various kinds of yoga that are practiced today in India. One of them is known as Hatha Yoga a.k.a Hatha Vidya. This form of yoga was initiated by a Yogi Swatmarama in the 15th century in India. According to him, Hatha yoga meant an introductory stage of physical purification that the human body practices for meditation. This is the reason why Hindu yogis practiced asanas and pranayama to guide their body for long hours of meditation. This practice was and still is termed as shatkarma. Hatha is a derivation from two words HA and THA which means the sun and the moon respectively. They actually stand for prana and apana and also signify the energy channels of a human body that regularly work to reach a state of dhyana or samadhi. Again, Monier Williams Sanskrit dictionary describes Hatha as a quite forceful practice performed for holistic purification. As this is a reputed form of yoga, the Western world refers to Hatha Yoga as yoga which is usually practiced for emotional, psychological and physical health. This holistic yogic path includes:-
  1. Discipline
  2. Physical posture
  3. Purification procedures
  4. Poses
  5. Breathing and
  6. Meditation
It is believed that Lord Shiva taught the facts of Hatha yoga to Parvati on a lonely island. This preaching was overheard by a fish. When Lord Shiva came to know about it, he showed mercy on the fish but turned him into a siddha (master in Hatha yoga). This new identity of the fish earned a new name Matsyendranaatha . Just like any siddha would do, Matsyendranaatha shared his knowledge of Hatha yoga with a limbless man Chaurangi. There is also an interesting story that says that this limbless man Chaurangi got back his hands and feet just by looking at Matsyendranaatha. That is exactly how powerful the fish had become just by overhearing the two deities talking about Hatha. Coming back from the classics to the modern world, Hatha yoga is reputed in India for its stress reducing qualities. One of the reasons behind the relief is its implementation of meditative practice along with practicing of postures. Some Hatha yoga postures: 1) Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svasana:
  • Lie down on your face with your hands stretched upwards.
  • Your feet should be one foot apart with toes bent below
  • Lift your chest slowly
  • Now lift your knees up
  • Keep your arm stretched
  • List your buttuck upwards without bending your knees
  • Now touch the heel with the floor
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Breathe deeply
2) Half Lotus Pose or Ardha Padmasana:
  • Sit on your yoga mat buttocks absolutely flat
  • Knees bent and folded
  • Sit cross legged
  • Back straight
  • Pull your right feet on your left thigh
  • Breat slowly and deeply
  • Keep palms on your knees
  • Hold for 10 seconds and switch with your left feet on your right thigh
Hatha yoga begins with the basics of yoga practice and continues through to meditation. Hatha yoga must not be practiced in a hurry. This form of yoga must be practiced on a on a regular basis in order to lead a peaceful and healthy life, both physically and mentally. Read about different other forms of Yoga popular in India >>


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