From August 1st 2021 to August 15th 2021, we are sharing one newsletter each day, summarising each theme of the month covered over the past year. In June 2021, we shared with you tiny newsletters on Hatha Yoga. To know more about the content on the Integral Education Portal, click here.
The Essence of Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that combines asanas (physical postures) and pranayama (regulated breathing). It brings control and power, opening up the body and increasing its capacity to hold life-energy.
Hatha Yoga works on the principles of purification (removing unhelpful elements), concentration (intensifying focused energy) and liberation (which unites us with the Universe at large).
Hatha Yoga is not merely a bodily practice. It involves concentration, perseverance, will-power and discipline. The intention and inner space that is held while performing the activity is as important as the accuracy of the physical postures.
How Hatha Yoga Purifies and Strengthens You
Hatha Yoga establishes stillness, lightness and flexibility in the body, and enables the body to hold an increasing flow of prana or life-force with calm stability. A lack of adequate Prana to a specific part or element of the body causes illness. Practicing Hatha Yoga regularly increases and purifies this life-force energy that is essential for being healthy. It clears energy blockages, purifies and enhances the flow of Prana. As a result, illnesses begin to vanish and your energy levels increase.
Pranayama and its Transformational Power
Prana is referred to as the Breath of Life. Pranayama is a practice that involves regulation of one’s breathing. It begins with equality of inhalation and exhalation and extends to diverse rhythmic regulations of inhalation, holding and exhalation.
Practicing Pranayama purifies one’s nervous system, so that the life-energy circulates freely, without obstruction, disorder or irregularity. One slowly acquires control over the functioning of his or her own body. The body’s inherent nature to tend towards inertia can be overcome, making it a better instrument for one’s innermost being or soul.
Yoga and the Infinite
The word Yoga means union. The essence of yoga is to enter into contact and unite one’s entire being with a much larger play of the universe. By seeing oneself as an instrument for the universe to express itself, the oneness of existence comes to light. Yoga is a practice that establishes and strengthens this connection, by making the body a supple receptacle of higher forces.
Normally, nature controls the body. Hatha Yoga establishes an equilibrium in the body that is far greater than that established by nature, which makes the body ready to receive indefinite, infinite and intense inrush of the universal, transformative force. Hatha Yoga unlocks the door to universalising one’s body, so that it truly becomes one with the universe.
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