Hatha yoga is about balancing the body and the mind. Literally Hatha means FORCE and is more traditionally defined as ‘the yoga of force’, so anything you might do with the body (asanas, pranayama, mantra, mudra, kriyas, visualisation).
HA represents the esoteric Sun, and THA the Moon. The practice of Hatha yoga aims to join, yoke or balance these two energies.
A yoga class described as Hatha will typically involve a set of physical postures (asanas) and breathing techniques. This are typically practiced more slowly and with more static posture holds.
THE FIVE PRINCIPLES OF YOGA
Asanas rejuvenate the whole body. They work primary on the spine and central nervous system
The spine gains in strength and flexibility , and circulation is stimulated, bringing nutrients and oxygen to all the cells in the body.
Asanas increase motion in the joints and flexibility in muscles, tendons and ligaments.
They massage internal organs, boosting their f
Pranayama stimulates the energy reserves of the solar plexus, revitalizing body and mind. Regulating the breath helps to store prana, laying down reserves of strength and vitality. Deep, conscious breathing helps conquer depression and stress, and controlling prana – by controlling the breath – can relieve the symptoms of illness in a manner similar to acupuncture.
Deep relaxation works on three levels:
And it’s the most natural way to re-energize the body and mind. Regular relaxation acts like a car cooling system, keeping the engine from over-heating and ensuring the vehicle functions efficiently. During the deep relaxation at the end of the yoga session, the body uses only enough prana to maintain vital metabolic activities. The rest of the energy gained during the practice is stored.
The yogic attitude to food is eat to live, not live to eat. Yogis choose foods with a positive effect on a body and mind, and least negative effects on the environment and other creatures. A lacto-vegetarian diet is recommended – grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and dairy products. Fresh and unrefined foods are thought best, prepared simply, to preserve maximum nutrients.
Positive Thinking and Relaxation
Positive thinking and meditation are yogic keys to peace of mind. Meditation techniques calm the mind and enhance focus. Regular meditation promotes physical and spiritual, as well as mental, well-being. Before meditation, practitioners clear the mind of negative thoughts and feelings using concentration and positive-thinking exercises.