Hatayoga Explained

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Yoga Asana is a division under Raja Yoga method. There are various paths to attain Divinity and they are known as Japa Yoga, (Reciting any Mantras), Karma yoga (selfless service) Bakthi yoga (Extreme devotion to the lord), Dhyana yoga (Meditation) etc. Dhayana Yoga and Gnana Yoga are almost similar. As laid down by ancient Rishis, one has to follow any one of these paths to attain Divinity. There is a super force in every body and it is known as Kudalini Sakthi (serpent power).

This force is above the anus at a distance of about one and half inches. When this force rises and passing the six stages and gets stationed at the seventh stage one gets super natural powers and gets Samadhi (a state of trance). There are different steps to make the Kundalini sakthi to rise. They are as follows:

1. Yamam : Kindness, Truth, Non - stealing quality
2. Niyamam : Purity of body and mind
3. Asana : Pose of the body to give special benefit to the body
4. Pranayama : Breathing exercise
5. Prathyahara : To withdraw the senses from worldly ties
6. Dharana : Concentration
7. Dhyana : Meditation
8. Samadhi : A state of trance.

In our recent time, Swami Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Sivananda, Ramana Maharishi and many others have been in this state.

Hence Asana and Pranayana are the third and fourth steps. Anything can be achieved only when the body is healthy. Shri Krishna has said the same, as seen in Gita, “Atma Gnana cannot be achieved by a week person”. Another devotee prays to the Lord, “Give me a life free from disease.

There is difference between physical exercise and Yoga Asana. By physical exercise one can get muscular strength and can appear as a majestic figure. But by Yoga Asana strength of the internal organs and purity of mind are got. Especially organs like liver, pancreas, kidneys and certain glads are maintained well. By Yoga Asana the Kindalini Sakthi, the serpent power can be made to rise up. For the past about fifteen years the importance of Yoga Asana has been felt. Many training centers have been opened for teaching Yoga Asanas.

There are many super nerves in out body and they are known as Nadi. Eda, Pingala and Sushumna are the three important among them. The Kundalini Sakthi rises only through Sushumna Nadi. It is also quite fitting to know something about the seven stages or steps in the ladder of Kundalini sakthi.

This mantra is also noted in Sandhya Vandhanam (a form of prayer done at Sunrise, noon and sunset times) Om Bhuh, Om Bhuvaha, Om Suvaha, Om Mahaha, Om Janaha, Om Tapah, Om Sathyam – denoting that OM (the superior pranava Mantra) holds the entire universe in proper form and position. Sage Yagnavelkya also has said the same view as seen in Brahad Aranya Upanishad.

Hence only by Hata Yoga Sadhana it is possible to awaken the Kundalini and make it to go through these stages as laid down in Raja Yoga. This is described in Raja. Yoga method. The food we take is also of importance.

That type of food which can make the mind pure is of importance. The nature of food has a direct link with the nature of the mind. There are three Gunas in every body as Satwa (pure), Raja (action), Tamas (inertia). Certain type of food only increases Satwa Guna. Great sages have said that regularity in Asana, Satwic food, right thinking can make the man to shine like divine person.

The word Yoga means to understand the nature of mind and to control it by concentration. Further yoga leads the individual soul (Jivatma), instead of circling through the wheel of birth and death, to Paramatma the Supreme. In the word Hata, Ha – means Sun and Ta – the moon. The air we breath has five fold activity. They are as follows:

1. Prana – breathing

2. Apana – Excreation

3. Samana – Digestion

4. Udana – to enable us to swallow the food. Further Udama takes the astral body to the appropriate world according to the good and bad actions done during the life span. Further it causes the dream.

5. Vyana – Causes circulation of blood and movement of joints. Breathing exercise is known as Pranayama.

The Yoga practice has to be undertaken at about 16 or 18th age, when the body is growing to a normal shape. All the internal organs will become strong. This Asana practice may look difficult in the beginning but by continuous practice it will be quire easy. From the ancient writings it is seen that Yoga Asanas were taught during Gurukula period.

The names of Asanas are mostly in Sanskrit language. There are several books on yoga Asana. There is also some difference in this name of Asana between one book and the other for the same pose. Hence the reader need not be confused over this point. I have explained as l learnt.

“Om Shri Mahaganapathaye Namah”