Haṭha yoga is a branch of yoga. The word Hatha means "control of force", and the goal of Hatha yoga is to strengthen your muscles and create a mindful association with your body. In India, haṭha yoga is associated with the Yogis of the NathaSampradaya through its ancestral founder Matsyendranath.
In the 20th century, a development of haṭha yoga, focusing particularly on asanas (the physical postures), became familiar throughout the globe as a form of physical exercise. This modern form of yoga is now universally known simply as "yoga".
Hatha is also interpreted as ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon.” This refers to the balance of strong aspects—active, hot, sun—and sensitive aspects—receptive, cool, moon—within all of us.
Hatha yoga is a pathway toward building balance and uniting contradictions. Practitioners of Hatha yoga work on physical alignment and breathing control to achieve an equilibrium between the active body and its universe. The resulting harmony manifests itself as physical strength, physiological health, and heartfelt well-being.
Hatha yoga is a great medium for self-transformation. The diverse asanas, bandhas, breathing, and drishti practiced under the Hatha Yoga purifies the energy centers and channels within the body, thus awakening the Kundalini energy. With the Kundalini being active, you can attain higher consciousness. It asks us to bring our attention to our breath, which helps us to still the fluctuations of the brain and be more present in the unfolding of each second. Hatha yoga has seven limbs. Hatha yoga starts with physical postures and eventually leads to meditation.
Benefits of a regular Hatha yoga practice
Other physical benefits of yoga include:
Hatha systems are created to align and calm your body, mind, and soul in preparing for meditation. The purpose of hatha yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body. It enhances flexibility, builds muscle, and concentration.
Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India
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