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Home > Hatha Yoga Techniques
Hatha Yoga Techniques
Asana Mudra Yams and Niyams
Sat - Karmani Pranayam and Kumbhaka.. Nadanusandhan
However imaginative and deeply philosophical does the symbolic and mythological description seems to be for the hatha yoga origin, the thing that`s most emphasised are the hatha techniques themselves. It is important to understand the theory that underlies the practice of hatha-yoga as hatha theory and practice are intimately bound up together. Still, hatha treatise majorly emphasize on the practice itself.

In the Hath Yoga Pradipika for example, it is stated that perfection in yoga will be attained neither by merely reading the Shastras scriptures nor by talking about the subject, nor yet by taking on the appearance of a yogi who only acts as one will achieve Siddhi. Theory is helpful, but not the sole or even main means. Practice is all that counts.

Although, hatha exercises are often solely emphasized so much that in the absence of theoretical backing it`s usually perceived as that of an exercise regime. The strongest emphasis is placed upon the benefits to the physical body, and, although its postures and breathing techniques do indeed provide an excellent programme of physical exercise, the immense advantage can be gained only by integrating philosophical knowledge with that of Practice.

Hatha Yoga works primarily with prana, aiming to harness and channel this vital force. The practice regime progressively increases the duration of time for which prana can be retained within the subtle body.

All the Hatha methods are one by one arranged in a sequential manner to purify body as well as mind, so that the inner power can be harnessed through a combination of mind and body to a united goal. As powerful as the Kundalini Shakti is, a great amount of preparation has to be done to handle that kind of force.

It is through these practices does the yogi achieve merge with his Identity as Brahma. But it is also important to keep the perspective fixed on the goal, and do not make the bodily strength and powers its aim. To achieve this difficult balance, a proper perspective is required, where although utmost attention is paid to the body to make it strong and worthy, a sense of detachment should also prevail for the same. This is harnessed by Abhyasa (Practice) and Vairagya (Detachment).

Abhyasa and Vairagya

The two aspects or poles described as all-important in Yoga are equally necessary for the proper practice Of Hatha Yoga. They are (a) Abhyasa and Vairagya.

Abhyasa is composed of the prefix abhi or "unto" and asa or "sitting", thus meaning, "sitting for" or "applying oneself to".

Abhyasa is most effective in steadying the mind when carried out regularly, for a long period, and with earnest dedication.

Vairagya may be translated as `non-attachment` It has a comparable meaning to "abandoning" and "renunciation". It can be seen as the `negative` pole of yoga in contrast to the `positive` pole of abhyasa.

Abhyasa involves diligent engagement in different modes of activities. The active efforts are designed to condition the mind to brings enhanced `steadiness`. Vairagya consists in a systematic de-conditioning of the mind, centering on a detachment non-identification with the various modes of phenomenal existence.

These two poles are intended to lead to the vision of the Self or `Self-revelation` which in itself is the highest state of non-attachment.

Non-attachment should not be understood to imply that the practitioner is seeking a passionless state of indifference towards worldly events. In the most external sense, It can be understood that a yogi will retire from social activity for longer or shorter periods of time, and usually temporary, withdrawal.

The true `detachment` is occurs on an `inner` i.e. psychological level. It does not mean that one becomes insensitive, or that the emotions `dry up`. On the contrary, the yogi is held to become more compassionate, to see more clearly than anyone the constant dissatisfaction, incompleteness and suffering in the world. But Yogi begins to develop an attitude of not giving enough importance to these temporary and superficial worldly phenomenons.

In short, the yogi perceives the suffering. At the same time he knows himself and the ultimate Self of all to be beyond that suffering. The yogi has not suppressed or extinguished his emotions, but has stopped identifying with them or giving them any priority. The true nature is always beyond these influences. This process of detachment from emotional vrittis leads to a state of greater calmness, which in turn calms the vrittis themselves.

The process of hatha-yoga can be described in terms of a gradual cessation of ordinary human activity, and gaining more insight in the "self".

Hath Yoga techniques

The central techniques of hatha-yoga are Asana, Kumbhaka, mudra, and meditation upon an internal object (usually either manifestations of light or sound). The short Steps of Abhyasa, with the attitude of Vairagya are as follows:

Yams and Niyamas

Hatha yoga is more than just a regime. Its an integral part of One`s Attitude and lifestyle. Certain Rules, Truthful habits and ethical responsibilities are the core basis for various Yams and Niyams. These are the prerequisite before embarking on the further Progress in Hatha Yoga.

Sat - Karmani

Sat karmani is the deep bodily cleansing procedure, which aligns the body in its most balanced and healthy form, and prepares it for the higher levels of Yoga.

Asana

Asana denotes a `seat` used in meditation, and in hatha-yoga where asana is the first major limb. The term refers to any bodily posture that may be maintained for a prolonged period, and is a basis for any further "Kriya" in yoga.

Mudra

Kumbhaka`s goal is to achieve the prana or breath retention, and the assistance Through which the retention is sealed is called "Mudra". In short, breathing goes hand in hand with Mudra`s completing a closed circuit for proper induction of Pranayama.

Pranaayan and Kumbhaka

Pranayama is defined as `extending prana` or increasing the life energy. Pranayam is not merely a breathing exercise, it is nourishing the body to its fullest and calming the bodily and mental restlessness with the regime.

Nadanusandhana

The retention of "Prana" accomplished by the earlier exercises instigates the profound `inner heat`, which stirs the sleeping Kundalini from her slumber. And when Kundalini rises up the chakras and granthis, the yogi in deep introspection is said to be able to hear a `subtle` or `inner sound` (Nadam) within the right ear. This Nada or Shabda, is considered to be Kundalini-Shakti herself manifested as sound or vibration. Nadanusandhanam is that blissful state of samadhi.

In short, Hatha yoga asanas authorize control over the physical body, thereby enabling one to hold a static posture for an extended period of time. By means of Kumbhaka, the yogi proceeds to regulate and eventually sustain the flow of prana, which, eventually facilitates the concentrated attention required to still the vrittis of the mind. From this increasingly prolonged Kumbhaka that the final stages of ashtanga-yoga flow. Eventually even `the activities of the most refined aspect of the mind become still`, and the only remaining aspect is the sole self.

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