To learn what Hatha Yoga is, it is necessary to translate this definition from Sanskrit. So, “hatha” means “effort and necessity”, where the first syllable symbolizes the sun, and the second – the moon.
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This suggests that the main task of the exercise is to establish a body balance for restoring health .
What is Hatha Yoga, how does it differ from yoga?
Since yoga is a collection of different not only physical but also psychological techniques, it has several directions. Among them, such as Ashtanga-vinyasa-yoga, Bikram yoga, Naked Yoga, Yoga-sport, Karma Yoga, Kriya Yoga , Kundalini Yoga , Raja Yoga, Surat-Shabd Yoga and others. Hatha yoga is such a direction of yoga , which provides for a complex of exercises, including not only physical exercises , but also psychological techniques based on proper breathing .
Everyone determines for himself why he needs it. Hatha Yoga is the preparatory stage, which provides for achieving a high level of spiritual development.
Since it can develop in different spheres of life , the expediency of doing exercises causes the pursuit of different goals, which forms the main differences of yoga . So, with the help of Hatha Yoga classes, the desire to grow spiritually is achieved through the physical development of the body.
History of the direction
Initially, yoga is a concept from Indian culture. This is evidenced by seals relating to the 3300-1700 years BC. e., which were found in India near the Indus River. They depict meditators in different poses of people.
There are legends describing how this teaching was given to the people of Shiva. It is generally accepted that such practices are transferred from teacher to student in strict accordance with the rules of yoga . This allows you to preserve their traditions in their original form. Modern scholars associate the emergence of Hatha Yoga with Gorakshanath, who founded in the X-XI centuries a new tradition. He systematized the work of the body with consciousness and supplemented them with tantric elements.
According to the description of his practices, several works were published, among them “Goraksh-shtaka”, “Goraksha-paddhati”, “Jnana Amrita” and others.
Is this direction independent?
Hata-yoga as a system of transformation of physical and spiritual manifestations of a person is considered an independent direction. Like other types of yoga , it is universal for working with the body and mind. This yoga implies the achievement of a balance of lunar and solar energies.
Interrelation of Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga
To establish the relationship between different types of yoga, consider the concept of “Raja Yoga.” It is a generalized name for the study of the psyche and the achievement of self-knowledge. This technique reveals the possibilities of the mind and helps to achieve balance of body and mind. This allows you to control subjective perception, thoughts and feelings, and also gives thought freedom.
According to the teachings of Hatha Yoga, in the process of performing exercises a person is endowed with ideal health and increases the duration of his life due to new abilities.The interconnection of these types of yoga is that they carry a message, consisting in the unity of a healthy body and a free soul. The instrument for achieving this effect is proper breathing.
Why Do Hatha Yoga
Many people practice yoga in order to improve their health in the first place. Along with this, in modern conditions of development of society, it is urgent to get rid of stress and nervous disorders.
Some are engaged in Hatha Yoga in order to lose weight and preserve youth.
The difference between Hatha Yoga and gymnastics and other healthy lifestyle systems
The first thing that distinguishes yoga and gymnastics are goals. Physical culture develops endurance, dexterity and other physical qualities of a person, while Hatha Yoga is tuned to perfect not only the body, but also the soul.
The second difference is the technique of exercises. So, when practicing gymnastics, you need to use an extensive range of muscles, and during yoga you can take motionless poses, thus giving much attention to oxygen saturation of the body with the help of special breathing techniques.
Hatha yoga has a positive effect on the work of human organs, although it is not a panacea. Performing a certain set of exercises will help the joints to restore mobility, normalize the action of the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and digestive systems, and also strengthen immunity.
Against the background of constant stress there are psychological stresses, in this case doing yoga will help to relax and relieve emotional tension. Mental physical therapy is based on the principles of absolute healing and purification of the body with balancing the opposite poles of energy .
In addition, regular Hatha Yoga classes will help to relieve pain, and with the help of respiratory gymnastics the action of the appropriate organs is normalized. In this regard, the body receives a uniform amount of oxygen, which saturates the muscles , giving the body flexibility and improving blood circulation.
Harm and contraindications
Before you start doing exercises, it is not superfluous to consult a doctor, because there are a number of diseases , the presence of which causes the termination of employment. These include heart disease , cancer, internal diseases, high intracranial or blood pressure, hernia , arthrosis, flu , ARVI, mental disorder.
It should be remembered that performing complex poses can lead to injury. Also, do not overload your body with a variety of asanas and abusive breathing techniques.
Hatha Yoga Practice
Hatha Yoga classes require a person to perform strict commandments in order to get to the next level of spiritual self improvement. This determines the practical application, where attention is focused on proper breathing and performing static poses, which allow to maintain the health of the joints and spine.
Pranayama – first breath
“Pranayama” literally translates as “stopping breathing”. Its main goal is to establish control over consciousness through breathing. Such exercises are aimed at cleaning up contamination and converting negative energy into positive energy.
The complex of actions consists of deep inhalation (puraka), delay of breathing (kumbhaka), exhalation (rechaka) and delay after exhalation (shunyaka). The mastery of the technique of spontaneous prolonged respiratory arrest is considered the height of perfection.
Asanas, difference from exercises
Asana is the position of the body in which it stays in a certain position. At the early stage of the development of Hatha Yoga, there were 16 asanas in Hatha Yoga Pradipika and 32 in the Gheranda Samhita.
Performing these exercises reduces irritability and improves brain activity, and also creates a positive state of energy. Before embarking on exercises, it is necessary to remember that the mastering of asana should begin with simple poses, and they should be replaced smoothly, without sudden movements. In this case, you may experience slight discomfort from stretching the muscles, but it should not cause strong pain.
It is also necessary to monitor breathing: it should be calm and even if it does not contradict the performance of a certain exercise.
The simplest pose in Hatha Yoga is Tadasana. Its implementation will not be very difficult – you just need to put your feet parallel to each other, tighten your stomach and straighten your chest. In this case, you should lower your hands down and breathe freely for 30 seconds.
There are many other asanas, the phased implementation of which will achieve harmony of the soul and body.
Meditation or relaxation
Meditation is such a form of intuitive process that allows the body to completely relax, leaving the body parts needed to support it.An effective method is the process of contemplation of thoughts that have arisen in the spectrum of consciousness.
After the recognition of tension, the stage of relaxation begins . At the moment of its strengthening, a person penetrates deeper into the unconscious, expanding and ordering it. Thoughts are transformed into impulses, and as the accumulated voltage is removed, the karma is renewed .
Practicing meditation is possible starting with 20-minute exercises, gradually increasing this time to 60 minutes or more. If possible, meditation should be supplemented by physical exercises, for example, Surya Namaskara.
It is a sequence of asanas, providing for the implementation of 12 positions, each of which is accompanied by breathing exercises and is characterized by certain positions of the legs.
In the case when meditation techniques do not help to relax, you can use some settings, for example, saying to yourself, “There is no single important thought, so I’ll think about it later, but now it’s time to practice” or “I let go of my thoughts and do not turn to their attention. ”
Shatkarmy – cleansing
Translated from Sanskrit, “shatkarma” means “purification for 6 actions.” Their classification takes its origins from ancient writings such as Gheranda Samhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. According to this doctrine, it is necessary to perform 6 techniques:
- Basti – washing of the large intestine.
- Dhouti – cleansing the digestive tract.
- Nauli (Lauliki) – strengthening the organs of the abdominal cavity.
- Kapalabhati – purification of the anterior lobe of the brain.
- Neti – washing and cleaning of nasal passages.
- Trataka – focusing on the object to strengthen vision and optical nerves.
Marmas – what is it?
Marma is the science of the bodily points of life (marmah), in Sanskrit, it is “the most vulnerable of them.” These are joints, ligaments, bones, the sky, the heart. Such therapy includes massage, acupuncture, hirudotherapy, bee sting, Philippine surgery.
The connecting link of marmas is the energy channels of the Nadi, the number of which exceeds 350 thousand.
What are mudras?
The literal translation of the word “wise” sounds like: “giving joy”, “seal”, “impression”. This technique provides special gestures, performed in a certain position. They are guides of internal energy and simple in execution.
There is an opinion that it is not advisable to perform them in the absence of sensitivity. In addition, you will need to perform a preliminary warm – up . The best time for this is the early morning.
However, such a set of exercises can be performed at any other time of the day. It is necessary to monitor breathing during exercise, and also it is necessary to free your hands from jewelry so as not to knock down energy flows.
Here are a few examples of mudras. So, a combination of fingers called “Cow” will get rid of radiculitis, rheumatism and joint diseases. By folding the phalanx into the “Sink” position, it is possible to prevent or eliminate throat diseases .This is relevant for people with the profession of an actor, teacher or singer. “Soaring lotus” is a mudra of female fertility and health.
Features of proper nutrition
Any meal represents the process of energy saturation for the yogi. But that he did not bring harm to the body, it is necessary to adhere to proper diet food . The main rule is the absence of overeating.
The principle of making a menu is based on how many useful substances will be assimilated by the body, and not on the number of products. Since excess food contributes to the deposition of fats, which in turn limits mobility, it is necessary to limit its consumption.
Yogam is important to thoroughly chew food, so as not to complicate the digestive system. This reduces the risk of ulcers or gastritis. Priority is given to fruits , vegetables , nuts , honey , milk and other products that have not been processed.
To assimilate more nutrients, it is not necessary to become a vegetarian . Meat can be eaten every other day. Along with the necessary products for life, you should also drink a sufficient amount of liquid to prevent dehydration .
Hatha yoga – where to start
Start classes Hatha yoga can be a simple charging performed every morning. It will not be superfluous to carry out joint exercises. At the next stage, you can begin to perform asanas.
First, pick a set of simple actions and gradually complicate it. In addition to the previously described position of Tadasan, we give an example of several more, among them Urdhva hastasana, which involves stretching the arms upwards on inspiration, Pada hastasana – forward tilt at exhalation and others.
You can also start the Hatha-Yoga complex with fitness exercises. This will allow the body to prepare for this kind of yoga, which will simplify the technique of performing asanas in the future.
Hatha Yoga in fitness
Since asanas in fitness yoga are safer and easier to perform than Hatha Yoga exercises, this direction has become available to most people. One of its tasks is the introduction and adaptation of society to yoga without contradictions to its basic principles and customs.
This direction has become relevant in modern conditions, however, when viewed from the standpoint of fitness, there is obvious commercial interest that contradicts the Hatha Yoga commandments. This is such a way to attract the largest number of consumers to the gym.
Efficacy for weight loss
There are several ways to lose weight during Hatha Yoga classes. For this, special breathing techniques ( kriyas ) should be included in their daily practice .
It is necessary to perform exercises on an empty stomach, having drunk before it a glass of cold water. It will not be superfluous to arrange for yourself a day of unloading , based on the use of milk and tea .
Doing Hatha Yoga, you can quickly lose weight. However, it should not be forgotten that this is not just an exercise and proper breathing, but also a way to restart brain activity.
Is it worth it to deal with children
A distinctive feature of this type of yoga is the strengthening of muscles due to gradual loads and balance of twists. For a growing organism, the development of flexibility is an urgent issue, so a regular moderate load will help stretch the muscles of the back and hips.
In addition, Hatha Yoga presents for children the opportunity to relax and practice the technique of concentration with the help of respiratory procedures. Such an action will lead the child to the sensations that he is in security and peace. The complex of exercises will allow you to feel your body and explore its new possibilities.
In some countries, Hatha Yoga was introduced into the system of mandatory physical training of servicemen, including submariners and pilots. Many athletes often successfully use the methods of yoga in their training.In general, in order for the classes to bring the maximum amount of pleasure, you should acquire special attributes and wear appropriate clothing. Practice has shown that the number of illnesses decreases when a person begins to practice yoga and lead a healthy lifestyle.