Yoga, as a way of life and a philosophy, can be practiced by anyone with inclination to undertake it, for yoga belongs to humanity as a whole. It is not the property of any one group or any one individual, but can be followed by any and all, in any corner of the globe, regardless of class, creed or religion.
The Sanskrit noun योग Yoga comes from the sanskrit root yuj (युज्) “to attach, join, harness, yoke”. Most often it concerned to have a meaning of Union, Oneness or joining, although the other aspect is the Control or harness.
Hatha simply refers to the practice of physical yoga technics and postures. The word hatha literally means “effort,” “force,” or “exertion,” and as such has a couple important implications when designating the physical branch of Yoga. First, Hatha Yoga technically refers to an approach to Yoga which begins with preparation of the body. It work through the exertion and physical work aiming to create a good basement for further practice, meaning healthy, vital body with greater energy capacity, and ability to maintain calm, peaceful state of mind. Traditionally, we would start with more outward visible, physical practices of asana (poses) and shatkarma (cleansing technics), then work toward more subtle practices, pranayama (breathwork), bandha and mudra (muscular and energetic “locks” designed to guide the flow of energy), before finally moving to the more internal level of meditation.
The other side of the term hatha remind us, that we will need to apply effort if we hope to advance in our practices. Simply put, we may presume the spiritual path will be easier than it actually is. As a result, we often get discouraged and allow ourselves to be derailed by distractions and temptations. The fact that this is called the path of “effort” brings us to understanding, that we should train ourself to apply effort and be persistent, to get effect and move forward. Looking further, the spiritual work demand every bit of our attention continuously, this ability easier to train during the physical work, using our focus and concentration to keep the effort applied. The term “The Yoga of Effort” reminds us that this exertion is completely natural and essential, ultimately helping us to success on further stages and simply stay positive and on track.
These effects of Hatha yoga practice help to keep our body younger, increase vitality, and ability for mental concentration. Purpose of this is to make our active life longer and prepare us for deeper and stronger spiritual practice through mental concentration and meditation, that demand higher energy capacity then usual, and readiness of our system to withstand much greater energy flow then usual. Even without mentioning spiritual purpose, this positive physical effect of Hatha yoga practice, helps lot of people to work on body rehabilitation tasks and to live longer and healthier life.
What People Say
Change yourself and you have done your part in changing the world.Paramahansa Yogananda
Sometimes our body is willing, but our mind is weak. Sometimes our mind is willing, but our body is weak. Do not be afraid. Strive to extend your capacity but do not be disappointed with yourself. What does not challenge us, cannot change us.B.K.S. Iyengar
Yoga is the perfect vehicle for change of yourself. First by creating a strong and powerful body and mind. It is a starting point from which you can begin to realize your human spirit.Bikram Choudhury