What is Hatha Yoga? Benefits, Spiritual Importance, Principles

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In Hindu Sanskriti, yoga is a fusion of all human energies. Even in simplest terms, asanas or yoga poses are just a small part of the term yoga. There are eight forms of yoga, and out of these, hatha yoga is considered the most difficult. 

The yogis that succeed in the difficult practices of hatha yoga are known as the most advance hatha yogis. Yoga as a form of exercise is very convenient and can be performed at any place.

It doesn’t require any equipment to do simple yogic asanas. However, focus and alertness are important while performing yoga. You must balance your body and mind, and build a communicative channel between them. 

In this comprehensive write-up, let’s understand exactly what is hatha yoga with an easy definition, what are the benefits of hatha yoga, its core principles, and much more. 

What is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha is made from two different words in Sanskrit. ‘Ha’ means sun, and ‘tha’ means moon. The word Hatha yoga means to use the union of energies to balance the pingla and ida in your body. 

The hatha yoga definition says that it is a determined and strong practice to gain control over your senses and mind. Hatha yoga is very distinctive from other forms of yoga. The ultimate aim of hatha yoga is to enter the state of samadhi. It is the highest form of yoga and is often practiced by naga-sadhu in India. 

Difference Between Hatha Yoga vs Normal Yoga 

Unlike other forms, hatha yoga considers both the physical and breathing yoga formats. The primary question that people have in their mind is, what is hatha yoga and what is its ultimate aim? 

So, the ultimate aim is to gain consciousness of the inner self and control the eight yoga elements. The eight elements of yoga are:

By attaining control over these elements, a person can get enlightened and away from the material world. 

Hatha yoga is the only yoga that helps a person to achieve control over all the eight yoga elements. Practicing any yoga form with deep breath control will indirectly lead to practicing hatha yoga. 

This practice is gaining popularity these days. People want to overcome their life’s mental and physical stress. That’s the reason they go for reliable online yoga programs

Also read: Everything you must know about Adaptive Yoga

The Western Version of Hatha Yoga

In the western world, the primary aim of practising hath yoga is to achieve a healthy body. Most yoga trainers ignore this form’s main purpose, which is to attain control over the senses. 

The western world sees hatha yoga’s health benefits as the only goal. The scientific world is working to break down the benefits of yoga, but apart from the physical benefits, people often ignore the mystic gains of hatha yoga. 

What is the Spiritual Importance of Hatha Yoga?

There are many hatha yoga spiritual benefits that many people are unaware of. The asanas bring up the body’s heat, and breathing practices cool it down. The simultaneous process cleanses our inner spirit and mind. 

The heating of the body releases all physical stress in muscles, nerves, and bones. The cooling breathing process relaxes our mind and balances its energy. This is not a one-day process. It takes years to attain the human body’s and mind’s real consciousness. 

Narrative of Hatha Yoga in Hinduism

In India, Adiyoga Shiva is known as the God of yoga. He was the first yogi whose immense yogic practices created many aspects of this world. In Hinduism, yoga does not mean performing asanas to remain fit. It is of much higher value than that. 

A group of early sages became very impatient after doing yoga for years. They were not able to attain the state of samadhi. Hence they decided to follow an informal and rough way. Here they did not follow the rules and finally practiced the Yama element of yoga to reach the ultimate truth of life. 

shiva

Also Read- How to Control Your Anger Before It Controls You?

Principles of Hatha Yoga

There are six basic principles of hatha yoga. Yogis work on these principles together to practice this form of yoga. 

1. Asana

The posture yogis attain to do their sadhana is known as asana. It can be thought of as the physical body posture and exercise we perform to cleanse the body. 

2. Pranayama

It means taking control of your breath. It is the most important part of gaining control over the senses.

3. Pratyahara

Freeing your mind from the stress of the materialistic world is known as pratyahara. This helps the yogis to focus on Prana.

4. Dharana

The practice of focusing the mind around the aim is called Dharana.

5. Dhyana

It is the practice of meditating and concentrating your mind to bring out your inner knowledge.

6. Samadhi

It is the ultimate freedom from the universe and the cycle of death and birth. 

Also Read- How to Stop Worrying and Start Living?

What Are Benefits of Hatha Yoga?

There are several benefits of hatha yoga. Let’s discuss the most important ones here.

Hatha Yoga Health Benefits

  1. Relax muscle
  2. Strengthen bone and joint
  3. Build pelvic muscles
  4. Enhances heart functioning
  5. Cleanse blood and body
  6. Helps to improve metabolism and gut health
  7. Strengthen immunity

Mental benefits

  1. Balance the mind and body, and create an equilibrium state with them
  2. Helps to reduce stress and anxiety
  3. Energize your senses
  4. Increases the alertness
  5. Enhances the concentration power

Hatha Yoga Spiritual Benefits

  1. Promotes inner peace and happiness
  2. You feel less connected with materialism
  3. Helps to attain the ultimate consciousness
  4. Makes us aware of our inner being.

Also Read- Yoga Nidra: How to do it and Its health benefits

Things to Avoid While Doing Hatha Yoga

To gain hatha yoga benefits, you have to avoid these things:

  1. Talking and conversations: Avoid talking and making sounds while performing hatha yoga. The aim should be to attain the dhyana.
  2. Drinking Water: The body’s temperature rise during hatha yoga, and drinking water in between would disrupt it. 
  3. Eating Before Doing It: Performing asanas during yoga would become much more difficult with a full stomach. 

FAQs Related to Hatha Yoga Meaning

1. What does Hatha mean in yoga?

Hatha combines two Sanskrit words; ‘ha’ stands for the sun, and ‘tha’ stands for the moon.

2. What are the spiritual benefits of hatha yoga?

It helps to explore the sense that lies deep within us. The main benefits include inner peace, happiness, disconnecting from materialism, and awareness of the inner being.

3. Does hatha yoga help lose weight?

Yes, hatha yoga involves asanas that help to lose weight.

4. Is hatha yoga good for PCOS?

A few hatha yoga asanas like Shavasana help to control PCOS and overall women’s health.

5. Is hatha yoga good for back pain?

Simple hatha yoga stretches are great for relaxing your back and relieving back pain.

6. Is hatha yoga good for anxiety?

Dhyana asana in hatha yoga improves focus and eliminates anxiety.

7. Does hatha yoga tone the body?

Yes, the asana principle of hatha yoga is a great tool to tone the body.

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Conclusion

Yoga is a higher practice than what most people know today. It is an age-old thing with the sole purpose to bring a positive life change. In Hinduism, yoga is the way to live life. Hatha yoga is the perfect practice to achieve the sense of moksha. Hope this write-up helped you understand the true meaning of hatha yoga, its principles, advantages, and other things that matter. 

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