Facts About Hatha Yoga Pradipika

By Patricia | April 29, 2009
Hatha Yoga Pradipika

What is hatha yoga pradipika and sun salutation poses

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is a classic Sanskrit text on Hatha Yoga, written thousands of years ago by one Swami Svatmarama. He was a disciple of Swami Gorakhnath, another highly accomplished Yoga adept. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is one of the 3 classic texts of Hatha Yoga, and is said to be the most ancient existing text on the subject. The other two are the Shiva Samhita and the Gheranda Samhita. Even though, by itself, an original piece of work, The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is derived from other ancient Sanskrit texts along with Swami Svatamarama's own, personal yogic experiences. Today there are quite a few modern English translations of this wonderful manual.

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika consists of four Upadeshas (pieces of advice, also called chapters) that include, among other topics, information on the following:

  • Yogasanas (poses)
  • Pranayamas (breathing exercises)
  • Chakras (plexes or centers of energy in the body)
  • Kundalini (a serpentine energy lying dormant at the base of the spine)
  • Bandhas (Physical locks in the body)]
  • Kriyas (Cleansing techniques)
  • Shakti (Energy)
  • Nadis (Subtle nerve channels)
  • Mudras (positioning of fingers)

To distinguish from Buddhist and Jain Yoga the Hatha Yoga Pradipika runs in the line of Hindu Yoga, said to be dedicated to Lord Adinath, another appellation for Lord Shiva (the Hindu god of destruction and renewal). He is supposed to have passed on the secrets of Hatha Yoga to his divine spouse the Goddess Parvati. Unfortunately, Hatha Yoga (also called Hatha Vidya or the science of Hatha Yoga) is largely misunderstood and misinterpreted as being just a physical culture, far removed from spiritual goals.

However, if one were to view the changes taking place in the practitioner's body, mind and self, through the practice of Hatha Yoga, your cobwebs would be cleared. For, the subjective transformation that comes about as the individual’s consciousness penetrates inwards and towards the Self and the outer Self diffuses is a purely personal experience. From this it follows that Hatha Yoga is not simply physical culture, but an integral that science leads one towards spiritual evolution.

As far as the second part of your question goes, the following are the poses involved in a classical Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation Sequence)

  1. Namaskar – Salute.
  2. Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose
  3. Padangusthasana – Hand to Foot Pose
  4. Surya Darshan – Sun Sight Pose
  5. Purvottanasana – Inclined Plane
  6. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose
  7. Sashtang Dandawat – Forehead, Chest, Knee to Floor Pose.
  8. Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
  9. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose
  10. Surya Darshan – Sun Sight Pose
  11. Padangusthasana – Hand to Foot Pose
  12. Namaskar – Salute
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