Hatha Yoga: Cleansing, Strengthening The Body And Getting It Ready For Spirituality

By Patricia | December 2, 2008
Hatha Yoga: Cleansing The Body And Mind

Difference Between Yoga And Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is one of the most common forms of yoga practiced in yoga studios and classes. Hatha yoga is part of yoga. While there are different types of yoga prescribed by the ancient philosophies and sages to purify the mind and body, Hatha Yoga is one of the methods to do so. Let’s understand the meaning of Hatha Yoga and Yoga.

Hatha Yoga: Also known as Hatha Vidya (the science of Hatha), Hatha Yoga is a system of Yoga that has been prevalent since the 15th century in India. According to ancient philosophies, Hatha yoga is a way of purifying the body to make it fit for higher meditation. Hatha is derived from two words: Ha means sun and Tha means moon. Together, the word stands for the purification work that must be done on the body. Yoga, on the other hand means to join two forces, and this implies to joining the energy of the sun (active and masculine) and the moon (receptive and feminine).

Yoga: Yoga on the other hand, means unity. According to ancient philosophies, to unite with the Creator and stop the circle of life i.e. birth and death, one can follow various methods. Jnana yoga, the first method, involves studying the Hindu scriptures. Raja Yoga is the second way and in this one has to control one’s mind to achieve a higher state of consciousness. Bhakti Yoga, the third way, is devotion to God. Karma Yoga, the fourth method, is about doing well to other people.

The Difference: Hatha Yoga is incorporated in Raja Yoga – so it’s just one part of all the yogas. Hatha yoga is about cleansing and strengthening the body and getting it ready for spirituality. Hatha Yoga is about asanas or postures, Kriyas or purifying internal organs, pranayama or breathing exercise, relaxation and nutrition.

Benefits of Hatha Yoga: Through Hatha yoga you can achieve a balance between the mind and the body. This type of yoga incorporates asanas or postures, pranayama or breathing techniques and meditation. If you practice Hatha yoga, you can explore your mental as well as physical potential; become more flexible through the asanas pr postures; and, learn to relax through pranayama or breathing techniques and meditation. Tha asanas in Hatha yoga massage internal organs, flush out the toxins and prevent diseases and tone up the body. You can prevent and cope with diseases like hypertension, arthritis and diabetes with yoga asanas. Pranayama also helps in coping with bronchitis and asthma. Hatha yoga can help you de-stress and deal with depression, mood swings and anxiety. Meditation can help you focus and concentrate.

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