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Hatha-Yoga. What is it?

Hatha-Yoga. What is it?


Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga. The word haṭha (lit. "force") denotes a system of physical techniques supplementary to a broad conception of yoga.
Hatha yoga is associated with  the mystical figure of Dattatreya and the Dashanami Sampradaya.
In the 20th century, hatha yoga, particularly the physical postures asanas, became popular throughout the world as a form of physical exercise. Hatha yoga is now colloquially termed as simply "yoga".

Hatha yoga. Practice
Hatha yoga has some important principles and practices that are shared with other methods of yoga, such as subtle physiology, dharaṇa (fixation of the elements), and nadanusandhana (concentration on the internal sound).
The Hatha yoga practice emphasizes proper breathing, proper diet, processes to internally purify the body, and the exercises consisting of asanas (bodily postures).

Health benefits ascribed to yogāsana practice

Yoga's combined focus on mindfulness, breathing and physical movements brings health benefits with regular participation. Yoga participants report better sleep, increased energy levels and muscle tone, relief from muscle pain and stiffness, improved circulation and overall better general health. The breathing aspect of yoga can benefit heart rate and blood pressure.

The 2012 "Yoga in America" survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Yoga Journal, shows that the number of adult practitioners in the US is 20.4 million, or 8.7 %. The survey reported that 44 percent of those not practicing yoga said they are interested in trying it.

Eight limbs

Hatha yoga consists of eight limbs focused on attaining samadhi. In this scheme, the six limbs of hatha yoga are defined as asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. It includes disciplines, postures (asanas), purification procedures (shatkriya), gestures (mudras), breathing (pranayama), and meditation. The hatha yoga predominantly practiced in the West consists of mostly asanas understood as physical exercises. It is also recognized as a stress-reducing practice.

Classical Hatha Yoga

The Hathapradipikạ, also called Hatha Yoga Pradipika, is an important and one of the most influential texts of the Hatha yoga. It was compiled by Svātmārāma in the 15th century CE from earlier hatha yoga texts. These earlier texts were of Vedanta or non-dual Shaiva orientation. From both, the Hathapradipikạ̄ borrowed non-duality (advaita) philosophies. According to James Mallinson, this reliance on non-dualism helped Hatha Yoga thrive in the medieval period as non-dualism became the "dominant soteriological method in scholarly religious discourse in India"

18th century female yogis in Rajasthan.

Preservation of life force

In its earliest formulations, hathạ was used to raise and conserve the physical essence of life, identified in men as bindu (semen), which is otherwise constantly dripping downward from a store in the head and being expended. The female equivalent, mentioned only occasionally in our sources, is rajas, menstrual fluid. The preservation and sublimation of semen was associated with tapas (asceticism) from at least the time of the epics, and some of the techniques of early Hatha Yoga are likely to have developed as part of ascetic practice. The techniques of early Hatha Yoga work in two ways: mechanically, in practices such as viparītakaraṇī, “the reverser,” in which by standing on one’s head one uses gravity to keep bindu in the head; or by making the breath enter the central channel of the body (sushumna), which runs from the base of the spine to the top of the head, thereby forcing bindu upward.


In later formulations of Hatha Yoga, the Kaula system of the visualization of the serpent goddess Kuṇḍalini rising as kuṇḍalini energy through a system of chakras, usually 6 or 7, is overlaid onto the bindu-oriented system. The same techniques, together with some specifically kuṇḍalini-oriented ones, are said to effect kuṇḍalini’s rise up the central channel (which is called the sushumna in these traditions) to a store of amṛta (the nectar of immortality) situated in the head, with which kuṇḍalini then floods the body, rejuvenating it and rendering it immortal.


The aims and results of Hatha Yoga are the same as those of other varieties of yoga practice: siddhis (both mundane benefits and magical powers) and moksha, the latter often understood as being attained in a body immortalized by Hatha Yoga practices. In keeping with the physical orientation of Hatha Yoga practices, its siddhis are predominantly physical, ranging from the loss of wrinkles and grey hair to divine sight or the ability to levitate. In common with earlier formulations of yoga, in particular Kaula ones, the techniques of Hatha Yoga can be used to effect kalavaicana (cheating death), utkranti (yogic suicide), or parakayapravesa (entering another’s body). As in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, siddhis are usually said to be a hindrance to or distraction from Hatha Yoga’s ultimate aim – liberation – but in some Kaula-influenced texts, the pursuit of specific siddhis through specific techniques is taught.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha yoga is a popular yoga choice in today's fitness community. Individuals and groups use this ancient, classic yoga style to get fit and encourage a healthy mind-body connection.

Those who take the time to study this ancient yoga art understand that there are some specific benefits of becoming adept at practicing Hatha yoga style. One of the main ones stems from one of the pillars of the Hatha style: breathing. Controlling breath can help improve oxygenation of the body and alleviate stress in some forms. Other elements of Hatha yoga also help with relaxing the body and fighting the stresses of the modern world. As a historical preparation for intensive meditation, Hatha yoga has a lot to offer a modern Western audience.


Mallinson, James. "Saktism and Hathayoga." In: Goddess Traditions in Tantric Hinduism: History, Practice and Doctrine, edited by Bjarne Wernicke Olesen London: Routledge, 2016. pp. 109-140. pg.120:"The Buddha himself is said to have tried both pressing his tongue to the back of his mouth, in a manner similar to that of the hathayogic khecarimudra, and ukkutikappadhana, a squatting posture which may be related to hathayogic techniques such as mahamudra, mahabandha, mahavedha, mulabandha, and vajrasana in which pressure is put on the perineum with the heel, in order to force upwards the breath or Kundalini.

Back problems? Yoga can help you!

Back problems? Yoga exercise for back
Yoga exercise for back: 1.exhalation
  Back problems? Yoga exercise for back
Yoga exercise for back:  2.inhalation

The exercise for 3 minutes

30 sekonds x 5 times

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