The Science of Hatha Yoga

When you experience everything as oneness in your consciousness, then you are in yoga. To attain that unity within you, there are many ways.

You work with the body, then you move to the breath, then to the mind, then to the inner self.

Like this, many steps have been created, but they are only different facets of yoga. It is important that all of them are addressed in a very balanced way, all at once, as one single unit. There is really no division as such; yoga employs all aspects of who you are.
The body is a very large part of who you are right now.

The science of using the body to hasten your evolutionary process is hatha yoga. The body itself has its own attitudes, its own ego, its own nature. Hatha yoga is a way of working with the body, a way of disciplining, purifying and preparing the body for higher levels of energy and possibilities.

Hatha yoga is not exercise. Understanding the mechanics of the body, creating a certain atmosphere, and then using body postures to drive your energy in specific directions is what hatha yoga or yogasanas are about. “Asana” means a “posture.” That kind of posture which allows you to reach your higher nature is a yogasana.

For every different level of consciousness or mental and emotional situation that you go through, your body naturally tends to assume certain postures. The converse of this is the science of asanas. If you consciously get your body into different postures, you can elevate your consciousness.

The body can become a means for your spiritual growth or it can become a major barrier. If it is not functioning well, it can take away all other aspirations from your life – because to look beyond that takes an enormous amount of strength, which most people do not possess.

Dedicating a certain amount of effort and time to see that the body does not become a barrier is important. The body is only a part of you; it should not become the whole of you. Asanas level the body down to its natural place.

Another aspect is that, when one wants to move into deeper dimensions of meditation, it allows for a higher possibility of energy. If you want your energies to surge upwards, it is very important that the pipeline of the body is conducive. Preparing the body sufficiently before one goes into more intense forms of meditation is very important. It ensures that the body takes it gently and joyfully. Asanas prepare you for growth and transformation by equipping you with a solid foundation.

Today, the hatha yoga that people are learning is not in its classical form, not in its full depth and dimension. Largely the “studio yoga” that you are seeing today is unfortunately just the physical aspect of it. Hatha yoga does not mean twisting your body, standing on your head, or holding your breath.

Most yogis use just the simple postures to break the limitations of who they are. It is the way it is done that makes the difference.

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