Heart to Heart Soul to Soul
Meanings of Hatha
The word Hatha can have different meanings and be interpreted in many ways. Hatha Yoga is a method that unites the energy of the sun and moon to raise the Kundalini. 'Ha' is the sun, the active, the masculine, Yang and 'Tha' is the moon, the calm, the feminine, Yin. The sun and moon in the Hatha refer to the energy channels "the nadis". Another meaning of the word Hatha is 'powerful', which refers to the physical and powerful Asanas practiced during Hatha Yoga. It used to be called 'powerful' because it was mainly a practice of the mind, there were hardly any physical postures with the exception of the seated meditation postures. 'Strong' can also refer to the strength/energy/discipline needed to make progress.
In particular Hatha Yoga is a method of neutralizing the higher and lower self. Regulating the breath regulates the sun/moon energy of the prana (life energy) that circulates throughout the body. Controlling the breath and thinking must go hand in hand with the practice of the different body postures. Hatha yoga is a purifying science that emphasizes the importance of the physical experience. Hatha Yoga does not try to overcome the dualism within ourselves by suppressing the body, but by transforming man into the divine. The body was seen as a vehicle for this transformation.
Prana or Breathe
An important part of Hatha Yoga is pranayama, breathing. This is the most effective way to control the life force. Pranayama purifies and balances the subtle energy pathways or nadis in the body. The three main nadis are: the central orbit 'sushumna' with on the left side of the body the orbit 'ida', which is associated with the moon and on the right the orbit 'pingala', which is associated with the sun. Also of interest are the chakras, the energy wheels or centers at points along the spine where the ida and pingala nadis intersect. These three nadis converge at the base of the spine where Kundalini, also called the Goddess Shakti, lies curled up like a serpent to rest. The intention is to bring the left and right streams to the middle lane. After much practice, the Kundalini awakens and is pulled up through the central orbit, resulting in the life force being used for transcendence. Hatha yoga can be described as a self-transformation system.
Well-known and popular Hatha Yoga postures are The Sun Salutation (Sūrya namaskāra), The Moon Salutation (Chandra namaskāra), The Plank (Phalakasana), Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana), Janu Sirsasana (head-knee movement) and Crescent Moon Pose (Anjaneyasana).
Flexibility & Power
Hatha yoga develops strength and flexibility, optimizing breathing, more energy, focus, intuition, and connection. Body, Mind and Spirit are connected to each other, but also the connection to everything around us.