Hatha Yoga is a form of pre-classical Yoga.
The ancient sages taught Hatha Yoga as a daily practice.
Traditionally, Hatha Yoga was part of a lifestyle that includes proper diet, meditation and study, together with the code of conduct for ethical life. Nowadays, especially in Western countries is used therapeutically, and as a form of alternative medicine to treat a variety of health related problems.
Fortunately, this trend has been countered with the growing number of people practicing yoga, before needing therapeutic reasons, seeking a healthier way of being in life, living in harmony with all, through the practice of Yoga.
Hatha yoga refers to the physical practice of yoga, or "union" of the body, mind and Self and of the individual consciousness with that of the Universal, the source of Creation. Hatha yoga consists of asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation. In the yogic text the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, it is said that Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga, the yoga of meditation are inextricably linked. One cannot have one without the other. Hatha Yoga is there to cleanse the body and improve the health , fitness and clarity of mind of the yoga practitioner so that meditation can occur spontaneously as a path to spiritual development.The Hatha Yoga postures are also practiced in a meditative state.Many people have successfully used Hatha yoga to improve concentration and will power too.
Other important subject in Hatha Yoga is Pranayama, it also gives you great control over your breathing. The sages of ancient India strongly believed that the mind can be controlled by controlling the rhythm of one’s breath. Those who have a control over their breathing can successfully control their minds. Using the power of the mind, they believed that one could in fact rekindle the energies that lay unused or dormant in our body.
The relaxation exercises prescribed in Hatha yoga can actually help those who suffer from chronic asthma, hypertension, bronchitis, and even depression.
The Meaning of the Word "Hatha"
Very briefly put, the component, "Ha", means sun in Sanskrit. It represents the "positive" part of the whole, and consists of many qualities, such as the energy of the sun, light, passion, activity, and creativity. The component "Tha" means moon in Sanskrit. It represents the "negative" part of the whole, and consists of many qualities, such as lunar energy, coolness, passivity and receptivity. This meaning is attributed to the search for balance of solar and lunar forces, male and female ultimate goal of this practice.