Unlike normal fitness exercise, hatha yoga is understanding the mechanics of the body to create a certain atmosphere and then using the body or body postures to drive your energy in specific directions. The word “Hatha” is made up of “Ha” which refers to the power of the sun and “tha” which refers to the calmness of the moon. Therefore, literally speaking hatha yoga means yoga of force.
Yoga is a very broad term that includes synchronization of your mind, body and inner self with the outer energy or the environment. However, the concept of yoga has changed dramatically from the ancient times and the present days, and people have the concept that yoga is only about physical fitness and mental wellbeing.
If you are referring to yoga only at this level then you are talking about only the physical aspect of yoga, that is to say, you are basically only referring to “Hatha yoga”.
This yoga consists of eighty-four numbers of fundamental posture or the asanas. Moreover, hatha yoga is all about creating a body that is not a hurdle in your life and the body which becomes a stepping stone for blossoming into your highest possibility.
Origin of Hatha Yoga
The origin of Hatha yoga is traced back to the 11th century AD. Some yogis claim that hatha yoga was originally developed by enlightened gurus to help people survive during the Age of Kali, or the spiritual dark ages.
Moreover, many yoga including hatha yoga is considered to have an eightfold path to enlightenment and complete health. These eight steps consist of
- Moral and ethical considerations
- Breathing Control
- Control of Desires
The moral and ethical considerations in the eightfold pathway also consist of abstinence from any sexual contact and freeing one’s mind from any attachment in any form.
The Different Forms of Hatha Yoga
- Asana – Yoga Posture
- Pranayama – breathing exercise
- Mantra – Chanting or Reciting powerful Sanskrit slokas
- Mudra – Hand gestures
- Shatkriyas or Shantikarma – A cleansing technique
- Meditation – For a clear, focused and calm mind
Mechanism of Action of Hatha Yoga
Hatha yoga means yoga which helps to balance your inner sun and moon. This yoga is rather like a physical preparation of your body to reach your higher possibility which is beyond the physical matter itself. While analyzing anyone carefully, we can easily come to a conclusion of what emotional state a person is in just by watching their sitting position or their asanas.
Moreover, there is a saying that we have different postures while we are happy, sad or angry. Therefore, by conversing this science of asanas, if we can consciously get into different body posture, we can also elevate our consciousness to a higher level.
While understanding Hatha yoga in-depth, this yoga is all about making your comfort zone universal. That is to say, this yoga helps you to attain harmony of health, joy, blissfulness and above all balance in any position of life by being at ease.
Therefore, these reasons make hatha yoga a powerful way of living; and this power is not imposed on any other being but is essential to attain a higher form of life itself.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga
Here are many benefits of hatha yoga on various levels of our existence. Such as,
1. Strengthening of Core System of the body
Hatha yoga consists of many position and postures which are designed to strengthen your body from the core. Moreover, the core consists of the spine, hips, and abs. Core muscles and core systems are very important to do a basic task like getting up from your bed, tying your shoelaces, getting involved in any physical activity.
Therefore, if your core is not strong, there is a high chance that you will land up facing difficulty even while doing simple tasks.
This yoga, or rather any type of yoga, is not focused on building the biceps, abs or triceps but the main focus of this technique is to strengthen the roots so your body can withstand much complex force of any form.
2. Improving your bone density
In medicine, there is a law known as wolf’s law which states, “bone grows and remodels in response to the forces that are placed upon it in a healthy person. After an injury to a bone, placing specific stress in specific directions to the bone can help it remodel and become normal, healthy bone again.”
Similarly, Hatha yoga helps in strengthening the bone in the application of the same principle as it puts pressure on the certain bone which directly acts as a stimulus for the bone formation process.
The yoga postures like Virabhadrasana, Trikonasana, Vriksasana are very helpful when it comes to the formation of new osteocytes and an increase in proper ossification for good and healthy bones.
3. Healthy Glowing Skin
The best part about Hatha yoga is that it helps to improve the circulation in all the areas of the body, thus giving you a fresh glowing skin. Improving the blood circulation results in good oxygen supplementation to all the parts of the body and removal of all the waste materials from the body.
Moreover, hatha yoga plays a crucial role in decreasing the tendency to get wrinkled skin as it helps to improve the elasticity of the facial skin, muscles, and ligament. Similarly, due to the removal of the wastes from the skin tissue, there are fewer chances of acne.
Therefore, hatha yoga helps to slow down your aging, giving you a glowing flawless skin.
4. Weight loss
Every form of exercise promises you a guaranteed weight loss, and it’s very true for sure. Nevertheless, hatha yoga can give you a toned, healthy body that is sure to help you remain active and full of energy.
Various postures in hatha yoga help to tone your muscles in the right way and this yoga not only helps to reduce your weight but it gives a mental calming effect due to which you are sure to be very conscious about the kind of food you are taking in, and this phenomenon will surely help you lose a lot of weight in a healthy way.
1. Respiratory System
A healthy heart and good lungs are so essential to live a normal, happy and healthy life. There is a saying “we don’t know the value of things until we lose them!” and this saying is very true when it comes to heart and lungs.
Moreover, heart diseases are not diagnosed until it’s almost too late for the cure; therefore, hatha yoga can help to prevent such mishaps.
Various postures and different asanas in hatha yoga helps to enhance the lung capacity and strengthen your respiratory muscles as well.
2. Cardiovascular System
Hatha yoga also plays an important role in maintaining the elasticity of your vessels, which in turn prevents stroke, myocardial Infarction and other dangerous heart diseases.
Hatha yoga is proved to increase the endorphin secretion in the body. This hormone is a calming chemical that helps to relieve stress and in turn decreases your blood pressure.
Similarly, the over-pumping of the heart is also prevented and the workload of heart is decreased which in the future will prevent any problem of heart failure.
3. Immune System
One thing that should be clear is the fact that hatha yoga improves your lymphatic flow in all parts of the body, which means to say that this yoga does not let toxins to accumulate in the body and keeps the immunoglobulin flowing- that will surely fight off most of the foreign bacteria. Therefore, hatha yoga improves your immune system to the ultimate level.
Emotional imbalance mainly occurs because of the fact that our mind is not well composed and our ideas are out of order. Therefore, practicing hatha yoga helps to make our mind calm which is for sure to help us manage our anger, excessive excitement, extreme sadness and which will help us to handle a tough situation with maturity.
Hatha yoga was never meant only for the physical and bodily well being, it has much depth than we, normal human beings, can only imagine. Similarly, hatha yoga doesn’t mean only twisting and turning of the body.
On a spiritual level, hatha yoga was designed to prepare the body for diving into the depth of meditation so moving into a higher spiritual level does not end up becoming a painful process.
Doing hatha yoga is like preparing your body’s pipeline to transfer energy to a higher form and if there is any blockage in the pipeline there is sure to be a sudden burst or mishap.
Moreover, hatha yoga has much depth in both spiritual aspects and physical aspect but one thing is for sure that doing this yoga will not only help us to achieve our physical goals but also help to attain our highest possibility as a human being.