What is Hatha Yoga?

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We are registered with the Yoga Alliance, USA and provide 200 hours of hatha yoga teacher training in the ancient town of Rishikesh in India. ‘Hatha’, in Sanskrit means the union of 'solar' and 'lunar' energy and thus hatha yoga refers to a system of physical techniques. The origin of Hatha Yoga can be traced back to at least the 1st Century as is evident from certain Hindu and Buddhist scripts. Contrary to the belief that Hatha yoga is merely a sophisticated physical exercise system, one must understand that it extends well beyond that. It integrates ideas of ethics, diet, cleansing, pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation and a system for the spiritual development of the yogi. Here at Om Shanti Om Yoga School, we profoundly believe and practice this ideology and train our disciples to practice hatha yoga holistically.

Originally, Hatha Yoga has as many as 84,00,000 - asanas are mentioned in the classics of Yoga. The principle one is 84,000 but out of this, 8,400 are predominant. Among them of these, 84 are selected for special mention, while 32 are considered most important. However, only eight have been ranked as the most important and even among these four are singled out for special mention and two of which are classed as outstanding. Finally, one is rated as superior to the other. This one is none BUT Lord Sankara himself- the originator of the system of Yoga which is conversant with all the 84,00,000 asanas. However, either 108 or only 84 asanas are commonly in vogue.


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Hatha yoga is becoming the most popular style of yoga desired by many practitioners. The asanas in Hatha Yoga requires discipline and respect between the asanas and our body. It is the practice of balancing mind and body which is a bridge between is breath observance. Asanas alone are just an exercise but when we practice along with breath control and physical movement – is means Yoga.

Since our body represents Sun and Moon energy – we are balancing both energies into neutral and nothingness. ‘Ha’ represents ‘Surya’ and ‘Tha’ represents ‘Moon’ which means masculine and feminine. Here, the purification of mind and body happened as well as deep awareness will lead the way to spirituality. The asanas are very helpful for the balancing the Autonomic Nerves Systems - sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. For example, when we practice asanas, we increase sympathetic and when we practice Shavasana or meditation we increase parasympathetic.

Hatha yoga is a popular tradition that reinforces equilibrium, flexibility and strength. The primary elements of the Western practice are yoga poses and breath control, however, there are 8 other elements involved in the full enjoyment of the discipline such as:


  • 1. Ethical behavior
  • 2. Spiritual practice
  • 3. Physical poses
  • 4. Breath control
  • 5. Turning our senses away from outside influence
  • 6. Concentration
  • 7. Meditation
  • 8. The ultimate state of consciousness and the goal of Hatha yoga

Hatha is considered as the preliminary practice of Tantra Yoga, Raja Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Yin Yoga, and Kundalini Yoga. Hatha Yoga is mostly practiced in the modern world as the people are leading to a sedentary lifestyle which eventually leads to illness. Ones who master in Hatha Yoga - means he/she has the capability to practice the other branches of Yoga.

Yoga is the science of proper living and as such is intended to be incorporated in daily life. Yoga is the conventional culture of the Hindu religion. The word yoga originates from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means the union of the individual consciousness and soul with the universal consciousness or spirit.

Some people choose yoga because it helps them in their career or profession. For other, yoga is just an exercise, a way of keeping the body fit, leading a healthy life, doing sports or even a holiday or vacation. But some may even search yoga with a lot of questions in mind. The real learners are those who research the divinity of yoga, encountering self-finding liberation and changing the destination of their life.