Hatha Yoga is a discipline that forms part of an integral education, not only for body and mind but also for the self-interior, it aims to transcend the physical body to find spirituality. Though Hatha Yoga we get to transform an ill and impure body into a healthy one. It's the best way to find equilibrium, to purify, revitalize and regenerate the human body, mind and soul. The yogi takes care of the own body, because he/she needs it to find the internal being.
The human body is perfect, it's our way to reach happyness. Through the steps of Yoga we can achieve it. Yoga is a way of life, those who know it and practise it are aware of that.
Sri Swami Sivananda
Born on September 8th 1887, Swami Sivananda was a great Wise Yogi, he dedicated his entire life to serve humanity and to study Vedanta. His spiritual indoctrination can be shortening in six simple instructions: Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Achieve.
Yoga origins go back to year 3000 B.C. It would have been revealed to wise illuminated sensible people of that time whilst their meditation.
During the archaeological researches at the valley of Indus, some sculpted stone stamps were found, and many of them were representations of yoga postures. The "Vedas" are ancient texts that refer to Yoga, they are dated 2500 years before Christ, they preach the union of the individual or microcosms with the universe or macrocosms or the absolute.
The objective of Yoga
Yoga aims to join the individual (Jiva) with the absolute (Brahman)
The fundamentals of the Yoga philosophy
Each action, each thought brings its award, it is the law of Karma, the law of cause - effect, action - reaction. In other words, one reaps what one has sown, in this life, or in future lives.
Yoga is a science that has been in constant evolution since several millenniums, adapting to vital human needs.
Yoga has been transmitted to us mainly by the great Hindu master yogi and also wise doctor Swami Sivananda (1887 - 1963). He founded his school and an Ashram at Rishikesh (Himalayan). His six principles are:
One of his disciples, Swami Vishnu Devananda (1927 - 1993), was assigned to depart towards America, he gave conferences throughout all the states for two reasons:
1 to let occidental countries find out the yoga techniques.
2 to recover yogi souls reincarnated in west countries.
He adapted Yoga, this ancient wise science to the needs of the occidental world. He summed it in 5 principles:
. Good Relaxation
. Good Exercise
. Good Breathing
. Healthy Food
. Positive Thinking and Meditation
The Ways to Yoga
The four main paths of Yoga are:
Karma Yoga The Yoga of the disinterested, unselfish acts.
Bhakti Yoga The Yoga of devotion.
Jnana Yoga The Yoga of knowledge.
Raja Yoga The Yoga of Physical and Mental control.
Each one of these ways to Yoga adapts perfectly to the different human tempers and natures, they all have in common as objective, the union of the microcosms or individual with the macrocosms or absolute.
The way of Raja Yoga is the one that I teach
It is compound of 8 phases or stages or steps, which are used to purify the yogi's body and mind:
Each one of these principles helps the evolution of the yogis.
The 5 Yamas or restrictions are moral principles:
They help to destroy our inferior nature
1 Ahimsa : don't hurt, don't kill, non-violence, don't harm.
2 Satya : don't lie, truth in your word, by thought or act.
3 Asteya : don't steal.
4 Aparigraha : don't envy others, don't be ambitious, don't accept presents.
5 Brahmacharya : Sexual moderation, abstinence, celibacy.
The 5 recommendations or Niyamas or auto-discipline:
They develop positive qualities in the individual
1 Saucha : internal and external purity.
2 Santocha : satisfaction, optimism, happiness
3 Tapas : austerity, severity, self-control, and will power.
4 Swadhyara : study of sacred texts and manuscripts. Self taught.
5 Ishvara pradhnidhana : devotion to divine (absolute), current conscious of the presence of macrocosms.
Asanas or Yoga poses.
Pranayama or breathing control.
These two stages constitute Hatha Yoga.
Pratyahara or mental and sense control.
Smoothes mind and prepares for next stages.
Dharana or concentration.
Dhyana or meditation.
Samadhy or supra conscience or Nirvana or identification with the universal spirit.
1º Interiorise : in the savasana pose or corpse pose, this pose helps us to interiorise, to relaxation and to concentrate in our breathing.
|Development of my Hatha Yoga session
2º Preparation of body to Asanas: warm up joints, then stretching, so Sun Salutation.
3º Asanas: attain several yoga poses in Swami Sivananda's Method, adapted to the level and possibilities of each person, practising at the same time pranayama or breathing control.
4º Relaxation: I dedicate 15 minutes to this precious moment, it does not only give us mental and physical peace, but it prepares us to meditation.