Hatha Yoga is a system of physical exercises and breathing control used in yoga. Science of body purification and awakening of Pranic energy. Hathayoga is another important stream of yoga suggested for common man. Hatha Yoga practices were closely related to Tantra and other modes of worship.
After decline of Buddhism in India, Yogis like Matsyendra Nath, Gorakha Nath and few other yogic components from practice of Tantra, they picked up the useful, practical and noble practices of yoga from the tantric system.
A few texts written during 6th to 15th century
Goraksha Samhita - Yogi Gorakh Nath
Hatha Yoga Pradipika - Swami Swatmaram
Gheranda Samhita - Sage Gherenda
Goraksha Satakam - Guru Gorakshanath
Yoga Taravali - Sage Adi Shankaracharya
Hathayogaratnavali - Srinivas Bhatta Mahayogindra
Definiton and objective of Hathayoga
हकारः कीर्तितः सुर्यष्टकार्श्चन्द्रोच्यते | सूर्य चन्द्रमसोर्योगात ह्ठयोगो निगध्यते ||
हकारेण तु सुर्य्सयात स कारेणेनदरुच्य्ते | सूर्य चन्द्रसोरेक्यं हठ इथ्याभिदियते || (योगशिखोपनिशद)
The word Hatha is a combination of two Bija Mantra 'ha' and 'tha' .
'Ha' means Pingala Nadi or sun principle. 'tha' means Ida Nadi or moon principle.
'ha' represents mind, the mental energy and 'tha' represents Pranika, life force energy.
Hathayoga means the union of the Pranika and mental forces. Usually Pranika and mental forces have tendency to remain imbalanced either pranika force is predominant and mental force subservient, or the mental force is predominant and pranika force is subservient. The Imbalance of Pranika and mental force may cause physical or mental unrest.
As a door is opened with key, so the Yogi opens the door of Moksha by opening Kundalini by means of Hatha Yoga.
Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga
- No success in Raja Yoga without Hatha Yoga, and no success in Hatha Yoga without Raja Yoga. One should, therefore, practice both these well, till complete success is gained.
- Yogi Swatmarama explains Raja Yoga as a synonym of Samadhi. When chitta becomes one with atma, the state is called Raja yoga. The Union of the mind and the sound is called Rajayoga.
- Swami Swatmarama proclaims that the Hathayoga practice is to be considered as the staircase to reach Raja yoga.
Components of Hathayoga
Swami Swatmarama mentions that Hathayoga has four components. Asanas, different types of Kumbhakas, practice called Mudras, Nadanusandhana is the sequence of practice of Hatha Yoga.
Asana being the first component of Hatha, in Hatha Yoga, it is given priority.
Hatha Yoga Siddhi Lakshana
When the body becomes lean, the face glows with delight, Anahata Nada manifests and eyes are clear, body is healthy, Bindu under control and appetite increases, then one should know that the Nadis are purified success in Hatha Yoga Siddhi.