Hatha Yoga is a system of yoga introduced by Yogi Swatmarama, a yogic sage in the 15th century in India. This particular system of yoga is considered the most popular oone.
The word ‘hatha’ comes from the Sanskrit terms ‘ha’ meaning ‘sun’ and ‘tha’ meaning ‘moon’. Thus, Hatha Yoga is known as the branch of Yoga that unites pairs of opposites referring to the positive (sun) and negative (moon) currents in the system. It concentrates on the third (Asana) and fourth (Pranayama) steps in the Eight Limbs of Yoga.
Hatha Yoga tries to achieve balance between body and mind, as well as attempts to free the more subtle spiritual elements of the mind through physical poses or Asanas, Breathing Techniques or Pranayama, and Meditation.
The practice of Hatha Yoga can help you recognize your hidden physical and mental potentials. Through the continued performance of Asanas, you will gain flexibility and strength, and learn to be more relaxed under otherwise stressful situations. Hatha Yoga’s Relaxation Exercises will open the energy channels, which in turn allows spiritual energy to flow freely.
Some Hatha yoga poses also massage and tone your internal organs, helping to prevent diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and hypertension. They also bring balance to internal and glandular functions. Pranayama, on the other hand, can help manage asthma and bronchitis.
Hatha Yoga can also help you cope with stress, relieve tension, and deal with anxiety and depression. More importantly, it will help you put your mind in a focused state to prepare for Meditation and, eventually, the search for enlightenment.