Hatha Yoga Asana’s(Physical Postures)
The Very meaning of Hatha ( Hata ) Yoga means “challenge oneself” . In Hatha Yoga holding the poses for longer period attains steadiness of the body and Mind, freedom from Disease and Lightness of the limbs. Yoga Sutras of Pathajali there is is a concise definition of Yogaasanas “Sthiram Sukham aasanam” meaning that “ Positions which is comfortable and steady” Asanas holding for longer period increases health , Longitivity , open energy centers and psychic centers. Perfection of asana’s give stable foundation for our exploration of body,breath,mind and beyond. Hatha Yogis down the ages found developing control over the body through asana, the mind will be controlled and stabilized.Hence the practice of asana is foremost in Hatha Yoga.
“Pranayama is control of Breath”. “Prana” is Breath or vital energy in the body. On subtle levels Prana represents the Pranic energy responsible for life or life force, and “Ayama” means control. So Pranayama is “Control of Breath”. One can control the rhythms of Pranic energy with Pranayama and achieve healthy “body-mind”.
Patanjali in his text of Yoga Sutras (aphorisms) mentioned Pranayama as means of attaining higher states of awareness, he mentions the holding of breath as important practice of reaching Samadhi (The state of enlightenment).
Every practitioner can however experience the pleasant calmness that pervades his “body-mind” after a regular Pranayama practice.
Anatomy and Physiology:
Understanding anatomy enables a way to see bodies that is vitally important to a yoga teacher. In our own practice we develop a keen intuitive understanding of our bodies, yet without the language to communicate this knowledge teaching can be frustrating. To teach yoga well verbal communication must be consistent with physical demonstration. The basic terms of anatomy describe the positioning and movement of the human form in three dimensional space. With clarity and consistency teachers will develop the self confidence that comes from knowing rather than guessing.
The limitations of the body must be respected for progress in asana. To understand the basis of these physical limitations anatomy provides the answers. Bones, muscles and tissues have various inherent properties relevant to physical strength and flexibility. In fact the riddle of the many and varied asana can be comprehended by knowing which areas of the body are being targeted by the different poses. By studying the articulations of the body the different types of movements possible can be understood.
Patanjali Yoga Sutras (Aphorisms):
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali succinctly outlines the art and science of yoga meditation for self-realization. It is a process of systematically encountering, examining, and transcending each of the various gross and subtle levels of false identity in the mind field, until the jewel of the true Self comes shining through.
When Patanjali codified, or compiled the Yoga Sutras, it was not that a new system was created, but rather, the ancient practices were summarized in an extremely organized and scientific way.
196 Sutras of Pathanjali has divided into 4 chapters
Chapter 1 Samadhi Pada (Concentration)
Chapter 2 Sadhana Pada (Practice)
Chapter 3 Vibhuti Pada (Progressing)
Chapter 4 Kaivalya Pada (Liberation)
During the course you will be learning the first 2 chapters.
The entire Eight Limbs of the Patanjali system are also sometimes referred to as Dhyana or the meditative path, although strictly speaking, only the last 4 limbs constitute meditation Pratyahara, Dhyana, Dharana, and Samādhi. The preceding steps are only to prepare the body and mind for meditation: Meditation starts by being separate from the mind, by being a witness. That is the only way of separating ourselves from anything.
Many meditative techniques require one to sit still and silent. But for most of us accumulated stress in our body-mind makes that difficult. Before we can hope to access our inner powerhouse of consciousness, we need to let go of our tensions. Active Meditations have been scientifically designed by Osho for the contemporary man.
The activity itself creates the situation in which passivity happens.
Chanting of Mantras:
Mantras are Vedic in origin. The teachings of the Vedas consist of various Mantric chants or hymns cognized by different seers or Rishis from the Cosmic Mind. In the recitation of Sanskrit Mantras the sound is very important, for it can bring transformation in you while leading you to power and strength.
Different sounds have different effects on human psyche. If a soft sound of wind rustling through leaves soothes our nerves, the musical note of running stream enchants our heart, thunders may cause awe and fear. The sacred utterances or chanting of Sanskrit Mantras provide us with the power to attain our goals and lift ourselves from the ordinary to the higher level of consciousness.