What is Yoga?
Yoga is a complete science of life that originated in India many thousands of years ago. It is the oldest system of personal development in the world, encompassing body, mind and spirit. The ancient yogis had a profound understanding of man essential nature and what he needs to live in harmony with himself and his environment. They perceive the physical body as a vehicle, with the mind as the driver, the soul man true identity, and action, emotion and intelligence as the three forces, which pull the body vehicle. In order for there to be integrated development these three forces must be in balance. Taking into account the interrelationship between body and mind, they formulated a unique method for maintaining this balance, a method that combines all the movements you need for physical health with the breathing and meditation techniques that ensure peace of mind; (The Sivananda Companion to Yoga)
Hatha Yoga means the poses or as in Sanskrit Asanas that help your body and mind be in a good state of health. Yoga is not a religion, and it embraces different religions. Yoga literally means union with God, the universe, Yahwah, Ala, or however you want to call that higher connection with all that;There is different parts to Yoga, for example Bakti yoga is the part of yoga that dedicates to devotion, and the use of mantras. Karma Yoga is selfless service or action, Jhana Yoga the study of the philosophy. Nada Yoga, studies music in relationship to the divine. Here we will be showing more the Hatha Yoga. Yoga dedicated to the body.
Hatha Yoga. Is the part of Yoga dedicated to the body, and the well being of your body. Ideally is designed to keep you healthy and out of pain so you can lead a more spiritual life.
There is often confusion in people minds regarding this branch of Yoga. Many people think that Hatha Yoga refers only to asanas- (poses) or to asanas and Pranayama (breathing exercises) is the same as for the other forms of Yoga sadjana: God realization. Asanas and Pranayama are tools for gaining control of the mind and prana to facilitate the attainment of this goal. Good health, flexible body, etc. are side effects.
Asanas and Pranayama are only the first two steps of Hatha Yoga. One must also be trying to live his or her life according to the ethical or moral basis of Yoga, as well as be practicing meditation. Hatha yoga begins with the physical body. By gaining control of the physical, the practitioner tries to gain control of the prana and by controlling the prana, one gains control of the mind.
For this reason, Sivananda Yoga states that the teaching of yoga is not a profession; it is a sadjana. A yoga teacher should strive to be humble and to feel that He/She is an instrument for the Divine Energy.
Yoga teaching is based on guru Parampara; knowledge is passed from a living teacher to a student in an unbroken chain. A good teacher is also a good student. He/She is able to understand the teachings received from the teacher, practices and then teaches based on direct, personal experience. A yoga teacher is a Yoga practitioner, not a preacher. It is often said that Yoga is a journey, and that the joy is in the journey.