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About Hatha Yoga

“Ha” means sun; “tha” means moon; “yoga” means union, or to yoke. Yoga is an ancient science that classically includes eight “limbs.” Hatha Yoga is just two parts of the original 8-part system – the postures or “poses” and breathing techniques. The ancient sages used these two parts of the yoga system to perfect their physical body. This allowed them to sit for hours in meditation comfortably, and also to live a long life so that they could pursue the spiritual path.

Hatha Yoga strengthens, stretches, and tones all parts and all systems of the body. The poses and breathing techniques also help the body to release the layers of emotional and physical trauma accumulated during a lifetime.

Hatha Yoga helps to eliminate energy blockages in the body, which brings increased energy, better health and happiness. We learn self-awareness and self-care, both of which can help us to juggle all the activities of modern life. We learn who we are, what we need, what we’re all about.

Whether you are looking for stress relief, weight loss, relaxation or just a tough workout, Hatha Yoga is a system that can help everyone to achieve their goals.

Why are there so many kinds of yoga?
There are indeed many brand names for yoga these days. Many teachers have created special names for their particular system or style of yoga. It can be intimidating, but just learn all you can about the class you might be interested in taking, and then give it a try. There are lots of types of yoga, and there is one that will suit you, your personality, and your goals.

What is regular “Yoga” then?
The complete eight disciplines or “limbs” as they are called are:

(1) the Yamas (non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-sensuality, non-greed)

(2) the Niyamas (purity, contentment, self-discipline, self-study, devotion to a higher power)

(3) Asan or Asana (the poses)

(4) Pranayama (energy control, mostly through breathing techniques)

(5) Pratyahara (sense withdrawal; detachment from the external)

(6) Dharana (concentration)

(7) Dhyana (meditation)

(8) Samahdi (attunement to the divine)

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