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Hatha Yoga History


Origin - India

*   Lineage (9th century BC onwards) – Sage Matsyendranath. Sage Gorakshanath

*   Authentic Hatha yoga Manual -Hatha Yoga Pradipika 1200AD

*   Founder -Yoga Guru- Swami Swatmarama 1200 AD

Tradition – Nath tradition (lord Shiva). This is the tradition of sages who live in caves or Himalayas and renounce material life adopting   sanyasa.

*   Meaning - the  word Hatha  is made up of Ha + Tha. "Ha" means Pingala Nadi (sun principle) or right nostril and "tha" means Ida nadi, (moon principle) or left nostril. Nadi means psychic passage of energy which can be compared with nerves in physical body.

How it affects the body - Hatha Yoga practices results in balancing the entire nervous system resulting in balance of Body and Mind, physical  energy and mental energy.

Principle process followed as per ancient manual -

1) Shatkarmas – (different body cleansing process)

Agnisardhouti - This process eliminates diseases in the stomach and ignites the fire in the stomach . Its a rapid fire movement of abdomen controlled by breathing.

Vamandhouti- this process helps regulate the digestive system by removing all toxins from the digestive system, very good for acidity problems. One Drinks plenty of water empty stomach and vomit out the entire water after glancing upwards for a minute. The vamandhouti eliminates kapha and pitta.

Kapalbhati – Its a powerful cleansing breathing techniques which activate s the dormant energy in the body knowns as Kundalini energy.
Jalneti- cleansing of the nasal passage by using saline or normal water.

Nasagra Drisht – Also known as Trataka in which one gazes at the tip of the nose. Very powerful concentration exercise
The purification is the first in Hatha Yoga, once the body is free of disease, the next step is recommended and that is asanas.


2) Asanas ( yoga poses)-  A person can achieve Sound Health, Stability, Lightness of Body and Mind with Asana". Asana result in disciplining the Body and Mind. The fundamental principle of any asana is “shir sukham asanam” ( meaning steady comfortable position) laid by Sage Patanjali who laid the principle of Ashtanga yoga.
Practicing asanas improves flexibilty of body and stabilises mind. Some basic yoga asanas are Bhujangasana, Ardhmastyandrasana, pachimotasana, shrisasana and many more.

3) Pranayama – bio energy of the body.  Pranayama, if practiced correctly can cure all types of physical and mental disorders, also increase in pranic energy can increase functioning of brain and may result in Siddhis or perfections or extra sensory perceptions, Pranayama is used to control the mental energy and mind. Strictly recommended under supervision from yoga guru.

4) Bandhas - are necessary for practice of Pranayama, Bandha means energy lock.
Different types -

*Jalandhar Bandha – Chin lock
*Moolabandha – Anus lock
*Uddiyan Bandha or abdominal lock.


Ancient yoga texts have assured that the bandh causes destruction of old age and death. Observing this bandh gives peace and calmness to both, the heart and the mind. This in turn increases the lifetime of the student.