VERY SOON to start a new regular morning ‘Dynamic Hatha Yoga’ class at The Bath Yoga Studio, Wednesday 2nd March, 10.45am -11.45am
‘Hatha Yoga’ means….hmmmm what does it mean again, this thing that I practice every day??
I usually tell students the generic meaning of ‘Hatha Yoga’ is any kind of Yoga which incorporates physical postures (asana), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation practices, where as Yoga without the Hatha is all about the meditation.
The natural Buddhists among us are happy to go straight into the seated meditation, and become (miraculously I think!) internally still …whereas the Yogis among us need to attend to the restlessness of the body, stretching and squeezing and toning, grounding and balancing and removing toxins….and only then are we able to arrive in a more focussed and peaceful inner space, allowing the mind to settle, and becoming internally still…..
Yoga is all about stilling the mind to catch a glimpse of the Infinite which usually doesn’t get a look in while we are absorbed in our usual internal chit chat. The ‘Hatha’ part is about helping to create a conducive environment for this more expansive, wider perspective.
Hatha Yoga is a practice of moving and stretching and breathing with an attitude of simple presence and non judgement. This affects the biochemistry, the nervous system, the brain waves, the circulation, the hormones, the emotional reactivity, the psychology, the metabolism, the energy levels, the stress levels, the sense of feeling at ease, the EVERYTHING!…all interacting and looping back on each other, with the over all effect of creating feelings of inner Peace, Oneness, Wholeness, and just Being…..and we naturally find ourselves in a meditative space, which includes a deep love and respect for the body.
I LOVE Hatha Yoga – because of this inherent honour and respect of the body. Personally I can’t just sit and switch off – I need to ease myself into the wonderful deeply relaxed inner space by connecting with and becoming absorbed in the beautiful sensitivity of being a creature of the earth.
Through a dynamic, energizing practice of flowing, creative yoga sequences, interspersed with passive, totally ‘letting go’ postures, core strengthening movements, time honoured Pranayama techniques, visualisations, affirmations, and intuitive breath-filled body releases…mmmmmmmmmm ….. we come into a place of health, wonder and natural, peaceful, wide open inner awakeness.
With simplicity and dignity, we arrive whole heartedly in the shrine of the body, upon the temple of the earth.
This is quite a nice place to be, I would recommend it!
Here is another definition I like.
‘Yoga, in Sanskrit, means to completely know yourself and to be at peace in yourself. It is not possible to define this peace except to say it is freedom from all suffering, freedom from doubt and freedom from confusion. A natural blessedness unfolds in you as you feel this peace and you increasingly realise this as the core essence of your life. This realisation is called yoga: a clear knowledge of the oneness of your self with the source of all life.
Being established in this knowledge, your life starts to flow with a vital freshness and harmony, with clarity, mental alertness and a fullness of loving understanding. This yoga state is expansive, creative and life-supportive.’ (Gaia.com)