Introduction to Yoga
Hatha yoga is an ancient system of physical exercises designed to bring
about more awareness of the body, better alignment, more strength,
flexibility, energy, relaxation, and overall well-being. The original
purpose of Hatha yoga is to regulate and discipline the body, the
and the mind so that one may more easily engage in meditation and the
yoga practices without being disturbed by the body or the mind. Often
yoga is used simply for its physical benefits, and these benefits can
experienced by young and old alike. In fact, it is one of the few
exercise that can be done by anyone and everyone, regardless of age or
physical condition. It is an excellent complement to any sport and a
first step for the non-athletic towards getting into better shape. It
be as gentle as needed or as rigorous as desired. Children can build
stronger and healthier bodies as they grow, and the elderly can
improve their health and mobility as the body ages.
The benefits of Hatha yoga, however, go beyond the physical body.
regular practice, we are able to calm the mind and develop better
concentration. Hatha yoga can also introduce us to meditation, which
deeper yoga practice focused on disciplining the mind and cleansing it
all tension and anxiety. In this condition we are better able to
and cultivate spiritual knowledge and understanding, allowing us to
the goal of yoga.
Yoga means to "link up with God." This is the ultimate goal of yoga,
as Bhakti yoga, and is the culmination of all the various yoga
It is not necessary to practice Hatha yoga in order to meditate or
the goal of yoga - anyone can begin the deeper yoga practices at any
regardless of physical condition. But Hatha yoga is a valuable tool
keeping the body, our vehicle in this world, in good condition so that
can get on with our real purpose for being here - that is,
our relationship with God.
The classical style of yoga is the best versus the twisted (pun intended)
that have now taken root in the US. The reason for this is that Yoga is
non-competitive in essence. You work within the limitations of your own
body. However many new styles of yoga don't take this view.
Please see Wai Lana's site, as she is best
at highlighting the classical style.
Submitted by Anonymous on June 1, 2004.
To be followed later by details on Bhakti Yoga.
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