For me yoga has not always been in part of my life. The journey started about 16 years ago, when I had very little other options. Story starts as I started gymnastics in preschool, integrated contemporary, hip hop and jazz as I got older and had to stop on early age as I had collected collection of injuries on my close to 20 years of dancing. At age of 21, my physio and personal trainer suggested to try yoga rather hitting a body pump class to ease some of the pain and tension. As ,uch as I found it hard to follow slow flow, the feeling you get after it kept me to going back to it.
Ten years later I was handed of yoga book for home practice after my son was born. The book contained more than just asanas but little bit more of the Hindu philosophy. As I knew by that point that Buddhism and life style from middle Asia was probably more suitable than the current version I lived in, I stopped and I read. And that was the time I ran down the rabbit hole…
When we talk about Hatha yoga, we are to believe it is simple yoga asana practice that carol is holding in community Centre. There is so much more within it that many Indian or Indonesian are baffled and probably slightly insulted of our ignorance. Hatha is for everyone, wherever you are in your life in that moment. It is not just workout regime, it is the whole being of you and bringing you back into balance and Centre.
Word “yoga” means – that what brings you reality. In yoga there is six branches and each branch has different direction. Each of the branch has different philosophy attached to it but they all have same goal – make you to become supreme being. These six prances are called – raja, karma, Bhakti, jnana, Tantra and hatha. Raja is Royal – mostly deep meditation; Karma is for service; Bhakti is for devotion; Jnana is for wisdom; Tantra is for ritual; and Hatha works with body and mastery of it.
Directly to translate Hatha it mean sun and moon or force. Lot of ways Hatha can be very hard core asana practice, what will push your body to the limits, so you could break out of your normal patterns and find the polarities within you. That’s where we miss a little bit of context in western world. There has been different styles named after different yogis who have brought us bit more out from the soft grip of yoga to help us to understand the extend of it more, as we are exploring the physical asanas and their effect on us.
The other meaning of Hatha – sun and moon, is exactly where the Hatha started to appeal for me. As Hatha yoga pushes your boundaries a little further than you like – stretch out little longer, hold a pose slightly longer, put your leg where you normally won’t while keeping your posture strong and healthy.. There is just touch more than normal workout to make your nervous system starting to shot different electric pulses to different parts of the body and building new connections and channels. Then when you finally sit down and do your breathing – your prana enter on the new fresh parts of your body and brings more clarity to your brain, to our body and to our inner temple.
Typical Hatha yoga class should contain three stages: centering (bringing focus to your body), asanas, pranayama and meditation. Centering will bring you back out from the busyness of our society. Asanas and pranayama usually work in hand in hand during your physical practice and meditation is the last part to really let your mind to be clear. Asanas are the classical physical poses. There is 36 basic asanas and there are hundreds of variations. Pranayama is breathing techniques, most common one is uji breath what is used during the asana practice. But there is many others what is used after you savanasa pose when your nervous system has opened up and you will be entering to meditation. Pranayama helps to clear your mind for deeper meditation. Meditation means you sit in stillness where there is silence of the mind. You are quiet within yourself. It is time when reflection of your supreme being will rise and the message of your own highest self will communicate within you with you. It’s not the thought patterns and “did I look the back door!?!?” It is the mantra, affirmation, the kind word or understanding and compassion of you in the world you live in.
My relationship, as you can understand with Hatha yoga and the deeper understanding in the philosophy has helped me to come through many obstacles in my past seven years. The physical asanas have not only healed my body with quite few of the injuries I have obtained on my young professional performer, but also gained understanding how I could help my kids and their own mind, body and soul growth in this quickly evolving world.
It has sneaked into my cells and I want to now teach others, show them how to use it in practical form to calm, heal and Centre. If we are more comfortable with ourselves, then we are more comfortable to take on what life has put in our path: social, physical, emotional or spiritual.