Why do we practice it?
Hatha yoga actually stems from the Tantras. ‘Ha’ and ‘tha’ are the sun and moon, the archetypal masculine and feminine, so hatha yoga is physical practice that harmonises the solar and lunar energies in the body, reducing or even “annihilating mental fluctuation” – as Patanjali defined yoga in his yoga sutras.
In many spiritual traditions, the body is seen to be the source of all desire, greed and sin, but the Tantrics regarded the body and its energies as the vehicle of the soul in this lifetime, which can be made harmonious, beautiful and powerful in order to carry us further on the path to liberation.
They also understood that all matter is energy vibrating at different frequencies so that everything existing in the universe constantly emits and receives information. Using the mind as a tool, we can tune our being to resonate with any desired energy from the macrocosm, therefore amplifying it in the microcosm of our being. This is the true purpose of hatha yoga – a system of unique resonance keys (yoga postures) that tune our being into specific energies, such as vitality, charisma, will power, love, intuition and wisdom. This is brought about by aligning and harmonising the chakras (different levels of consciousness), so that certain alchemical processes can take place in the body, particularly related to the excess vital and sexual energies. This may also lead to the awakening and rising of the being’s fundamental energy (kundalini).
When approached with complete awareness, the possibilities from hatha yoga are quite literally endless. It therefore seems a shame that yoga in the West is generally taught only as a series of physical exercises, when it has the potential to be a balm for all modern maladies.
So whether you are seeking relief from a bad back, stiff joints, sluggish organs, or looking for emotional healing, wellbeing, greater and longer-lasting happiness, satisfaction in life, mental clarity, peace of mind, enhanced creativity, positive motivation, sense of purpose, unity, spiritual wholeness and integration… when actually practised in a systematic way, yoga can provide the solutions.
All of these goals, great and small, are brought about by returning to harmony, uniting ourselves with our inner essence, achieving yoga or union – so why not set our sights on the highest of goals and along the way enjoy the fruits in every level of our life?