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"Unlocking the Benefits: Shedding Light on Hatha Yoga Practice"

There are several different schools of yoga philosophy; the most well-known is Hatha Yoga. A yogic practitioner has to understand the significance of Hatha Yoga, the various schools of yoga, and the ultimate state that can be attained through yoga. This edition of tradition talks will delve deeper into these topics with the assistance of Hathapradipika verse number three, written by Swatmarama.

bhrāntyā bahumata-dhvānte rāja-yoghamajānatām | haṭha-pradīpikāṃ dhatte svātmārāmaḥ kṝpākaraḥ || 3 |

“Owing to the darkness arising from the multiplicity of opinions people are unable to know the Râja Yoga. Compassionate Swâtmârâma composes the Haṭhapradipikâ like a torch to dispel it.”

The poem discusses the many perspectives or approaches within the practice of yoga, highlights the lack of awareness of raja yoga as the ultimate goal of yoga, and acknowledges the skillful composition of Swatmarama's Hatha Pradipika in teaching Hatha Yoga to attain the state of yoga. These factors are highly pertinent for a genuine seeker, which we shall go into with further elaboration.

Diverse routes and perspectives

The challenge has always been to approach the goal in a systematic and deliberate manner. Yoga encompasses several paths that may be categorized as follows for the sake of comprehension:

• Bhavana Yoga refers to the practice of developing a correct mindset towards the many items in the world and understanding their connection to oneself.

Prana Samyama Yoga is a method that involves regulating the breath to regulate the mind. The yogic paths classified under Bha-vana Yoga comprise the following:

•Jnana yoga: Jnana refers to the acquisition of knowledge. Jnana yoga is the practice of acquiring knowledge about the nature of reality, as suggested by its name. Jnana yoga is associated with Vedanta, and it is a non-dualistic practice centered around understanding the self and reality, specifically the concept of brahman. This approach is straightforward, however demanding and needs keen intelligence.

• Bhakti yoga is a spiritual practice that involves seeing God or a deity as the ultimate authority and completely submitting oneself to God without any hesitation or uncertainty. This pathway facilitates the comprehension of reality through the state of one with the divine. The Bagha-vad Gita has Bhakti Yoga as one of its pathways, which centers around love and devotion.

• Karma yoga refers to the practice of selflessly performing one's duties without being attached to the results, as described in the Bhagavad Gita as Niskama Karma. The Yogic paths that fall under Prana Samyama Yoga are as follows:

Mantra Yoga is a practice that involves the mental repetition of words or phrases, with the intention of providing protection or salvation. Mantra yoga utilizes sound vibrations to achieve its effects.

Mantra is a form of sound repetition that affects the body's subtle energy centers, leading to a profound state of meditation and self-realization.

• Hatha Yoga: Hatha Yoga focuses on regulating prana vayu, which is accomplished by controlling respiration. The term 'Ha' represents the Sun or the vital energy known as Pingala, whereas 'Tha' represents the Moon or the mental energy known as Ida. The convergence of pranic and mental energy results in the activation of latent inner capabilities. Hatha Vidya refers to the knowledge of the specific techniques that are associated with Hatha Yoga.

Raja Yoga refers to the subtle techniques that enable individuals to internalize their focus and attain the condition of samadhi. The disciplines of pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi are widely recognized as integral components of Raja Yoga.

These routes prioritize numerous variables, including one's behavior, lifestyle, recommended practices, techniques, attitudes, and laws and regulations that are necessary for a Sadhak to attain their goal. Given the multitude of pathways and differing perspectives on the necessary steps to achieve truth, it is inevitable for any individual seeking truth to get confused and led astray on the most appropriate path to follow. This issue also stems from a deficiency in comprehending the fundamental objective of yoga.

The ultimate state of all ways is Raja Yoga.

All that Raja Yoga is is Samadhi, or equilibrium. Notwithstanding the numerous prerequisites, the ultimate goal of all yoga schools is to help practitioners reach the highest condition possible through yoga practices—Raja Yoga, or the state of equanimity. Furthermore, Hatha and Raja Yoga are insufficient in isolation, according to Swatmarama. Because there are so many paths, people might not know that the goal of each one is to reach the state of Raja Yoga, which in turn leads to Kaivalya, or liberation, which is what real searchers strive for.Hatha Yoga is relevant regard-less of the path pursued by the practi-tioner and will be supportive in any of the paths as body and mind should be purified to attain higher perception of life.

 Hatha Yoga is applicable for everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, age, or health condition. It is also beyond the ethical or moral background of the person. It is purely based on techniques and practices, very objective and indeed fast-tracks progress compared to all other paths.

Hatha Yoga: the life-saving method

In order to govern the mind and perception of life, Hatha Yoga works directly on the body, breath, and the subtle elements of pranas, nadis, and tatwas. In the end, the practices establish harmony between the physical, mental, and subtle faculties necessary for human life to function.

Hatha Vidya is advised without any restrictions on behavior or guidelines for what to do and what not to do. The foundation of numerous ways, including the Patanjala Yoga Sutra, is the Yamas and Niyamas, which are absent from Hatha Vidya. Even when putting the Yamas and Niyamas into practice, mental maturity is necessary. By practicing Hatha Yoga, one can achieve mental clarity in which the yamas and niyamas develop organically throughout time.

Swatmarama's Hathapradipika offers a clear method

Hathapradipika is the most well-known of the traditional literature on Hatha Vidya. Hatha Yoga is given in a clear and straightforward way, breaking the activities down into four sequentially related limbs: Asanas, Kumbaka (Pranaya-ma), Mudra and Bhandas, and Nadanu-sandana.

One must properly harmonize and purify their body and all of its aspects in order to be ready for yoga activities. Consequently, it is prescribed to perform Asanas, Shat Kriyas, and Pranayama. Energy barriers are removed through nadi cleansing, enabling the right flow of energy. Subsequently, advanced Mudras, Band-has, and Nadhanusandana practices are advised, which ultimately result in the state of raja yoga, or the awakening of higher consciousness.

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