Hatha yoga is the branch of yoga which concentrates on physical health and mental well-being.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is the branch of yoga which concentrates on physical health and mental well-being. Hatha yoga uses bodily postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dyana) with the goal of bringing about a sound, healthy body and a clear, peaceful mind. There are nearly 200 hatha yoga postures, with hundreds of variations, which work to make the spine supple and to promote circulation in all the organs, glands, and tissues. Hatha yoga postures also stretch and align the body, promoting balance, strength and flexibility.

Origins of Hatha

Hatha yoga has changed a lot since its conception. When it was created, it was a total life philosophy that incorporated how we relate to our world, to ourselves and how we can attain inner peace Most agree that the original writings were Patanjali Maharishi’s yoga sutras, 196 sutras (aphorisms) written in Sanskrit in around 400 AD. In his work, Patanjali describes hatha yoga as consisting of eight limbs, or disciplines, and referred to it as the eightfold path. Other texts over the years have referred to hatha yoga, but Patanjali’s sutras are the most recognized. Two well-known schools of yoga were derived directly from Patanjali’s sutras: the schools of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who taught in India from 1924 until his death in 1989, and Swami Sivananda, who died in 1963.