Having declared then that Hatha Yoga can help you towards better health and calm your mind so that you can solve your personal problems, it is important to stress two facts. Firstly, that the aim of Hatha Yoga is not the acquisition of a superior muscular physique but the discipline and the purification of the body that we may forget our earthly shell enough to reach a state of heightened awareness through the control of the mind. Secondly, that Hatha Yoga is neither the easiest nor the fastest system of physical culture to show results.
Why then Hatha Yoga for your health? Why not weight lifting, club swinging, athletics, or even dancing? All of these will improve the circulation, the figure, and strengthen the muscles. What has Hatha Yoga to offer in addition to this? Simply that Hatha will provide an extraordinary control over the body and awaken the mind and spirit, the higher self if you like, as no purely physical culture system could possibly do. Also, the above-mentioned activities are beyond the capabilities of a large section of the community, the aged, the infirm, the lame, and the physically frail. Those activities involve violent movement whereas Hatha Yoga is essentially a static science.
Basically one gets into a Yoga posture or asana and remains so for as long as possible. Stress is laid on pressure of certain organs, glands and muscles rather than on movement. When movement is necessary in Hatha Yoga it is always gentle and graceful, therefore anyone can benefit from Yoga regardless of age, sex, race, walk of life, or religious belief. It is a universal science. It can lead to more abundant living and a new awareness of higher things through ridding your body of the pains and diseases which drag your mind back into the earth when it wants to wing its way upwards towards the light.
It is reported that Lord Buddha, whose philosophy is based on the Veda from which Yoga was evolved, said that the first step on the way to spiritual freedom and salvation is perfect physical health. So if you are drawn towards Hatha Yoga do not be put off by others who might tell you that you will never reach a state of heightened consciousness by turning your body upside down or sitting in various leg-breaking postures.
Tell them that if the blood is impure then the brain, the nerves, the psycho-spiritual life, yes even the thoughts, cannot but be affected. Tell them that a man cannot control his mind until his body is made pure and healthy. Even if you do not aim at mental discipline, and many of you I know do not, you can with persistent practice improve your general health beyond belief.
Article Extracted From “Be Healthy With Yoga” By Sonya Richmond
- Essentials of Yoga Physical Education ~Daniel Fonseca (elephantjournal.com)
- What Are The Benefits Of Kundalini Yoga? (blissreturned.wordpress.com)
- Is Yoga Bad For You? (yogaasyouare.wordpress.com)