Namaste Readers,

Today I will be writing about yoga and patience all while having a twenty two month old sitting on my lap face back lap! challenge accepted…ok so lets get started!!

“Without pranayama, asana produces only health. Without asana, pranayama’s benefits cannot be sustained and integrated into the body. Without asana and pranayama, meditation is a toothless tiger…”

-yogi gregor maehle

Hatha Yoga -A Quick History

According to ancient Hindu writings, Lord Shiva (Hindu God) was said to be the one who created yoga. Shiva studied the world and based his poses around insects, animals, the earth, and professions (such as dancers and warriors). The number of poses was almost an unbelievable one, however it was narrowed down to 84 hatha asanas. Shiva then passed this knowledge onto Matsyendra, and he onto Goraksha. These two men are often the ones recognized as the founders of Yoga and I will be writing a future post about these legends as their stories are great ones, I do recommend you getting acquainted with their stories to further your knowledge on yoga and enlightenment. Yoga came about as a way for one to prepare the body for meditation and higher consciousness. If you’ve meditated before, you know that after a while, your body starts to ache from sitting in a still position for too long. What hatha yoga does is stretch your body, to give you strength for stillness.
Be sure to check out Hatha Yoga Pradipika written by Swatmarama, one of Goraksha’s disciples, for more teachings on; the asanas, pranayama, kundalini, chakras, bandhas, nadir, mudras and so much more. This is still in print in today’s world and can be accessed pretty easily. I also suggest further your knowledge on Swatmarama, and Hatha Yoga as well.
The Oxford University Press published, The Origins of Modern Posture Practice, by Dr. Mark Singleton; and he mentioned,

“In the future, people may say ‘Lord Shiva gave the new teachings on asana to Krishnamacharya, so that the bodies of people born in the 20th and 21st centuries will have the strength and adaptability to handle such a rapidly-changing world.’”

-Dr. Mark Singleton

Hatha yoga has changed in many ways. The people practice for different reasons and more women practice than before. Again this subject will need to be in a post of it’s own due to the length of detail I could say about this.

What is Hatha Yoga

In order to better understand Hatha Yoga, we need to understand creation and existence. Two things are needed for creation, male & female. These two things symbolize the two sides of duality, or polar opposites, which is what all of creation is founded on. Hatha (pronounced “Hat-a”) comes from the two sanskrit words:
Ha: meaning sun, which is a spiritual current on the right side of our body also called the Pingala Nadi and is a masculine energy.
Tha: meaning moon, which is also a spiritual current on the left side of our body and is called the Ida Nadi and is a feminine energy.

These two, once united, create the Sushumna Nadi and can bring spiritual enlightenment. Everything in this universe is connected, from the glorious Sun giving us light to the tiny bee pollinating the flowers grown from that very light. As with Hatha yoga, we yet again have our polar opposites, our yin and yang or positive and negative. These two opposites are what create unity. For those who practice hatha yoga, you are uniting your mind and body to create a balanced energy for your soul. By practicing asanas {poses} and the pranayama {breathing exercises}, you are quieting your mind as well as giving your body the physical exercise it needs.

Many people relate Kundalini yoga with Hatha yoga because they involve the awakening of chakras and connect you with your spiritual side, possibly even enlightenment.
Nadi and Kundalini??? Ashleigh what the heck are you talking about?? Ok so for those of you who do not have those words in your vocabulary here is a quick reference guide.

  • Your Kundalini is a female energy at the base of your spine. This energy, once opened, gives you realization of true consciousness and can help you reach enlightenment. This word in Sanskrit translates as ‘snake’.
  • Chakras,  please see my chakra series for a more in depth explanation. Basically, there are 7 main chakras or energy centers located at different parts of your center body, these are harmonious and can help you open your kundalini energy if all are balanced properly. This word in Sanskrit translates as ‘wheel or circle’. We like to imagine these energy centers as rotating colorful spheres.
  • Asana are the yoga postures
  • Pranayama regulates the breath through breathing techniques and exercises.

Others mentioned are; Shakti, which is a sacred force, a divine female energy. Nadis, are channels. Kriyas which is what helps you master the kundalini technique. Mudras, symbolic hand gestures used in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonies, Indian dances and are similar to those in T’ai Chi. Bandhas, which locks the body for channeling energy. There are many more words that I will cover in future posts but for now, I’ll just leave you with these. These are all very interesting to learn about and I highly recommend furthering your knowledge on them.

Hatha Yoga Classes

Most yoga studios will have a hatha class, and in the United States, your typical yoga class will in fact be a hatha yoga class. Unlike Bikram yoga, Hatha instructors will teach a pose sequence based on their preferences, so if you tried it out once and hated it…please keep searching for other teachers or studios, you will find an instructor and class that you love, I promise!! Be sure to read the descriptions for each class you take, to make sure you’re entering the proper class for your skill level. A good yoga teacher will teach you how to focus mentally while creating a sense of balance, physically. Make sure once you find a teacher that you like, chat with them and get to know them as a wise friend.

Life as a Hatha Yogi

To live a healthy lifestyle, it goes beyond the yoga mat, we must practice healthy eating habits and refrain from abusive substances such as alcohol and tobacco. Hatha yoga provides many benefits such as;

  • increased awareness and concentration
  • reduces the chance of common stomach ailments and diseases
  • gives the body and joints flexibility
  • sense of well-being and patience
  • detoxifies the body
  • helps minimize muscle injuries in other sports
  • reduces stress
  • lowers blood pressure
  • provides more energy and better sleep

Live a lifestyle based on ethics and knowledge. Learn as much as you can, live in the moment as much as possible and you will be sure to live a happier healthier life.

❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤
Question of the Day:
Are you a hatha fan?
❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤ ॐ❤

Be sure to come back on our next Meditation Monday for more posts related to yoga & meditation. Or you could always subscribe to get get each post in your inbox! If you have any comments or questions on what we discussed today, please feel free to comment and share your knowledge. I want my readers to get as much information as they can. Thank you for taking the time to read today’s post & in return know that you are on a path towards enlightenment ❤ ॐ❤!

Ashleigh is a stay at home mom who enjoys blogging about balancing the mind through meditation and conscious parenting, the body through plant based eating and yoga, and the soul through up cycling and sustainability. Keep your life balanced & subscribe to her weekly emails, like OmLivin’ on FB or check her out on Google+ for more.

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  1. Rishi Yogi

    Really nice post shared. I get so many nice and informative information for Hatha Yoga.Thanks for sharing such a nice post.

  2. Chakras do Corpo

    Quite informative your article. Gratitude for sharing your knowledge.

    • Ashleigh Nicole

      thank you! I try to put as much of my knowledge into each subject I write about, I know I still have so much more to learn, but hoping to help others on their path as well! 🙂 Thank you for reading. Have a beautiful day!

  3. Judy B.

    Cute picture with the baby!

    • Ashleigh Nicole

      Aw thank you! It’s so crazy how much she has grown since these pictures!

  4. Amos Samuels

    Dear Ashleigh thanks for a nice informative post. From this post I furthered my understanding about the 2 spiritual currents that are on the left(moon) and right(sun) side of our physical body that come together to form the sushumna Nadi. I was reading something very similar on SSRF where it talked about kundalini in more detail. What I really like about the article was it’s graphical presentation of the sun and moon channels. You can see it here too in this link. What do you think ? –

    • Ashleigh Nicole

      I love learning about kundalini! Thank you for the article, I enjoyed reading it, that website is a great source of information & I have bookmarked it for further studies. 🙂

  5. lasy mact

    Well I truly liked reading it. This information procured by you is very practical for accurate planning.

  6. Jamie

    your daughter is too cute!! Love the cloth diapers as well! I am going to attempt some of these poses in hopes to look as graceful as you.

    • Ashleigh Nicole

      Thank you, she sure does pull off the cloth diaper look huh?? I am sure you will especially with practice! 😀



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