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IMGCA Article - The Mental Game of Yoga


Fight Stress with Hatha Yoga

Lorna Mclaren

Hatha Yoga is one of the most popular forms of Yoga and is widely practiced across the world by lay persons and Yogis alike. Hatha Yoga considers the physical form or the human body to be the vessel for the soul, and lays a great deal of importance on physical discipline.

The physical discipline is achieved through 'asanas' (postures), 'pranayam' (breathing exercises) and meditation. By carrying out these activities, the body is moulded into a perfect receptacle for spiritual elements.

The 'asanas' and 'pranayamas' are used to power the energy channels called the 'nadis'. The 'asanas' help to develop will power, concentration and self-withdrawal, and enable the practitioner of Hatha Yoga to move closer towards Samadhi, which is the Yogic term for bliss and inner peace.

The 'asanas', which are well thought-out physical exercises, make the human body more supple and fitter. They are designed to make the muscles stronger, energize your key organs, improve mind-body coordination and to give the mind the sufficient amount of strength to stay cool and relaxed in times of need.

'Pranayama' is an equally important aspect to the practice of Hatha Yoga. It is through these breathing exercises that you activate and channel the vital life energy (termed as 'Prana'). When this vital energy travels from the base of the spine to the top of the head, you can achieve Samadhi. The benefits of achieving this state of bliss are somewhat obvious. This canalization of 'Prana' is also termed as Kundalini Yoga, which is one of the many branches of Yoga that has originated from Hatha Yoga.

The term 'Hatha' has been derived from the words 'Ha' and 'Tha'; 'Ha' means 'Sun' and 'Tha' means 'Moon'. In Yoga, the sun is perceived as radiating positive energy while the moon radiates negative energy. Thus, Hatha Yoga is based on the principle of a harmonizing union between the pairs of opposites (positive and negative). Therefore, taken together, the term 'Hatha' stands for 'union of force'.

The prolonged practice of Hatha Yoga can help you recognize that a divine light shines within you. This awareness will make you stronger, more flexible and relaxed. The relaxation exercises involved in practicing Hatha Yoga opens the 'nadis' allowing your spiritual energy to flow freely. All sorts of benefits are received when this happens.

Hatha Yoga is a great way to rid yourself of stress, tension and anxiety. It also helps you improve your overall health and fitness. All in all Hatha Yoga is a great tool to develop your inner self whilst toning, conditioning and relaxing your outer self.

Find out more about Hatha Yoga and other methods of keeping fit and reducing stress at

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