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Let's Start At The Beginning - Hatha Yoga

Updated: Apr 6

Hatha yoga is the branch of yoga that comes to mind when you think of where to start in your yoga journey. Hatha yoga works with the breath in body, mind and spirit. Our classes are between 60 to 75 minutes and mostly include Centering, Asana (movement), Relaxation and Meditation. Abhyasa is practice ongoing, continuous, with devotion and without interruption. Daily practice may be 5 minutes or one or more hours, according to your schedule. The important concept is that we practice daily within the eight (8) limbs of yoga.

The Yoga Sutra guides us through the eight (8) limbs of yoga: Yamas (moral restraints), Niyamas (duties or observances directed towards ourselves), Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (breath exercises), Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (bliss through total integration).

Hatha, as well as all yoga instruction, is found in the Yoga Sutra. The Yoga Sutra is a collection of four chapters instructing us in yoga as compiled by the ancient sage Pantanjali in India between 500 BC and AD400. Pantanjali synthesized and organized the knowledge of yoga from a much older tradition. "TheYoga Sūtra of Patañjali is a collection of Sanskrit sutras (aphorisms) on the theory and practice of yoga - 195 sutras (according to Vyāsa and Krishnamacharya) and 196 sutras (according to other scholars including BKS Iyengar)." Wikipedia

"Atha yoganusasanam" is the first sutra, which Pandit Tigunait translates to, “now begins the instruction on the practice of Yoga.” Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD is the spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute. A modern-day master and living link to the unbroken Himalayan Tradition. He has written many books. My favorite is his interpretation of the Yoga Sutra.

For me, they have been life changing.

Practiced here are Mudras or hand gestures for increased concentration and even curing certain diseases. Mantras, a word, words or sound repeated to aid us in concentration and meditation for personal spiritual growth.

Through Abhyasa and Vairagya (Practice and Detachment) and total surrender to the divine, we find freedom from pain and sorrow.