Hatha yoga – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: March 4, 2015 at 6:49 pm


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Hatha yoga (Sanskrit: hahayoga, listen(helpinfo) IPA:[jo]), also called hahavidya (), is a branch of yoga. The word haha (lit. 'force') denotes a system of physical techniques supplementary to a broad conception of yoga.[1][2]

With its origins in Ancient India,[3]Hindu tradition believes that Shiva himself is the founder of hatha yoga.[4][5][6]

In the 20th century, hatha yoga, particularly asanas (the physical postures), became popular throughout the world as physical exercises, and is now colloquially termed "yoga".

According to legend, Lord Shiva is credited with propounding hatha yoga.[4] It is said that on a lonely island, assuming nobody else would hear him, he gave the knowledge of hatha yoga to the Goddess Parvati, but a fish heard the entire discourse, remaining still throughout. The fish (Matsya) later became a siddha and came to be known as Matsyendranath. Matsyendranath taught hatha yoga to his disciple Gorakshanath and to a limbless man, Chaurangi. Hatha Yoga Pradipika mentions many other famous hatha yogis. Hatha yoga was thus passed down in disciplic succession.

Some of its techniques can be traced back to the epics and the Pali canon.[1] The Pali canon contains three passages in which the Buddha describes pressing the tongue against the palate for the purposes of controlling hunger or the mind, depending on the passage.[7] However there is no mention of the tongue being inserted into the nasopharynx as in true khecar mudr. The Buddha used a posture where pressure is put on the perineum with the heel, similar to even modern postures used to stimulate Kundalini.[8]

Many believe that Patajali, a siddha of the 2nd century BCE, in his treatise on Raja Yoga, Yoga Sutras, professed asanas and pranayam as two limbs of the practice of Raja Yoga,[9] while others assert that Patanjali's sutras do not support the practice of asanas as physical exercise at all.[10]

The Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati is a very early extant Hatha Yoga Sanskrit text which contains much content on the avadhuta, as Feuerstein (1991: p.105) relates:

One of the earliest hatha yoga scriptures, the Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati, contains many verses that describe the avadhuta. One stanza (VI.20) in particular refers to his chameleon-like capacity to animate any character or role. At times, it is said, he behaves like a worldling or even a king, at other times like an ascetic or naked renunciant.[11]

In medieval times, teachings on Yoga were systematized in several texts:

The practices of the Amtasiddhi and Datttreyayogastra are used to raise bindu or prevent it from falling.[1] The mudrs of the Vivekamrtaa work on bindu, not kualin, even though raising it is an important part of the yoga it teaches.[1] The mudras of the Goraksaataka and Khecarvidy are used to raise kualin (they mention bindu only in passing).[1]

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Hatha yoga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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March 4th, 2015 at 6:49 pm

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