Yoga vs. Science | Principles | Paths | Yoga Traditions
Health and Yoga | Yoga Accessories | Yoga Institutes | Articles | Glossary
Hatha Yoga
Mantra Yoga
Tantra Yoga
Laya Yoga
Swara Yoga
Gorakhnath is the traditional author of the first treatise on Hatha Yoga, now lost, and is Gorakhnathcalled the founder of Hatha Yoga. Various texts are attributed to him, which are all expositions of the practices and mystic doctrines of Hatha Yoga. The most important are the Siddhasiddhanta-paddhati and Goraksa-sataka written in Sanskrit and the Sabadi and Gorakhbodh written in old Hindi.

The Siddhasiddhanta-paddhati covers the theory of the anatomy of the subtle body and draws a series of correspondences between the universe as macrocosm and the body as microcosm. The Goraksa-sataka, Hundred Verses of Goraksa (Goraksanatha is a Sanskrit form of Gorakhnath), is a basic Hatha Yoga text and describes the six 'limbs' of yoga: asana (postures), pranayama (control of the breath), pratyahara ( sense withdrawal), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (cosmic consciousness). This excluded the two limbs of yama (restraints), and niyama (disciplines), in the Patanjali yoga system. The yogic process of making the body perfect is kaya-sadhana, the cultivation of the body through yoga.

The sun in the yogic texts represents the element of change and destruction and the moon represents the element of creation and preservation. There are 72,000 nadis, channels in the subtle body, for prana, life energy, to flow. The main one is sushumna in the centre of the spinal column, with two major nadis parallel to the spinal column, ida, left, and pingala, right, which start at the respective nostrils. The left nostril is the moon and the right nostril is the sun. It is by balancing the ida and pingala that Hatha Yoga, which is union of ha (sun), and tha, moon, takes place by the passing of the kundalini, the coiled serpent energy at the base of the spine, up the sushumna. The moon is associated with Shiva, which is the part of the body above the navel, and the sun is associated with Shakti, which is the part of the body below the navel.

Yoga raises the Shakti from the lowest region of change to the head, the highest region of rest, to unite with Shiva. Shakti as kundalini raises through nine chakras, lotuses or wheels, which are energy vortices of the subtle body, from the Muladhara cakra, the lowest earth chakra, via the sushumna to the Sahasrara cakra in the head, the thousand-petalled lotus (the Goraksa-sataka mentions seven chakras). There are practices to open the bandhas, locks, to release the kundalini. This union produces the siddhis, supernatural powers, and attainment of anaman, 'nameless,' meaning supreme reality. The yogin is equal to Shiva after twelve years of practice.

The most important of the yogic practices is khecari mudra when the tongue is turned backwards into the hollow above. This seals the tenth door of the body and prevents amrita, soma or nectar, flowing from the moon in the Sahasrara cakra to be burnt up by the sun below. This amrita is the quintessence of the visible body and flows down a curved duct called the banka nala. The khecari mudra enables the yogin to drink the amrita, and by this he becomes immortal.


Home : Articles : About us : Site Map : - India Business Directory