The Hatha Yoga Pradipika • Yoga Basics

What has been generally known as yoga within the west is in actuality simply one of many many avenues of yoga and is technically known as hatha yoga. The oldest and most widespread historic textual content on the bodily practices of Hatha Yoga is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. As with all historic non secular texts, the script is concise and infrequently mystical, mysterious, and a bit cryptic. As a elementary scripture passage for yoga, it is very important perceive the historic context of the textual content and the way its content material has influenced and influenced trendy apply and understanding of yoga. Many of those teachings and practices are actually esoteric and unusual, however they’re nonetheless thought of highly effective methods to be explored if one is to seek out enlightenment by means of hatha yoga.

What is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika?

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika (HYP) is likely one of the three most vital historic texts on Hatha Yoga. The different primary texts are Gheranda Samhita and Shiva Samhita, each of that are older than the HYP.

The unique identify of the textual content is Hatha Pradipika. Subsequent commentaries and translations referred to it as Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and that is the identify by which it’s generally recognized. Pradipika translated means "light" or "illuminate", so the title is often translated into "The Light of Hatha Yoga". The Sanskrit prefix “Ha” means “sun”, “Tha” “moon” and “Yoga” means “union”, in order that the title will also be translated as “The light to unite the energies of the sun and moon”. ”

This e book was written by Swami Swatamarama within the 15th century AD and is predicated on older Sanskrit texts, the teachings of well-known lecturers and Swatamarama's personal yogic experiences. The first model translated into English was printed by Pancham Sinh in 1915.

Main aims

The most important goal of this textual content is to make clear the bodily disciplines and practices of Hatha Yoga and to combine them with the upper non secular objectives of Raja Yoga (meditation).

Swatamarama first explains the connection between Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga and tells us that Hatha is a preliminary apply for Raja Yoga. He tells us that it’s a lot simpler to achieve self-control and self-discipline once we begin with the bodily and energetic physique than once we attempt to management the thoughts immediately as in Raja Yoga. Then, by means of mastery of the prana or the vitality of the physique, we are able to simply grasp the management of the thoughts and obtain success with Raja Yoga. In verse 1:41 he tells us that when the circulation of prana is stabilized by means of the practices of hatha yoga, the breath stops spontaneously and a senseless state arises naturally.

Practice tips

Although Swatamarama's directions for working towards this yoga are very detailed and considerably outdated, Westerners can apply an important and related factors to their apply. Swatamarama tells us that the room by which to apply yoga ought to be clear, nice, comfy and free from bugs and animals. It additionally describes the qualities that result in success in yoga, which result in failure, and supplies ten guidelines of conduct and ten private observations for the start yogi. In quick, he tells us that in an effort to achieve success within the apply of hatha yoga we should lead a peaceful, pure, trustworthy, and average way of life and keep away from extreme conduct.

The most important practices in Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Most of this textual content describes the methods of the primary practices of Hatha Yoga: Asana (postures), Pranayama (respiration workout routines), Shatkarma (inside cleaning), Mudra (vitality seals) and Bandha (vitality limitations).

After some primary preliminary necessities within the first chapter, Swatamarama makes it clear that the primary stage of hatha is yoga Asana, the posture that we’re most acquainted within the west. Asana creates firmness of the physique and thoughts in addition to illness and suppleness of the physique. Here we first study to manage and self-discipline the physique.

Swatamarama tells us that after a apply of asana was established, it was launched Pranayama might be began. The objective of those respiration workout routines is to manage the prana and delicate energies of the physique, which in flip can be utilized to manage the thoughts.

In the second chapter Swatamarama tells us that if there’s an excessive amount of phlegm within the physique, it have to be eliminated with the six Purification Techniques of Shatkarma. These cleaning methods, in addition to pranayama, assist cleanse the physique's vitality channels and allow prana to maneuver extra effectively by means of these nadis.

The third chapter offers with the delicate vitality techniques and the apply of Mudras and Bandhas. Through the usage of mudra and bandha, the physique's vitality is additional activated, concentrated and directed into the primary vitality channel, the sushumna, which runs from the bottom of the backbone to the highest of the pinnacle and cuts all seven chakras. Mudras are complicated actions of the entire physique in a mixture of asana, pranayama, bandha and visualization. Bandhas are interventions of sure muscle teams on the base of the pelvis, stomach and throat in an effort to "lock" the prana vitality of the physique within the higher physique. Both methods are tough to grasp and shouldn’t be tried till one is competent and competent in each asana and pranayama.

Chapter Four incorporates extra methods for the Attainment of enlightenment or samadhi. Swatamarama notes that creating a wholesome physique and thoughts is crucial to attaining samadhi. When this remaining stage is reached, a yogi will expertise the unbeaten sound often called Pranava, the vibration of your entire universe.

At one stage, the HYP describes a really comparable yoga to what’s practiced within the West, whereas a completely totally different yoga is proven by the intent of the deeper practices described therein. Traditionally, Hatha Yoga focuses in a novel method on remodeling the bodily physique by means of purification and cultivation of the life vitality of Prana. And all the methods of Hatha Yoga are thought of preparatory steps to realize the deeper states of meditation and enlightenment discovered on the trail of Raja Yoga. With that in thoughts, we're solely getting a style of what yoga can provide us right here within the West. The HYP offers us a invaluable map of those deeper practices of yoga and supplies the information and instruments to journey into these depths if we so need.

Important quotes from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Chapter 1: Asana

  • Overeating, exertion, talkativeness, adherence to guidelines, firm with atypical folks, and instability of the thoughts are the six causes that destroy yoga.
  • Enthusiasm, perseverance, discrimination, unwavering perception, braveness, avoiding the corporate of atypical persons are the six causes that result in success in yoga.
  • Paschimottanasana is one of the best of the asanas. Through this asana the pranic currents rise by means of the central vitality channel. The digestive hearth will increase, the abdomen turns into flat, and the physician turns into illness free.

Chapter 2: Shatkarma and Pranayama

  • When the nadis are cleaned, exterior signs seem – success is seen when the physique turns into skinny and glowing.
    Close your mouth, breathe in with management and focus by means of the Ida and Pingala Nadis, in order that the breath might be felt from the throat to the guts and creates a sonorous sound.
  • When the breath is stressed, the thoughts is stressed. When the breath is calm, the thoughts is calm and the yogi turns into steadfast.
  • Where is the worry of demise so long as the breath stays within the physique, so long as the thoughts is calm and so long as the sight is within the middle of the forehead?
  • The perfection of Hatha Yoga is achieved when the physique is lean, a peaceful face, a manifestation of the inside sound, clear eyes, diseaselessness, management of the bindu (sperm / egg cells), energetic digestive hearth and purification of the nadis.

Chapter 3: Mudra and Bandha

  • Hence the yoga connoisseur overcomes demise by maintaining the bindu. The launch of the sperm / egg cells means demise; Maintaining bindu is life.
  • She is really a yogini who preserves her rajas by contracting and elevating them. She is aware of the previous, current and future and is fastened within the Khechari mudra.
  • The bindu and the rajas in a single's physique unite by means of union by means of the apply of Vajroli Mudra and thus bestow all perfections or siddhis.
  • The yogi who strikes the Shakti commonly enjoys perfection or siddhi. It simply conquers time and demise. What else is there to say?

Chapter 4: Samadhi

  • When the thoughts is now not capricious and is united by fixation in nada, it turns into motionless like a wingless hen.
  • Therefore, one who wishes full mastery of yoga ought to discover the Nada with an attentive thoughts and quit all ideas.
  • The yogi in samadhi just isn’t eaten by time, certain by karma, or overwhelmed by anybody.
  • The yogi in samadhi is aware of neither odor, nor style, nor form, nor contact, nor sound, nor himself or others.

Free PDF downloads from HYP

Fortunately, there are totally different translations of the HYP, and for all older yogic texts we suggest evaluating not less than two totally different translations in an effort to get a clearer understanding of the philosophy and practices concerned. The solely printed version we suggest is Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Swami Muktibodhananda of the Bihar School of Yoga. The following hyperlinks level to our really useful public area e-book editions:

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