About Hatha & Raja Yoga
Hatha yoga is a traditional form of practice that is a basis for all the types of yoga asana
styles we have today. A yoga practitioner who has established themselves in Hatha Yoga has a solid foundation for self-development and exploration.
Hatha is a Sanskrit word that comprises from two Mantras: Ham – representing Solar
energy/ Prana Shakti and mantra Tham is representing the lunar energy/ Chitta Shakti. In
order to live a healthy, abundant and balanced life we practise yoga – the union of the two
life governing energies.
Hatha Yoga involves elements of practice such as asana (posture), pranayama (control of
prana – life force energy), mudras, bandhas (gestures and locks) and Shatkarma (six
actions of purification), kriyas.
As Hatha Yogi dives deeper into practice and develops strong personal sadhana, eventually, they develop siddhis – mastery of prana (life force energy). The union of Prana (upward flow of energy) and Apana (downward flow of energy) becomes available and with a great mastery it can be risen through the six main chakras (energy channels) to the seventh chakra – the seat of spirituality. Such a process can happen also by divine grace – to a devotional person –Bhakta – who surrenders himself to the divine.
Kriya is a more intense practice that requires the yoga practitioner to have their body
prepared to a certain physical level. There are a few main kriyas that should be practised by an expert yoga practitioner: Neti, Dhauti, Nauli, Basti, Tratak and Kapalabhati.
It is important to remember, that Hatha yoga is not a goal, but rather a means to an end, a
part of an ever unfolding path of self-discovery and self-mastery. As one sustains a strong
Hatha sadhana, this will further lead to Raja yoga.
“The Hatha Yoga can not be obtained without Raja Yoga, nor can the Raja Yoga be obtained without Hatha Yoga”
Raja Yoga begins where Hatha Yoga ends. Raja Yoga encompasses both body and mind, but the emphasis is on mental and spiritual development. Its purpose is to unite the practitioner with the higher self. Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga are interdependent. No one can become a perfect Yogi without the knowledge and practice of both these Yogas. Hatha Yoga prepares the student to take up Raja Yoga.
There are 8 limbs of Raja Yoga:
‘The science of Raja Yoga is a time-tested method of reaching the truth.