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The Meaning of "Hatha" Yoga

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Hatha yoga refers to the physical practice of yoga, or "union" of the body, mind and Self and of the individual consciousness with that of the Universal, the source of Creation.  Hatha yoga consists of asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation. In the yogic text the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, it is said that Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga, the yoga of meditation are inextricably linked. One cannot have one without the other. Hatha Yoga is there to cleanse the body and improve the health , fitness and clarity of mind of the yoga practitioner so that meditation can occur spontaneously as a path to spiritual development. The Hatha Yoga postures are also practiced in a meditative state. So, rather than being  two separate steps in a process, Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga are practiced together from the beginning, with a deepening sense of union as the practice develops.

The Meaning of the Word "Hatha"

Very briefly put, the component, "Ha", means su…