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What is Yoga?

Hatha Yoga is the type of Yoga that is most widely practised in the West. The Sanskrit word “Yoga” has many meanings among which is to “unite” or “yoke”, referring to the union of the individual self with the universal consciousness. Yoga also describes the union of the physical body with the mind and spirit as a method of transcending the limitations of the ego and reaching enlightenment.

 

The word “Hatha” means “forceful”. Although this may not be a word that one immediately associates with Yoga, the practices of Hatha Yoga can indeed be powerful.

The individual syllables “ha” and “tha” meaning sun and moon, unite in the word “Hatha” suggesting the union of two opposites. The harmonising of opposite forces is a key aspect of yoga.

Hatha Yoga is a combination of physical postures, breath work, cleansing processes and mindful awareness of the physical and subtle bodies to prepare for contemplation and meditation.

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