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Hatha Yoga and the wisdom of the body


One of the many different forms of yoga that evolved from meditation, Hatha Yoga was initially devised in India around the 10th century AD as a way to relax and bring health to the body in preparation for meditation.

While the asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga can definitely play an important role in relation to meditation, it’s now widely recognised that Hatha Yoga can be a stand-alone practice with a wide range of benefits.

The 14th century manual known as Hatha Yoga Pradipika discusses the fact that Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga (disciplined meditation) are complementary. For example Chapter 1 starts by saying “Salutation to adinatha (Siva) who expounded the knowledge of Hatha Yoga, which like a staircase leads the aspirant to Raja Yoga”.

For many centuries yoga philosophy was also associated mainly with meditation, but eventually it was realised that many of its inspiring concepts can be applied to the asanas of Hatha Yoga. And in fact it could be said that in many ways Hatha Yoga contains its own form of wisdom.

As venerated yoga teacher B.K.S Iyengar says in Light on Life, “With asana and prayanayma practice, first we move outward from mind and cleanse the body, senses and organs. Instinct is revitalised. The newly awoken intelligence of the body moves in and tells you automatically what food is good for you, when and how much to eat, when and how to exercise, and when to rest or sleep […] Gradually the higher intelligence of intuition begins to dawn, like light in the sky before sunrise”.

If you'd like to learn more about the ways in which yoga and meditation can gradually develop your intuitive powers, my book Intuition: The Art of Using Your Sixth Sense has lots of useful information. It's available through amazon.com and you can check it out in the Books section of this website.

Namaste,

Penny


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