What is Hatha Yoga?


Sadhguru: In the tradition, once we use the word “yoga” attached to anything, it indicates that it is a complete path by itself. “Hatha” has the word “yoga” attached to it because hatha yoga is a complete path by itself. If it is a complete path by itself, how it should be approached is the question. If it was just a simple practice, you can approach it one way. If it was an exercise, you could have approached it another way. If it was an art form, it could be approached another way. Or if it is just entertainment, it could be approached another way.

I am using all these examples because all these things have been said about yoga, and they are still in usage in today’s world. People say “recreational yoga,” “health yoga”– people are referring to it as an art form. They think they are doing yoga a service by calling it an art form. No. The moment you attach the word “yoga,” it indicates it is a complete path by itself.

In most Indian languages, in common usage, the word “hatha” means being adamant. This is the quality that you will need. Your body says, “Enough, I had it.” But you are adamant. This is hatha yoga. Your mind says, “I give up, I can’t do this anymore.” But you are adamant, you simply do it. We want to take the physical form beyond its present levels of limitations. In a way, hatha yoga means you want to make your comfort zone universal. Right now, for most people, their comfort zone is a very small band. If you make your comfort zone universal, wherever you are, however you are, you are at ease. If I make you stand on your head, you are still at ease. Hell will not work for you; you are adamant enough to frustrate the devil!

Hatha yoga is about creating a body which is not a hurdle in one’s life. The body becomes a stepping stone—not a hurdle, not a roadblock—in one’s progress of blossoming into his ultimate possibility.

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" Before learning Surya Kriya, I had heard that it was very "powerful." I didn't really know what the meant, and thought it was too ambiguous to really mean anything...but after learning it, "powerful" made perfect sense. After my first complete Surya Kriya practice, I felt as if my entire body was in a meditative state. I didn't even want to move, and I was standing upright! Every part of my body and mind was just still. It was stilling, exhilarating, HUGE, and, definitely, powerful. I can see and immediate change in my face and body after practicing Surya Kriya. It tones my body and mind daily. Now I understand the difference between "authentic yoga" and other types of yoga taught simply for fitness. "
- Saloney Arora, USA

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