Part 3 - Learning Hatha Yoga
I had confidence that I would be led into a yoga school that was inline with my path. Not having done any Hatha yoga sessions back home in my local yoga studios and not having done any research on what Hatha yoga was all about, I dove into what Shiva Shakti School’s program was going to teach me. The only thing I was aware of is that they taught Hatha yoga. I read the description of the program on their website and that was good enough for me. The rest would be up to the Universe and I was willing to surrender to it...come what may.
As the origins and principles of Hatha yoga were gradually explained during the philosophy classes at Shiva Shakti in Goa, India, I knew that I was in the right place and that I was following the right path for me. Incorporating the yogic principles that were being taught with my own understanding of spiritual principles based on my past experiences and personal exploration was like fitting a lost piece of a puzzle in an incomplete puzzle image. It was an easy fit for me that made sense and served to fill-in some blanks and confirm some other points related to universal spiritual wisdom.
A two syllable word composted of “Ha” and “Tha” both together as Hatha, expresses the meaning of force or more specifically the force between opposites. The “Ha” is Sun, the “Tha” is Moon...the ultimate duality of the human experience. The nature of opposing forces (Hatha) unite (Yoga) creating a forceful power capable of brining both opposites together in harmonious balance.
Now, stretch your consciousness a bit…the Sun and Moon are but one example of opposing forces, if we bring that down to our human state of being, we see the dynamic duality of male and female. We recognize the inherent nature of humanity which is constantly immersed in dual energies or traits of male-female. Regardless of sex, we recognize some male and female traits in all of us and this fluctuates constantly.
Let’s stretch a bit further…the intellect and intuition are both elements we live with each and every day and oftentimes they conflict with each other, in this conflict our mind can have some trouble in discerning a path and a sense of unbalance can arise. Resolution of this conflict comes in the form of applying a balanced approach of both.
A bit further still…positive and negative things happen in our lives all the time. Needless to say we only want the good, but it’s only in the negative that we truly learn things about ourselves and it’s in the negative situations that we get awakened and moved to make necessary changes in our lives or to rite the wrongs we see around us.
The force of duality is all around us on so many levels and Hatha yoga reminds us of that universal truth. Yet it is in the practice of combining opposing forces that balance is achieved… that transformation happens.
Yoga, meaning to yolk together or bring together, is the action we exert on the duality that is in us. More specifically, “Hatha Yoga” is the bringing together of our dual nature to experience balance in our human existence which will by extension bring balance to the world we live in, essentially transform the world as we know it!
There’s an even deeper layer to the yogic wisdom to explore and I’ll get into that in my next blog post which will be about the ultimate goal of yoga…much of which has been forgotten, diluted or ignored in many contemporary yoga practices and styles especially in the west. It involves total and permanent annihilation!