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Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga, besides exertion, also means the union of polar energies such as the solar and lunar forces, and is thus related to shivaistic tantric exercises ('Shiva reveals as Nada, Bindu and Kala', Hathapradipika).

Already more than 4,000 years the old Rig-Veda mentioned several Hatha yoga practices.

This yogadiscipline in the west was known by the Yoga - Asanas, which can also cause certain health effects and was  therefore also  used in the wellness area.

The texts of the Hathayoga can be divided into 3 groups[1]
  1. Early Texts  : Amrtasiddhi of Virūpākṣa (11/12th century), Amaraughaprabodha (14/15th century), Dattātreyayogaśāstra (12/13th century), Khecarīvidyā (13/14th century), the original Gorakaśataka (14/15th century ), Śārgadharapaddhati (1363), Vasiṣṭhasahitā (12/13th century ), Siddha Siddhanta paddati, Vivekamārtaḍa (13/14th century) - (inklusive the Gorakṣaśataka, the Yogamārtanḍa and the Gorakṣapaddhati and an edition of the Gorakṣasamhitā), Yogayā jñavalkya (13/14th century), Yogabīja (14/15th century).
  2. Haṭhapradīpikā (15th century)
  3. Late texts: Śivasamhitā (15th century), Gheranḍasamhitā (17/18th century), Haṭharatnāvalī(17th century), Haṭhatattvakaumudī (18th century), Yogacintāmani (16/17th century), Yogatārāvalī (15/16th century), Sritattvanidhi(19th century)

There are three basic works

1. Hathapradipika (the lamp of Hatha-Yoga) by Svatmarama, who sees himself in the succession of Matsyendra and Goraksha

  1. Chapter : Asanas, Yama, Niyama (16,17)
  2. Chapter : Shatkriyas, Pranayama
  3. Chapter : Kundalini, Bandhas and Mudras
  4. Chapter : Mudra, Samadhi

The Hathapradipika emphasizes the Hatha - Yoga and the Kundalini - Yoga as well as the importance of Raja - Yoga: No success in Raja Yoga without Hatha Yoga, no success in Hatha Yoga without Raja Yoga. Therefore, both should be practiced to the end. (H.Prad.II, 76) - After the bow before the venerable teacher, the Lord, the Hathayoga doctrine is taught by the Yogi Svatmarama solely for the purpose of the Rajayoga (H.Prad. 1-2)

2.  Gherandasamhita (7 chapters : Shatkarmasadhana, Asanaprayoga, Mudraprayoga, Pratyaharaprayoga, Pranayamaprayoga, Dhyanayoga, Samadhiyoga). The text leads to Ashtanga Yoga and also contains verses from the Goraksha Samhita (Goraksha Paddhati).

3. Shivasamhita : 84 Asanas, Tantra : 4 steps of Yoga, 5  Elementary visualizations and 4 asanas, the inner sound, the esoteric energy centers, kundalini and the global mantra OM (i. Om - Aim - Klim - Strim )

In the Hatha-Yoga the 'Ham-Sa' - breathing practice is also practiced, which is also referred to as the 'goose of transience' in contrast to the 'So-Ham', the 'white swan'. 

The goal of Hatha Yoga is the Samadhi.

Literature

References

  1.  http://de.scribd.com/doc/193410964/Meaning-of-ha%E1%B9%ADha-in-Early-Ha%E1%B9%ADhayoga
  2.  https://www.academia.edu/3773137/Translation_of_the_Dattatreyayogasastra_the_earliest_text_to_teach_ha%E1%B9%ADhayoga
  3.  Kurtis R. Schaeffer: The attainment of Immortality: from Nāthas in India to Buddhists in Tibet” in: Journal of Indian Philosophy 30 (2002): 515-533.

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