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Hatha means sun/moon. Yoga means union. Hatha Yoga is a system of balancing and uniting the sun(yang) and moon(yin) energies within the physical/etheric body. The spine is said to contain 3 channels. The left Ida Channel
is yin, the right Pingala Channel
is yang and the central Sushumna channel
is balanced. By balancing the yin/yang channels the central channel can be awakened. This facilitates the awakening of kundalini.
This yoga will also correct the left/right bias of the brain leading to natural whole brain thinking and ambidextrousness which is the ability to write with and use both hands equally well. As a supporting indication that ambixterousness is the natural superior state I have heard that babies born in an especially harmonious atmosphere (ie soft lights, no hash noises or temperature changes etc) have a much higher chance of being ambidextrous from the start.
Firstly I should say that there are experts out there who have a far deeper understanding of yoga than is presented here. This material is somewhat experimental, but those versed in such things will certainly agree with the underlying principles and may be pleasantly surprised or intrigued with some of the original ideas.
Basic Principles Of Neohatha Yoga
In Neohatha yoga all practices are divided into 3 categories: Yin Practices
which enliven the left side, designed to correct right side bias, Yang Practices
which enliven the right side, designed to correct left side bias and Balanced Practices
which enliven left and right equally which promote all round balance.
All postures where the left and right sides of the body are positioned equally promote natural balance. The death posture where one lies down on ones back and the prayer posture where the palms of one's left and right hands are gently pressed together are clasic examples of Balanced Practice. In all the balanced standing postures, the weight of the body is distributed equally over the left and right feet.
Yin and Yang Practices
Yin and yang practices have a bias to the left or right side of the body. Variables include weight distribution including standing on one leg, tongue position within the mouth, the direction of the eyes+whether left or right is open or closed etc etc.
Tight fitting clothing may restrict blood flow and many man made materials are said to interfere with the body's natural bio/electric system.
Ideally the postures and "exercises" should be performed in loose fitting clothing made from natural materials. Considering color white, which contains all colors equally within it, is best for the aura. If one has a particular imbalance then appropriate colors can be chosen. This must be studied by the reader elsewhere. In any case I consider such things to be of only minor importance. Saying that however, all minor variables should obviously be optimized as much as possible. Other such variables are having a clean, light environment with plenty of fresh air. Cold draughts or excessive damp should be avoided. I believe that a ground floor area is preferable, with the person exercising in bare feet, to benefit from the natural energy of the earth. Diet is discussed here:The Virtues of Vegetarianism
. After a meal the body directs a lot of its energy towards digestion. For this reason one should not exercise immediately after a meal-give your body a chance to digest your food!
A suggested practice would be to start with some balanced postures. Then alternate 10 minutes each the yin and yang practices with a slight bias to the side which you feel needs more work. Finally finish with a few minutes of balanced practice. In actuallity though if you are not sure about which left/right postures energize or suppress, the emphasis should be very much on the balanced postures which lead to harmony.
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