• How Do Hatha Yoga (Physical Yoga) And The Yoga Of The Yoga Sutras Differ?, BLOG JANUARY 2012

    Posted in Blog by Eric Shaw

    The Yoga Sutras describe Raja Yoga–a mind-focussed yoga practice from around the year 200 CE.

    It was consistent with the Buddhist methods of the time.  It granted profound states of concentration won through consistent practice.

    In these states, the true nature of Reality (vidya) was evident.

    Later, around 1300 CE, Hatha Yoga was developed in India.  It sought the same state, but took advantage of a biological potentiality in the energy body called Kundalini Awakening.

    The writer Stuart Sovatsky has called this awakening a “second puberty” that is the birthright of all humans.

    In Kundalini awakening, the energy body is re-patterned through a dramatic upswell (and downswell) of life-energy that moves through the system.

    When that process is complete, the bodymind has been transformed, and advanced or more limited states of vidya are readily available.  This state is the same as that achieved through meditative sweat-equity in the Yoga Sutras‘ system.

    As the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (c. 1500 CE) puts it, “All the processes of Hatha Yoga are but the means to attain Raja Yoga.”  (HYP: 4:103)

     

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