“Health, longevity, peace of mind.” – Sri T. Krishnamacharya
Hatha Yoga is the yoga practice most commonly known in the west. Hatha Yoga is essentially liberation through physical transformation. The stages of Hatha Yoga are those of Raja Yoga – the 8 limbs. It focuses especially on asana, pranayama and meditation. Hatha Yoga was first described 2000 years ago in the Yoga Yajnavalkya Samhita. Another major, and better known text is the Hatha Yoga Prandipika. A key aspect of the practice is awareness of the breath to link the body and mind in the practice. Krishnamacharya, and his students were, and are still today (teachers such as A.G., Indra and Ganesh Mohan) major components of Hatha Yoga. Students such as Iyengar, however, emphasized the asana practice more than others. Texts such as the Hatha Yoga Prandipika also advocate cleansing techniques to assist general well-being, which assist in steadiness of body and mind and helps on the path to self-transformation.