About Hatha Yoga
Yoga refers to a state of consciousness where the sense of separation between subject and object dissolves, and all one is left with is the sense of oneness. This expanded feeling produces a euphoric state where thought, time and space no longer exist.
Classical yoga, as defined by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras, is that state achieved where fluctuations of the mind stop - "Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodhah". By first concentrating the mind on a single object over an extended period of time as is done in meditation, eventually the mind through an act of grace can stop entirely. Once stopped, a tremendous energy springs forth as a natural consequence, and one enters into a state called samadhi.
Tantric Yoga takes a different approach. It involves working directly with energy in such a way that a tremendous surge of energy springs forth, and the mind stops as a natural consequence. This surge is referred to as kundalini awakening, and it can be achieved through the proper and regular practice of hatha yoga, which focuses on specific physical exercises and postures as well as breathing techniques, both of which represent the third and fourth rung of Patanjali's 8-limb Raja Yoga.
Initially, one’s hatha yoga practice brings a keener awareness of the physical body. The exercises keep one’s body young, dynamic, supple, strong, and healthy. All yoga postures, combined with proper breathing, improve the circulatory, endocrine, and nervous systems. Digestion and assimilation are also stimulated as well as the elimination of toxins. The lymph system, the body’s defense mechanism, is thus far better able to prevent the onset of illness and will accelerate recovery when symptoms begin.
By maintaining the physical body at its optimimum level, the practitioner can then better experience the more subtle energies at play and work with them in a way that brings about this euphoric state of consciousness.
La Source offers several distinct hatha yoga approaches: Ashtanga yoga comes from the Krishnamacharya lineage, which involve the coordination of the breath with movement; and the Sivananda and "Yin" styles focus on relaxed holding of postures for a sustained duration. While we highlight the difference between these approaches regarding asana practice, each approach is a complete yogic system that has different takes on pranayama and meditation as well. Regardless, all come from the same traditional origin. In addition, La Source offers yoga practices such as lower back yoga and Hormone yoga that are not focused on the awakening of kundalini but are still very beneficial on a physical level.