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Hatha Yoga Tip


First variation with simple hip twist: Beginner

Stand with legs about twice shoulder width apart. Turn the left foot to the left and right foot slightly in to the left. Interlock fingers behind the back. The front heel is aligned with the Centre of the back foot. Rotate the hips to the left so the chest is aligned with the front leg in this case the left leg and foot. Adjust feet if necessary. Inhale and stretch the body up and exhale, bending forehead and chest to the left leg. Keep knees straight and keep holding arms behind the back with fingers in interlocked position. Hold up to a minute and repeat on opposite side.

Second variation with spinal twist: Intermediate

Stand with feet apart about twice shoulder width or wider, and left foot pointing to left, right foot slightly to left. Inhale and stretch arms parallel out to sides.
Exhale and twist body from the waist to the left so the hips are rotated to the direction of the front leg and foot, in this case the left leg is the front leg. Have equal weight on both feet. Bend down, keeping the knees straight and bringing the right palm down on the outside of the left foot or on top of it. Stretch the left arm up, opening the chest and look at the fingertips of the left hand. The palm is facing forward. Both arms are straight and form one straight line. Hold pose and come out in reverse order. Switch to opposite side and hold for equal time.

Third variation with bent knee: Intermediate

Take feet apart as in second variation but a little further apart. Bend the left knee sinking weight into that leg and bring the left arm down, placing the left palm on the mat inside the left foot. Stretch the right arm out over the head alongside the right ear, making a straight line from right hand to the right foot. Right knee is straight and foot is flat on the mat. Look up under right armpit while holding the pose. Switch to opposite side and hold for equal time. In bent knee variations, keep the ankle aligned under the bent knee.

Fourth variation with bent knee and head to toe: Advanced

From variation two with bent left knee, take the hands behind the back interlocking the fingers. Inhale and lift the back until it is aligned with the bent left leg, looking forward and keeping your balance on both feet. Exhale and bend forward, aiming to place the top of the head on the floor next to the left foot. Hold up to 30 seconds. Come out of the pose by lifting the torso and repeating on the opposite side.

All the benefits of basic Trikonasana plus with hip rotation and spinal twist, the side of the body is lengthened and twisted, muscles receive more toning and stretching.
The spine is laterally stretched more powerfully.
The pelvic girdle is stretched and strengthened.
Sense of balance training.
Increased leg strengthening and stretching of muscles.
Intense strengthening for quadriceps muscles particularly in the bent knee variations.

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication: “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre – 2010.

Don’t expect fruits for your actions (Nishkamya). – Sri Swami Sivananda

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A spiritual seeker’s attitude should not be narrowed down by any kind of distinction, be it of class, religion, caste or colour. – Sri Swami Sivananda


HATHA YOGA: Ha – the energy of the Sun, masculine energy, active energy; Tha – the energy of the Moon, receptive energy, cool energy. Yoga (Yuj) – union; the union of universal consciousness with individual consciousness.

Hatha Yoga is a systematic course of exercises, dealing with Shat Karmas, Asanas, Pranayamas, Mudras, Bandhas and exercises on concentration and meditation. Hatha Yoga is a path toward creating balance. Hatha Yoga is like the tortoise that supports the World. It relates to the restraint of breath (Pranayama), Asanas, Bandhas and Mudras. ‘Ha’ and ‘tha’ mean the union of the sun and the moon, union of Prana and Apana Vayus. ‘Hatha’ means any tenacious practice till the object or end is achieved. Trataka, standing on one leg, (a kind of Tapas) and similar poses are all Hatha Yoga practices. Hatha Yoga is inseparable from Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga begins where Hatha Yoga ends. Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga are interdependent. Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga are the necessary counterparts of each other. No one can become a perfect Yogi without a knowledge and practice of both the Yogas. Hatha Yoga prepares the student to take up Raja Yoga.

A Hatha Yogi starts his Sadhana with body and Prana; a Raja Yogi starts his Sadhana with his mind; a Jnana Yogi starts his Sadhana with Buddhi or intellect and will.

A Hatha Yogi gets Siddhis (psychic powers) by uniting Prana and Apana and by taking the united Prana-Apana through the six Chakras (Centres of spiritual energy) to Sahasrara at the crown of the head. A Raja Yogi gets Siddhis by Samyama, i.e., combined practice of Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi at one time. A Jnana Yogi exhibits Siddhis through pure will or Sat-Sankalpa. A Bhakta gets Siddhis through self-surrender and the consequent descent of grace. Kriyas, viz., Neti, Dhauti, Nauli, Basti, Tratak and Kapalabhati belong to Hatha Yoga. All need not practice these Kriyas. Those who have got much phlegm in the body should practice these Kriyas. Learn these under an expert Hatha Yogi. Hatha Yoga is not the goal. It is only a means to an end. Take to Raja Yoga after possessing good health.

Do Asana, Kumbhaka, Mudra and shake the Kundalini. Then take it to Sahasrara through Chakras in the Sushumna. O children of light! Will you drink not, will you drink not, the nectar of immortality?

Brother! Attain good health. Without health how can you live? Without health, how can you earn? Without health how can you get success in Yoga or any undertaking? Possess wonderful health through the practice of Hatha Yoga. Drink the nectar in Sahasrara and live in the immortal abode of Siva.

No Hatha Yoga, no success,
Not Hatha Yoga, no Samadhi,
Not Hatha Yoga, no health,
Not Hatha Yoga, no Veerya,
Not Hatha Yoga, no beauty,
Not Hatha Yoga, no long life.
– Sri Swami Sivananda

You are in the hands of God. He holds the string. He is the Sutradhar. – Sri Swami Sivananda