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What is Classical Hatha Yoga?
Classical Hatha Yoga (CHY) is the path of yoga giving first attention to the physical body. There are many names behind yoga practice and it is easy to get lost in this. Yoga literally means ‘union’ and has four paths.
Karma Yoga – The action of Selfless Service
Bhakti Yoga – Path of devotion to a Guru or God
Raja Yoga – To pay focus and control the mind
Jnana – The path of Knowledge
Raja yoga focuses primarily on the mind. The mind is perceived as the ‘Ruler/King/Royal’ of the psycho-physical structure, which is constantly working whether we realise it or not.
A good command of self-discipline is required of the self to maintain the union with the mind & body. This helps to keep a good balance of physical and mental wellbeing.
Although Yoga helps to grow and maintain flexibility, the ability to do difficult postures is not necessary, our main concern is to focus and be aware of the body and the breath. A good comprehension is needed of the anatomical and physiological principles of each asana. This will enable us to grow and improve our practise with time. Expectation should be realistic and not overinflated.
Try to make a mental note of how your first session goes and even keep a diary, as it is important not to ask too much of yourself. The CHY sequence is a great way of tracking your progress, as each week goes by you will soon notice your body becoming much more pliable and stronger, you will notice muscle tone and posture improve, which will encourage you to continue.