Hatha yoga is the first stage of yoga.
Exercises of this stage were developed in ancient India, and their performance teaches one concentration of the consciousness in various parts of the body, as well as relaxation of the body and mind; they also contribute to elimination of many bioenergetic defects within the body and can heal one of some chronic diseases.
The mechanism that is at work here is as follows: maintaining
hatha yoga postures (so-called asanas)
for a long time causes accumulation and redistribution of energy in the energy
structures of the organism, which leads to their development.
The following dynamics of sensations is typical when mastering new asanas. During the first few days of practice one may not feel anything out of ordinary, only regular adaptation of the body takes place. During the next few days, absolutely new “mysterious” and pleasant sensation of energies “flowing” inside the body may appear; these energies “flow” in
meridians like streams of liquid; one may even hear a babbling sound at times.
But in one or two weeks, they suddenly disappear, to one’s regret. In fact it means that the asana has fulfilled its role at the current stage. But what was taking place is the following. As a result of doing the asana, the corresponding meridian started to function. While its conductivity was still low, one had interesting murmur-like sensations. When the meridian opened fully, the energy started to move freely inside it and the “murmuring” stopped.
At the initial stages of mastering exercises of hatha yoga, the necessary condition for doing asanas is to perform
shavasana after the whole set or after particular asanas, which are performed separately (except for relaxation ones). This is needed for leveling energetic strains that may develop due to the low conductivity of meridians. If this condition is not fulfilled, neurotic symptoms (lability of mood, sleep disturbances and many others) and even visual impairments or disorders of other systems of the organism may develop.
As a conclusion, it should be noted that practicing hatha yoga without switching to
killing-free diet always leads students to coarsening of the
consciousness. Subjectively, it is perceived as attainment of power. But it turns out to be a terrible trap: with coarse power of consciousness man programs himself to living in hell.
Attempts to do anything with kundalini as a part of hatha yoga training are strictly prohibited: this can lead to severe health disorders — both physical and mental. Working with kundalini is a task of the
buddhi yoga stage. Raising kundalini is allowed only after all
chakras and major meridians have been cleansed and developed thoroughly.
One also needs to understand that hatha yoga is just a preparatory stage for the actual yoga path. This is why devoting one’s life to it, counting on any substantial spiritual success — is not serious. Moreover, excessively long hatha yoga practice may even be harmful, for it produces the effect of hyper-development of the astral body. This will be a serious obstacle for refinement of consciousness and for its crystallization in the subtlest eons. Only working with the
spiritual heart within
raja and then buddhi yoga programs can ensure serious advancement.