The beauty of Hatha yoga

In Hatha Yoga, we use breath and the body in the asana. It is important however to understand that this is not a body-centered practice. It is not "just stretching" or "sophisticated exercise". The experience during the process of working with the body is a jump-in point to explore being fully present.

It is less about what one can do with their body and more about how one relates within and without their capability. One of the things that make Yoga is the consciousness with which we do and ultimately be. We use the breath and body as a field for strengthening the attention of the mind, making buoyant the spirit and fortifying the heart. This process contributes to the body being more healthy and fit.

Initially, the intention of Hatha Yoga practice is to develop skill in being as present and accountable in the body as possible, tuning our mind into the present moment and opening to spirit. Caroline Shola Arewa states in her book Opening to Spirit, “Opening to spirit is to heighten awareness, extend consciousness and awaken your entire being to the energy which animates and connects you to the universe”. Transformation is the process of experiencing a change it is in the essence of the quality of our presence. The brilliance of Yoga is that opening to spirit and transformation are possible.

The beauty of Hatha Yoga is that transformation is directly related to being embodied. However, transformational embodiment is not dependent on how much one’s physical prowess manifests in
flexibility, coordination, strength, speed or stamina. It is contingent on caring about being present, involved with and observing the process the transformational intelligence of the body-mind authentically kicks in from there. One does not have to do a lot of intense physical activity to begin. There is no wait for the experience.

That we do not have to do a lot to experience transformation with Hatha Yoga practice is crucial, it speaks to how accessible it is. Hatha Yoga practice can be adapted for anyone’s condition. The benefits Yoga offers humanity is well documented. The practice appeals to human intelligence as it relates to our spirit, emotions, psychology and physical well-being.