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the yoga center reno
   

 

Hatha Yoga is founded on the truth that the state of the mind is inextricably combined with the condition of the body.

Hatha Yoga focuses on two steps of the eight-fold path, asana (postures) and pranayama (breath practices) preparing the body for the journey toward enlightenment.

Through asana the body is quieted and the mind becomes calm, providing the control essential for bodily stillness and a heightened awareness of the subtle nature of the breath. In pranayama, the observation and experiencing of the breath convert it from an automatic function to a conscious one, combining the physical and spiritual qualities of the breath. Pranayama serves as a bridge between our states of being conscious and unconscious, voluntary and involuntary, internal and external and provides a gateway to the higher levels of development.

 

Yoga has been broadly divided into four principal paths for seeking more from life than the mundane outer existence:

  • Bhakti Yoga............The way of devotional love for the Divine.
  • Karma Yoga...........The way of right action, or selfless service.
  • Jnana Yoga............The way of knowledge and discrimination.
  • Raja Yoga...............The way of unification of body and mind through the development of conscious control.

 

Central to the path of Raja Yoga, which includes the teachings of all yogas, are the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali which codified Ashtanga (eight branched) Yoga as:

  • Yama.......................Outer behaviors and inner attitudes to avoid: violence, lying, stealing, sensuality and greed.
  • Niyama....................Practices and observances to cultivate: cleanliness, contentment, austerity, introspection, devotion.
  • Asana......................Practice of postures to gain control of the body, stillness.
  • Pranayama.............Energy control, often breathing techniques.
  • Pratyahara..............Interiorization of the mind, withdrawing the senses from external objects.
  • Dharana..................Concentration.
  • Dhyana....................Meditation.
  • Samadhi.................Enlightenment.

 

"Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity.  This evolution includes all aspects of one's being, from bodily health to self-realization.  Yoga means union - the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul.  Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one's actions".  ~B.K.S. Iyengar