What Is Hatha Yoga?

THE science of Yoga is divided into several branches. Among the best known and leading divisions are (1) Hatha Yoga, (2) Raja Yoga, (3) Karma Yoga and (4) Gnani Yoga.

This page is devoted only to the first named, and we will not attempt to describe the others at this time, although we will have something to say about all of these great branches of Yoga, in the rest of the Yoga of Jesus part of Church of the East's site.

Hatha Yoga is that branch of the Yogi Philosophy, which deals with the physical body - its care, its well-being, its health, its strength - all that tends to keep it in its natural and normal state of health. It teaches a natural mode of living and answers the cry, which were taken up by many of the Western world: "Let us get back to Nature". The Yogi does not have to go back, for he is already there. He has always stuck close to nature and her ways, and has not been dazzled and befooled by the mad rush towards externals, which has caused the modern civilized races to forget that such a thing as nature existed. Trends and social ambitions have not reached the Yogi's consciousness - he smiles at these things and regards them as he does the pretences of childish games. He has not been lured from nature's arms, but continues to cuddle close up to the bosom of his good mother who has always given him nourishment, warmth and protection. Hatha Yoga is first - nature, second - nature, and last - NATURE. When confronted with a choice of methods, plans, theories, etc., apply to them the touchstone: "Which is the natural way?" and always choose that which seems to conform the nearest to nature.

{extract from the course in Hatha Yoga presented by the online college}

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