The study of almost every field or subject comprises of two main aspects i.e. practical and theory. Similarly, the Curriculum of Hatha Yoga is also a fusion of classical texts and various yogic practices which are indispensable to the curriculum of hatha yoga. The basic curriculum of hatha yoga comprises of following a:
Hatha yoga texts emphasize on mitahara which means “moderate eating” or “measured diet.” Some of the sections of hatha yoga pradipika and gheranda samhita are entirely dedicated to the importance of proper diet to the body. This texts link one’s diet and eating habits to balancing the body and to acquire most benefits from the practice of hatha yoga. The ancient texts suggest that food should not be consumed till your stomach is about to burst or you are too full, neither one should fall to the cravings. It is suggested that one should eat food only when hungry and never go overboard. The food should fill up the only 3/4th of the stomach including the solid and liquid components and the remaining 1/4th should remain empty for the free flow of the air.
Practice of Yoga Asanas
Before starting with the yoga practice, the yogi is required to find a suitable place for practicing yoga. The ideal place for a practicing yogi should be away from any type of distractions. Once that ideal place is found, the yogi can start practicing the asanas. Hatha Yoga comprises of numerous postures and can be fairly uncomfortable and difficult to acquire and hold for a long time. However, with regularity and persistence, the tone of the muscles improves and the effort is reduced. The hatha yoga texts mention that when the efforts disappear while performing a pose, has no longer to think about the body position, breath normally during the pranayama and is able to go into deep meditation it means you have mastered it. The hatha yoga texts also explain the step by step methodology on how to enter an asana as well.
The word pranayama is made of two Sanskrit words prana which means vital energy or life force and ayama which means extending, restraining and Some hatha yoga texts teach us breathing exercises but at the same time do not refer to it as pranayama. But without being concerned about the nomenclature, proper breathing and breathing techniques are the true essence while performing a posture. The hatha yoga texts also state that proper breathing cleanses and balances the body.
Pranayama is the core practice as it is most commonly found as one of the limbs irrespective of whether the total number of limbs being taught is four or more. It is the practice of regulating the breath knowingly and can be done in various different ways such as changing the time of breath, slowing down the inhalation and exhalation; and combining them with muscle exercises. It is very important to couple asanas with proper breathing in order to get the maximum benefit.
Shat Karmas for Purification
Hatha yoga teaches various steps related to inner body cleansing with a consultation to yoga teacher. The texts differ from each other in specifics and number of cleansing methods which may range from regular day to day simple hygiene practices and exercises like the kinds of reversing fluidal. The six common list of these cleansing techniques which includes dhauti, basti, neti, trataka, nauli and kapala- bhati.
Meditation is also one of the most important aspects of the hatha yoga curriculum. The students are taught various meditative practices such as mantra chanting, japa yoga, etc. The regular practice of these techniques helps in promoting relaxation, building internal energy and develops love, compassion, patience, forgiveness, and generosity.
Relaxation practices and poses are also important for reducing the mental and physical fatigue. These techniques are important to rejuvenate and refresh the tired mind and body. Practices such as yoga nidra and Shavasana are commonly used to overcome the physical and mental stress.
Applications of yoga- Learning various yoga poses and practices is a different thing and the application of the same is entirely a different thing. It is crucial for a perfect yoga master to know when and where to apply the particular yoga pose. The trainees during their hatha yoga teacher training course are taught how to apply these techniques in their teaching practices with respect to the type of class or students they are teaching or dealing with.