Studio Yoga 6 Venture from your beaten path
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, 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 is actually capable of doing 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 fit.   

The initial point 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. This does not
mean transformational embodiment is 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 critical, it
speaks to how accessible it is. Hatha Yoga practice can be adapted for anyone’s condition. The benefits
Yoga offer humanity is well documented. The practice appeals to human intelligence as it relates to our
spirit, emotions, psychology and physical well-being. See
Approaching Your Hatha Yoga Study.
© 2017 Chris Hoskins
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