TTY 2016 Origins of hatha yoga

One succeeds in all Yogas through energetic practice – even if one is young, old, very old, sick, or weak. The practitioner will succeed; the non-practitioner will not. Success in Yoga is not achieved by merely reading books. Success is achieved neither by wearing the right clothes nor by talking about it. Practice alone brings success. This is the truth, without a doubt.    -Hatha Yoga Pradipika 1.64-66

Haṭha Yoga also represents the yogic body as a sealed hydraulic system within which vital fluids may be channeled upward as they are refined into nectar through the heat of asceticism.     -David Gordon White

Readings for this week:

  1. Synopsis of Hatha Yoga Pradipika: This is a collection of verses from the Haṭha Yoga Pradipika intended to provide a brief summary overview of the entire text.
  1. The_Yogataravali and the Hidden History of Yoga: This is an article on the early haṭha yoga text, the Yogatārāvallī. It provides a general history of haṭha yoga movements and how the primary core of haṭha yoga texts were formulated and also relates this to modern haṭha yoga.


-This assignment will help you prepare for class AND for the final exam. Come to class prepared to discuss the following questions:

  1. Write out a brief outline of the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā based on the synopsis provided above. What seem to be the main points of the text? How is it organized?
  2. What is the relationship of the Yogatārāvallī to the Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā? Based on the article, what is the difference between Rājayoga and Haṭha yoga? Who are these texts intended for? According to either reading, who can practice Haṭha Yoga?

Experiential Assignment:

At least 3 times this week, do the Suryanamaskar A & B (3-5 times each) based on the practice you have learned in the Haṭha Yoga class the past two Fridays. Try to coordinate your breath with the movements. Allow your inhale to be equal to the exhale. Generally upward movement are paired with the inhale and downward movements are paired with the exhale. In each posture (movement) fix your eyes in one place. Take notice of how you feel before and after the practice. If possible, try doing this practice just prior to doing some of the reading for the class or as a study break.




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