Hatha Yoga: Doing or Not Doing?!

The Ha-Tha Forces, Foundations in Asanas, Breath, Sensations, Meditation…

How Is Hatha Yoga Taught at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre by Guruji Sharat Arora?

What are the mistakes in practice bringing imbalance of Ha-Tha Forces?

Among the yoga practice, asanas are postural practices. Asanas, looking at a bigger pictures are part of Hatha yoga, one of the eigth limbs of it. While DOING the asanas we have to know what Hatha yoga is! Else we can easily jump into gymnastics or fitness. Hatha yoga is a balance between Ha and Tha. Ha which can be associated with the sun, is the active part, the action, the DOING ! The sun generates light. Tha on the other hand, can be associated with the moon and is the passive part, the reflection, the NON DOING as the moonshine reflects the sun light.

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What Understanding of Yoga Are We Spreading?

We will be ever grateful to the wonderful land and wise peoples of India (Bharat) for developing and sharing the practice of Yoga with the world. In recent years interest and participation in yoga globally has soared. You have likely seen many advertisements for classes and courses with the word “yoga” attached, such as Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Bikram yoga, Anusara yoga, Hot yoga, Iyengar yoga, Restorative yoga, Aerial yoga, Acro yoga and others. However, the teaching of the Yoga practice is often limited to only two of the eight limbs of yoga as described by Patanjali: asana and pranayama. Likewise, most people associate Yoga with physical exercise, especially exercises for the purpose of increasing one’s flexibility and physical strength. This is not reflective of the essence and true purpose of the practice.  

India’s PM Narendra Modi and initiator of International Day of Yoga (June 21st), recently gave a good simple explanation of Yoga in his address to the UN General Assembly in 2014:

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Be the Change! Walking the Talk toward Peace

The question: How do we foster peace in our society?
Mahatma Gandhi’s famous aphorism, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” gives us a sensible clue. If we want to change anything toward a certain direction, we must, as individuals, exemplify that tendency. We must “walk the talk” that we promote. Hence, if our intention is to help the world realize peace, we must first nurture it within ourselves.

However, this is not how the real world works at present. Our world and nations are governed by organizations, governmental, international, NGOs, private, etc., many of whose mission it is to improve the world or the nation. Unfortunately, many tend to focus more on trying to change others “for the better,” for more peace, more awareness, more safety, more rights, without ensuring that their own organization models the improvements they strive for. Similarly, the individuals running the organization may try to change the attitudes and behaviors of their human resources, without taking a step back to make sure they exemplify that which they want from their colleagues. The old saying goes that the children of the cobbler have no shoes of their own. We can see organizations that fight for labor rights, have their own employees living with an unhealthy level of work-related stress on a daily basis. Organizations that promote education for all have cut all the funding for educating and developing their own staff. Organizations that promote peace, equanimity, love and compassion, are often complaining, blaming others, and not creating an environment conducive to peace within their employees.

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Focusing on the Foundations: Fostering World Peace through Inner Peace

We live in a world where violence is commonplace, ubiquitous. We see it everyday on television, social media, we experience it in our neighborhoods, our homes, and at times even exert it on ourselves. Based on statistics, the status of peace in our world has not seen much improvement. The Global Peace Index 2014 shows that since 2008 peace has increased in 51 countries, but declined in 111 countries.

Violence is one of the leading causes of death in the world for persons aged 15 to 44.  The World Health Organization in Geneva estimated that violence is the cause of more than 1.6 million deaths worldwide every year. Sadly, for every $1,885 spent on military budgets around the world, only $1 is spent on conflict prevention.  

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Yoga Teacher & The Art of Differentiation (Addressing Student Needs)

You may have had the experience of being a teacher of twenty-five or more students. Possibly you have this experience daily. If so, you have likely encountered the difficulty of meeting all the students’ individual needs. No matter the subject matter taught, the needs of students differ. Students of all ages have varying attention spans, differences in how quickly they grasp certain content or in the method through which they learn best (visually, experientially, etc.). Students also have different personalities depending on their genes and life experiences or upbringing. All these factors influence how successful they will be in learning and how successful the teacher will be in teaching the students effectively.

The art of teaching effectively involves many aspects. One of the most important of which is differentiation. Differentiation in the classroom means tailoring one’s teaching to the needs of the students. In courses where the wellbeing or safety of the individuals is at stake it is especially important to ensure that each student learns well the content. As teachers, we want to ensure that students do not harm themselves within or outside the classroom by misusing the teaching. This places much responsibility on us teachers to be attentive, skillful and diligent in our work.

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