Hatha is a Sanskrit word and is composed of two words: ha, meaning “sun,” and tha, meaning “moon.” The word may also mean “willful” or “forceful.”
Hatha Yoga is one of the oldest and most traditional types of Yoga practice. The practice of Hatha Yoga focuses on total mastery of the physical body, including all bodily functions. It emphasizes activating the chakras in order to stimulate and harmonize the bodies energies. Hatha promotes spiritual and physical wellness, including disease elimination.
How Yogapedia explains Hatha
In Yoga philosophy, Hatha Yoga was originally considered to be a preparation for a spiritual Yoga practice. It teaches control over the physical body is believed to assist in developing control over the mind and spirit.
Through the practice of Hatha, the individual attempts to balance the mind, body and chakras through specific asanas and controlled, meditative breathing that complements the physical movements of the body. The fundamental text for Hatha Yoga is the “Hatha Yoga Pradipika,” and the practice has its roots in Hindu Yoga. Hatha has become popular as an exercise that many westerners participate in for the physical benefits alone, without the pairing of a spiritual practice.