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You may be eager to hear a little more about the aspect of Hatha Yoga many Westerners consider the most interesting. Yes, the asanas, or yoga poses, are very important to the practice of Hatha Yoga, but not because yoga's purpose is to make you look great in a bathing suit or allow you to flaunt your flexibility.

In fact, even as we say that Hatha Yoga's emphasis is on the physical, we really mean Hatha Yoga emphasizes the physical in order to, eventually, de-emphasize the physical. Once you've mastered control of your body—once you're strong, flexible, and "master of your domain"—you can forget about your body!

In the state of samadhi, the self, including the body, blends into the universal energy we are all part of. All that body work is really just a way to learn how to transcend your body! And that will make your yoga journey easier.

A Yoga Minute

Perform each cleansing ritual in the spirit of loving devotion, always keeping nonviolence (ahimsa) in mind.

A Yoga Minute

Perform each cleansing ritual in the spirit of loving devotion, always keeping nonviolence (ahimsa) in mind.

Think of it this way: All your life, you've wanted to live in Florida, or Alaska, or California, or wherever. But you live on the opposite side of the country—say, in Providence, Rhode Island; or Amarillo, Texas. Finally, you're ready to start your big move, so you purchase a really nice car for your journey. As you drive across the country, you do everything you can to keep your car in top condition so you won't have any breakdowns or mechanical failures. You learn all about your car so you know what you're driving. And sure enough, you get there without a hitch, or if a tire blows out or a belt breaks, you know exactly what to do.

Hatha Yoga is the same way. The idea is not the car, or the body, but the destination and finding joy along the way. You want to get to Florida, and you know the best way to get there is to have a vehicle in great condition. Keep your body in great condition. Know your body. Know yourself. You'll be less likely to wind up in the shop (the doctor's office) for repairs!

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The Hindu-Yogi Science of Breath

The Hindu-Yogi Science of Breath

A complete guide on Eastern practices of breathing, mental, psychic and spiritual development. The book teaches that Yoga is divided into several branches, ranging from that which teaches the control of the body, to that which teaches the attainment of the highest spiritual development.

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