Components of Hatha Yoga
Pranayama or Breathwork - Pranayama is the science of proper breathing (Sumar, 1998). Breathing is a body process that is both autonomic and controllable. Most people find when they are anxious, their breath becomes quick and shallow. The simple process of slowing the breath down and breathing deeper has an immediate calming effect.
- Belly Breathing - Basic yoga breathing involves breathing in and out through the nose. Inhale, gently push the belly out, expanding the diaphragm first. Exhale, pulling the belly in at the end of the exhalation. This last movement pushes the air completely out of the lower portion of the lungs, removing all the toxins of the used air from the lungs. [From: http://www.hathayogalesson.com]
Asanas or Physical Postures - The physical movements in yoga, asanas are gentle and non-strenous stretches of the limbs and joints. These postures are coordinated with the breath and allow blood to circulate and vitalize every organ. Many asanas are modeled after movements that occur in nature such as tree, mountain, cat, dog, and cobra. Asanas focus on moving the joints through their full range of motion and lengthening muscles. The asanas are learned over time and with regular practice. They are meant to be held and are performed slowly and meditatively, combined with deep breathing.
Dhyana or Meditation - Meditation usually refers to a state of extreme relaxation and concentration in which the body is generally at rest and the mind cleared of surface thoughts. The result is self-realization, and a clearer vision of life and the world.