List of Practices
A Complete System
Practicing the yoga postures (asanas) is not enough. To be a true hatha yogi one needs to practice the different techniques of the system that will help one reach the highest goal laid down in the introduction page.
- Yamas: they are similar to the yamas of ashtanga yoga but with a few additions. These, in combination with the niyamas, are the ethical precepts which constitute the foundation of the spiritual edifice. One cannot be a yogi or yogini and ignore the practice of these virtues.
- Niyamas: these are also similar to the niyamas of ashtanga yoga with a few extras.
- Kriyas: the cleansing practices. Many of the subtle benefits of the following practices will truly take place only when physical purification has occurred to an advanced degree. There are six traditional kriyas to be practiced regularly by the hatha yogi. An example of these would be jala neti. You can read more about it in how to use a neti pot.
- Asanas: the most popular aspect of the yoga body of teachings, especially in the Western world. The asanas are deceptively powerful and far ranging in their healing benefits.
- Pranayamas: breathing techniques. Pranayama aims at capturing the prana from its main vehicle, the air. Then the prana is controlled and directed in certain areas of the psychic system where it is manipulated as well as stocked for future use.
- Bandhas: locks. The bandhas complement the practice of pranayama by locking the prana in certain areas of the psychic system.
- Mudras: seals. The mudras are sealing the prana.
- Dhyana: meditation. There are specific hatha yoga meditation methods such as chakra meditation with visualizations, absorption on the inner sound (nada) and more. In the advaita yoga ashrama we practice japa (mantra repetition) meditation as our main technique but use other specific techniques as a complement now and then.