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The word Hatha is composed from ‘ha’, meaning sun and ‘tha’ meaning moon.  The word Yoga derives from the Sanskrit word Yug ‘to join’ and is often translated as ‘union’ or ‘unite’.

Yoga can be defined as mindfulness, the perfect balance and harmony between mind, body and spirit.

Yoga originated in ancient India. Artifacts discovered from the Indus Valley Civilization show figures in seated, cross-legged poses, and symbols later associated with yoga. Sri Patanjali Maharishi is known as the father of yoga and it is on his integrated, concise and philosophical text, “Yoga Sutras”, that the yoga of today has laid its foundation. This text was written over 2000 years ago.

Yoga involves the mindful practice of physical postures and poses (asana in Sanskrit) and together with breathing exercises (pranayama), good relaxation techniques and meditation, it is the perfect way to ensure overall health, well being, banish stress and to create balance in our all too hectic Western lifestyles of today.

Further Reading :

If you would like to support your yoga practice with some further reading about the history and philosophy of yoga and yoga practice, I can recommend the following classic texts which are on reading lists for all yoga teachers and students of yoga :

Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar
ISBN : 9780007107001

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali : translated and introduced by Alistair Shearer
ISBN : 9780609609590

The Heart of Yoga : Developing a Personal Practice by TKV Desikachar
ISBN : 9780892817641

Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Swami Muktibodhananda
ISBN : 9788185787381

The Bhagavad Gita : A Walkthrough for Westerners by Jack Hawley
ISBN : 9781608680146