As per indian tradition, Hatha Yoga is one among four main practices of Tantra Yoga. Hatha Yoga is in first place concentrating on the postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama) to energize the subtle channels (nadis). Thus one might say Hatha Yoga concentrates on the third and fourth steps of the eight-fold path of Ashtanga Yoga. The objective of Hatha Yoga is is to prepare our body for:
Dhyana (Meditation) and
In many Hatha Yoga schools, these further steps are seen as part of Hatha Yoga. What’s in a name ?
Excercising postures or Asanas in Hatha Yoga has two essential objectives. In Hatha yoga, One needs to practice a Asana in which he is comfortable for longer period of time to do Meditation. To master other Postures (Asana) is also a good thing. The second objective of excercising asanas in Hatha Yoga is to bring health and energy to body and mind by opening the nadis. Nadis are opened automatically by practicing daily yoga. Only mastering in postures is no objective in itself, though mastering various postures certainly strengthens the power of will and concentration and the habit of not paying too much attention to the information input by the senses. Here are some pictures: