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The "Ha" & the "Tha" of Hatha ...

David Schouela

Dragon pose Many forms of yoga are very active, very yang like. They stimulate the muscles to make us stronger and more flexible. They also can enhance our hearts and our immune systems. They are warming, energizing postures, which stimulate the metabolism and energize the nervous system.  Poses that increase vitality and build energy in the body promote brmhana.

Other practices are more yielding, more passive, more yin like. They target our deeper connective tissues, our ligaments and our joints, our bones and the fascia within the body and they can also strengthen our hearts and our minds. Yin yoga is designed to improve energy flow where the flow of chi to our organs is enhanced. Compared to its yang counterpart, yin yoga is a fairly quiet, cooling, grounding and calming practice that fosters langhana.

A practice that includes a mix of both yin and yang poses - the "Ha" (translates as Sun) and the "Tha" (translates as Moon) of Hatha yoga creates a state of balance in the body and mind.

Some Yin yoga poses are not entirely langhana. There may be an element of brmhana in the pose. The dragon poses are deep hip and groin openers that get right into the joint. They are a lovely way to get deep inside the hip sockets and release all the tension there. They are a nice stretch for the adductors. This pose is also designed to stretch the back leg's hip flexors and quadriceps. The practitioner surrenders to gravity everything from the waist down including the hip flexors, thigh muscles and inner groins. Like a buttress holding up a structure, one arm holds the upper body up and the other hand rests gently on the forward knee. Since we hold dragon pose for several minutes, the supporting arm will eventually get tired and it can feel like lot of heat is being generated by the exertion of the arm muscles. The supporting arm and upper torso are inherently brmhana with the rest of the body in a state of langhana.

Another way to build up even more brmhana in dragon is to lift both arms into the air while surrendering the lower body to the floor. The downward forces that yield to the pull of gravity are more yin-like (langhana) whereas raising the upper torso requires greater muscular stability and therefore is more yang-like (brmhana).


  • yoga 6 years, 3 months ago

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