There are various forms of yoga that have been practiced by the various yogic traditions. Of them, hatha yoga comprises asanas, pranayamas, mudras and bandhas. Patanjali’s Astanga Yoga (The Eight Fold Path Of Yoga) mentions asanas as the third step, or limb from amongst the eight limbs. It is the most physical and most visual of all the steps. As a matter of fact, whenever a layman talks about, or thinks in terms of yoga, it is the image of practitioner knotted up, with limbs askew at seemingly impossible angles; smilingly practicing and reposing in asanas of Hatha Yoga.
This form of yoga begins with the regeneration, rejuvenation, poise and balancing of pranic energy in both sides of the physical body in the 72,000 naadis (subtle airways), working its way up through the mind. This process guides the prana through the ida and the pingala naadis, easing the prana into the sushumna naadi; thereby stimulating it and liberating the lower individual self, letting it float into the blissful higher self.
The pingala naadi conducts the prana shakti (vital energy), while the ida naadi conducts the manas shakti (mental energy) and activates, optimally, both sides of the brain – the logical and reasoning left brain; as well as the creative and artistic right brain. Most people have a tendency to use one side of their brain (ergo of their body) more than the other side.
Practicing hatha yoga corrects this imbalance and creates poise and equilibrium.
The following are the primary characteristics of the twin conduits for energy have the following chief characteristics:
|Breath flows through the left nostril||Breath flows through the right nostril|
|Left side of the body||Right side of the body|
|Right side of the brain||Left side of the brain|