Yoga is a pathway to Soul realisation. Moving through the physical asanas (postures) is more commonly understood to be the practice of Yoga, but this is only the first step. When we find ourselves deep in a pose, aware of the breath and the sensations that arise within the body, we begin to notice a deep inner connection. This is the first stage of expansion that leads us to begin to realise and connect with the Self. We strive for this connection throughout our daily lives, we look for it outside of ourselves, in material and tangibale objects and circumstances. However if we turn our focus inwards, rather than outwards we can tap into the endless flow that is available when we connect to the Self.
The sanskrit definition of Yoga means Union. The many sacred texts compiled by the holy sages of India guide us through the spiritual understanding, while the Hatha Yoga Pradipika describes the physical postures in greater detail. This text consists of four Upadeśas (chapters) which explain in more detail the knowledge of asana, pranayama, chakras, bandhas, kriyas, nadis and mudras among other topics. It is dedicated to Śrī (Lord) ādi nāthā (Adinatha), one of the many names for Lord Shiva (the Hindu god of creative destruction and renewal), who is believed to have imparted the secret of Hatha Yoga to his divine consort Parvati. The definition of Hatha can be understood by breaking the word into two parts, the syllable "Ha" means sun (power, heating) and the syllable "tha" means moon (silence, cooling). When we practice these sacred asanas we are working with these two energies within out body, in extreme power there is silence and in extreme silence there is power.