Hatha yoga was created back in Lemuria, some 18 million years ago, with the goal in mind to help humanity evolve the dense physical body and synchronize it with its higher component, the etheric body, so that it could eventually be operated and controlled by the indwelling Spirit. Matter has a life of its own. Our physical body is composed of trillions of cells which, in actually, are trillions of tiny lives. When Spirit takes on a body, trillions of these tiny lives come together to form the body. Now, in order for the indwelling Spirit to gain control over all these tiny lives that compose its physical body, hatha yoga was introduced.
Ha means sun and tha means moon. The goal of hatha yoga is to unify the sun aspect (the spiritual aspect of man) with the moon aspect (the matter aspect of man; his bodies). In Sanskrit, the word yoga literally means „union, to unite, to join.“ The goal of hatha yoga is to unite the sun with the moon. The aim of hatha yoga is to bring the fire of Spirit into matter, thereby spiritualizing (sublimating) matter and controlling it, while at the same time giving the fire of Spirit the opportunity to express itself in matter.
The two main branches of hatha yoga are the widely known physical postures, called asanas, and special breathing exercises, called pranayama, literally “the extension of the breath.” Part of the goal of hatha yoga was to develop the physical body with its organs and to imbue it with prana (vital energy).
So, hatha yoga was given to humanity back in Lemuria to help humanity reach its evolutionary goal of physical/etheric development and integration (in the Lemurian period). The good news is that, after millions of years of practice, the goal was achieved. Our physical/etheric body today is a perfect working unit; thanks to haha yoga, the physical body today is an automaton of its higher, etheric counterpart, which brings us to a very important point.
Back in Lemuria, hatha yoga was a necessary discipline to reach our evolutionary goal of the time, however, we no longer live in Lemuria today just as we no longer live in Atlantis. Which means: it is not appropriate to do Lemurian practices today, or Atlantean ones, for that matter. The goal of hatha yoga was achieved ages ago. So if we continue to do Lemurian practices today, in the 21st century, we are not progressing, we are actually retrogressing.
Now, in the Aryan race, the subjugation of the mental body and the control of the mind is brought about through the practice of Raja Yoga, and the fifth initiation, that of adept, is the goal for evolving humanity. Thus, all the Yogas have had their place and served a useful purpose and it will become apparent that any return to Hatha Yoga practices or those practices which deal specifically with the development of the centres, brought about through various types of meditation practices and breathing exercises, is, from a certain aspect, a retrogression. It will be found that through the practice of Raja Yoga, and through assuming that point of directional control which is to be found by the man who centers his consciousness in the soul, the other forms of Yoga are unnecessary, for the greater Yoga automatically includes all the lesser in its results, though not in its practices. – Djwhal Khul
Hatha yoga tightens the link between the physical and etheric (or energy) body, and this is why doing hatha yoga initially gives us the feeling that it energizes the body; however, what is really happening is that since the original goal of co-ordinating the etheric with the physical body was already achieved ages ago, it now only tethers us to the dense body and imprisons us if we continue to do it today. So what used to be right and good becomes not right and not good because, petrifying the centers and ending up imprisoning us in the body, it hinders us from developing continuity of consciousness and Soul consciousness in our brain awareness. So it actually becomes a hindrance on the Spiritual path.
Pranayama can be dangerous, if done incorrectly. Breath is fire. If we don’t know what we are doing when practicing pranayama, we can burn our nervous system and screw up our glands and chakra system and entire physical, emotional and mental health. When we do exercises that stimulate our centers, it naturally has an effect on our health since the chakras relay their energy via the glands. So it eventually leads to over- or under-development of the glands which show as health lessons in our physical mechanism, and in our mental and emotional mechanism as well since the etheric centers are also linked with their astral and mental counterparts as well.
Breathing exercises or pranayama training should never be undertaken without expert guidance and only after years of spiritual application, devotion and service; concentration upon the centres in the force body (with a view to their awakening) is ever to be avoided; it will cause overstimulation and the opening of doors on to the astral plane which the student may have difficulty in closing. I cannot impress too strongly upon aspirants in all occult schools that the yoga for this transition period is the yoga of one-pointed intent, of directed purpose, of a constant practice of the Presence of God, and of ordered regular meditation carried forward systematically and steadily over years of effort. – Djwhal Khul
Hatha, in Sanskrit, also signifies force. We are dealing with real, tangible forces, and unless we know how to handle them, we can create real problems for ourselves.
Lately, the (hatha) yogic lifestyle has become fashionable so to speak. Part of the reason why we are becoming interested in hatha yoga is because it focuses on the body, and as a human family, we are body-focused. However, our goal should be to focus on the development of our consciousness. When we develop our consciousness, the body will naturally adjust itself to the indwelling consciousness. Just compare the human body of the 21st century with the human body back in the Middle Ages. Our bodies today are much finer because the consciousness within the body has grown more subtle. The consciousness (if developed) transforms the matter, not the other way around. Hatha yoga focuses on the matter aspect. So it does not help us to evolve, it helps us to involve. However, we don’t want to involve, we want to evolve.