Hatha Yoga [電子書籍版]
William Walker Atkinson


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he science of Yoga is divided into several branches. Among the best known and leading divisions are (1) Hatha Yoga; (2) Raja Yoga; (3) Karma Yoga; (4) Gnani Yoga. This book is devoted only to the first named, and we will not attempt to describe the others at this time, although we will have something to say upon all of these great branches of Yoga, in future writings.

Hatha Yoga is that branch of the Yoga Philosophy which deals with the physical bodyーits careーits well-beingーits healthーits strengthーand all that tends to keep it in its natural and normal state of health. It teaches a natural mode of living and voices the cry which has been taken up by many of the Western world: "Let us get back to Nature," excepting that the Yogi does not have to get back for he is already there, for he has always clung close to nature and her ways, and has not been dazzled and be fooled by the mad rush toward externals which has caused the modern civilized races to forget that such a thing as nature existed. Fashions and social ambitions have not reached the Yogi's consciousnessーhe smiles at these things, and regards them as he does the pretenses of childish gamesー he has not been lured from nature's arms, but continues to cuddle close up to the bosom of his good mother who has always given him nourishment, warmth and protection. Hatha Yoga is first, nature; second, nature, and last, nature. When confronted with a choice of methods, plans, theories, etc., apply to them the touchstone: "Which is the natural way,” and always choose that which seems to conform the nearest to nature. This plan will be a good one for our students to follow when their attention is directed to the many theories; "fads”; methods; plans and ideas, along health lines, with which the Western world is being flooded. For instance if they are asked to believe that they are in danger of losing their "magnetism”, by coming in contact with the earth, and are advised to wear rubber soles and heels upon their shoes, and to sleep in beds "insulated” with glass feet, to prevent nature (mother Earth) from sucking and drawing out of them the magnetism which she has just given them, let the students ask themselves "What does Nature say about this?” Then, in order to find out what nature says, let them see whether nature's plans could have contemplated the manufacture and wearing of rubber soles, and glass feet for beds. Let them see whether the strong magnetic men, full of vitality, do these thingsーlet them see whether the most vigorous races in the world have done these thingsーlet them see whether they feel debilitated from lying down on the grassy sward, or whether the natural impulse of man is not to fling reclining on the bosom of their good mother earth, and whether the natural, impulse of man is not to fling himself upon the grassy bankーlet them see whether the natural impulse of childhood is not to run barefoot; whether it does not refresh the feet to take off the shoes (rubber soles and all) and walk around barefooted; whether rubber boots are particularly conducive to "magnetism” and vitality, and so on. We give this merely as an illustration, not that we wish to waste time in discussing the merits or demerits of rubber soles, and glass bed feet as a preservative of magnetism. A little observation will teach the man that all of nature's answers show him that he gets much of his magnetism from the earth, and that the earth is a battery charged with it, and is always willing and anxious to give forth its strength to man, instead of being devoid of it and to be dreaded as being anxious and likely to "draw" the magnetism from man, its child. Some of these latter day prophets will next be teaching that the air draws Prana from people, instead of giving it to them.



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