Hlada -Pleasure not of the senses

Fifty years ago, there was only yoga and yoga asanas- there were no trademarked names. With time, the names became fanciful and sometimes misleading. For example people associate the brand Kundalini yoga developed by Yogi Bhajan with the ecstatic states of mind similar to those experienced during intake of psychedelic substances. Others associate the system of Ashtanga Yoga popularized by Pattabhi Jois with Patanjali’s eight limbed path to liberation, whereas in reality the asanas practiced therein have very little, if any at all, to do with Pantanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga.

Nevertheless, all these schools of yoga can be lumped under a system practiced for over a thousand years called the Hatha Yoga with the word “Hatha” denoting force. The Hatha yogic texts talk in detail about the use of certain yogic techniques to indeed activate the supreme energy in all of us called the Kundalini. Though this requires a lot of practice and time to achieve, one common thing that is felt during daily practice when these yogic techniques are used is a feeling of refined pleasure that is not of the senses. This is called “Hlada” in sanskrit.

If you would like to know about these techniques and study the ancient hatha yogic texts join me in next Saturday’s workshop.

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