Hatha Yoga uses all the available aspects of the human being to access the subtle, elusive inner nature of being human. It uses the anatomical, physiological, neural, energetic, perceptual, emotional, rational, and intuitive aspects of our being to access our spiritual nature.
This is because they are not distinct from it but particular, limited expressions, of it. By accessing them fully, integrating and harmonizing them, our latent potential is released, our true nature revealed.
While the ultimate aim of yoga may seem profound, and daunting, it is far from being irrelevant. Our spiritual nature is not distinct from our social, psychological, or animal natures. It is the source, and sustenance of them. To engage in the process of yoga is not about turning our back on our conditioned selves. Quite the reverse.
It involves encountering, acknowledging, and accepting ourselves just as we are. To reveal, and express what we are in the deepest sense ‘our true nature’ we must learn first to reveal, and express what we are on all the other levels of our being.
Yoga is not a process of denial, but revelation. Nor is it a process of creation. Our true, spiritual nature exists. Our imagination, intelligence, enthusiasm, and energy however potent, are not capable of such a creative act: that is the domain of God.
All that we can do is clarify its existence through the practice of yoga; and then honor it in the living of our lives. This is what it means to be holy: to be whole. To live from the wholeness of our human being. This is the state of yoga.
While Hatha Yoga is a river of itself, it is one that has generated many rivulets. Thus, the different schools of yoga, which all have their own distinct styles. These differences are mainly of emphasis. What they all have in common is the use of the physical body, especially through the yoga postures known as Asana. Their distinctions arise because life is not a monotone.
It is a symphony of infinite variety: a tapestry of energetic interweaving that is constantly changing. Interpreting this pattern has led to many symbolic representations of it. One of the simplest, and most pragmatic is that of the five elements of the natural world.