What Hatha Yoga Is
The term hatha means force, or power, or effort. It is a powerful system of Yoga, which aims at achieving the psychosomatic well-being of a person by applying certain techniques such as breathing exercises (pranayamas) and yoga postures (asanas).
The oldest and most authentic available source book on Hatha Yoga is Hathayogapradipika, written by Yogi Svatmarama in 15th century CE, where we find the theory and practical hints for pranayamas and asanas.
The aim of these techniques is to transform the physical body into a divine glorious body, which is in any way much more purified and subtler then the merely physical. Yoga relaxes both mind and body, freeing us from all this-worldly attachments and bondages, and blessing us with peace and joy. Yogic relaxation helps the person to cultivate harmony between thoughts, words and actions, and creates a sufficiently perfect atmosphere for Divine experience. Thus, Hatha Yoga makes us healthy and joyful amidst the humdrum activities, involvements and tensing situations of everyday life and prepares us for a deeper Divine experience from within this very life of activities.
Hatha Yoga Postures are meditative positions or movements, a means for the integration of body, mind and spirit. Therefore practice Yoga postures with full awareness.