Do you know hatha Yoga Pradipika?

If you follow us on our social media networks or in our courses, you have surely heard the masters talk about this book, which is considered an integral part of yoga training; it is a simple but traditional text that perhaps in the West is slightly belittled while in India in the classical schools it is suggested amongst the first fundamental books.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika

But let’s go in order and understand a little more since there are many versions and many editions online.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika is a short treatise, said to be one of the first books on yoga, dates back to around 1400 AD and was written by Svatmarama.

With this text the author clarifies the purpose of yoga, that is the achievement of Samadhi, underlining the fact that it is not possible to reach Raja yoga, or mental yoga (or meditation), without having learned Hatha yoga, or yoga of effort (or the practice of poses), and vice versa.

This text, for the first time in the history of yoga, describes in detail the asanas necessary to prepare the body and mind for the higher evolutionary stage, that is, for the practice of meditation, in total it describes 15, the 15 that are defined or thought of as the basic ones.

The 15 positions are described in the first chapter after a very short presentation which reads:

“Being the first step of hatha Yoga

the asanas are described first

they can be practiced to gain an upright posture

health and lightness of the body.

I am going to describe some asanas that have been adopted

by sages like Vasistha and masters like Matsyendra ”

(Hatha Yoga pradipika)

The positions described are as follows:

  1. svastikasana(fortune)
  2. gomukhasana(cow face)
  3. virasana(hero)
  4. kurmasana
  5. kukkutasana
  6. uttaana kurmasana
  7. dhanurasana
  8. matsyendrasana
  9. paschimatanasana
  10. mayurasana
  11. shavasana(corpse)
  12. siddhasana(perfect seating)
  13. padmasana(lotus)
  14. simhasana(Lion)
  15. bhadrasana(throne)

The book then continues with the description of the ten fundamental mudras:

  1. Mahāmudrā
  2. Mahabandhamudra
  3. Mahavedhamudra
  4. Kecharimudra
  5. Uddiyanabandhamudra
  6. Mulabandha
  7. Jalandharabandha
  8. Viparitakaranimudra
  9. Vajrolimudra
  10. Shaktichalanamudra

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