Hatha Yoga Pradipika is divided into different portions, each of which explain a certain part of Yoga. Hatha Yoga involves the yoga of the body, and yet this book does not restrict itself to the physical aspects of yoga, but delves deeper to how yoga can awaken the chakras and the kundalini energy, helping the person who practices it achieve spiritual liberation. There are different upadesas or chapters to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, out of which the shatkarmas are discussed elaborately in one of them. These are yogic practices which are created to completely purify the body. There are different methods like neti, involving saline water through the nostrils, and the cleaning of sinuses among other things. There are other practices like dhauti and basti, which are described in detail. There are other upadesas that describe tantric practices in yoga, involving various methods which are all designed as enemas to cleanse the body. There are different exercises, for example to improve the frenulum of the tongue and to awaken the kundalini shakti effectively. The final upadesa is about samadhi, which is the final meditative state of yoga where the practitioner is said to become one with the cosmos. It talks of the alchemy of life, and how this state of spiritual enlightenment can be attained through continuous practice. Hatha Yoga Pradipika is a translation of Swami Svatmarama s original text, making it palatable and easier to understand than the original.
About the Author
Swami Muktibodhananda is an exponent of the Satyananda Yoga system. Swami Muktibodhananda Saraswathi has written another book called Swara Yoga: The Tantric Science of Brain Breathing. Swami Muktibodhananda was born in Melbourne in 1959. She moved to India at the age of seventeen, and lived with her guru, Swami Satyananda Saraswati. She has conducted extensive research into Swara Yoga as well as Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Swami Muktibodhananda Saraswathi moved back to Melbourne in 1985, where she set up the Melbourne Yoga Therapy Centre. She now lives in Melbourne, teaching yoga there.