This is one of the three classic hatha yoga texts. The meaning of pradipika is to cast light. So Hatha Yoga Pradipika can be thought of as a guiding light to the mystic world of hatha yoga. This branch of yoga purifies the body by way of asana, bandha, concentration, mudra, pranayama, and shatkarma. It forms the basis to learn Raja yoga and samadhi.
Raja Yoga teaches discipline and self-control which requires high levels of concentration. In order to achieve that, it is necessary to walk the path of hatha yoga. Hatha yoga pradipika is divided into four sections and its aim is to get rid of the toxins in the body. The four sections are asana, shatkarmas and pranayama, mudra and bandhas, and samadhi (enlightenment).
Why is it important to read?
All of us have some idea of what yoga is. The reach of mass media and internet has made that possible. The truth is – the farther yoga has gone from India the more it has been misunderstood. In the west yoga is depicted merely as some sort of physical regime intended merely to improve your body’s flexibility and strength. That is not to say that every Indian truly understands yoga. Many Indians too are susceptible to the same misconceptions.
If you also share the same belief then reading Hatha Yoga Pradipika will be an eye-opening experience for you. The reason hatha yoga is said to be the foundation for Raja Yoga is that it teaches about the process of transformation. It helps you go beyond the realm of human understanding and expand your consciousness. Here’s a page on AyurYoga Eco-Ashram website where you can learn all about consciousness and how to expand it.
Hatha Yoga Pradipika emphasizes relieving three kinds of pain namely environmental, physical, and emotional. Hatha yoga is as much a spiritual practice as it is physical. You can learn more about Hatha Yoga Pradipika here.