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The Meaning of hatha in Early Hathayoga

Abstract:

This essay was prompted by the question of how Hathayoga, literally 'the Yoga of force', acquired its name. Many Indian and Western scholars have understood the 'force' of Haṭhayoga to refer to the effort required to practice it. Inherent in this understanding is the assumption that Haṭhayoga techniques such as praṇayama (breath control) are strenuous and may even cause pain. Others eschew the notion of force altogether and favor the so-called 'esoteric' definition of Haṭhayoga (i...

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Publication status:
Published
Peer review status:
Peer reviewed

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Institution:
University of Oxford
Division:
HUMS
Department:
Oriental Studies Faculty
Oxford college:
Balliol College
Role:
Author
Journal:
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Volume:
131
Issue:
4
Pages:
527-554
Publication date:
2011-01-01
ISSN:
0003-0279

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