कुंभकप्राणरोधांते कुर्याच्चित्तम् निराश्रयम् । एवमभ्यासयोगेन राजयोगपदं व्रजेत् ।।
Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Chapter 2 (verse 77)
If through Raja Yoga, you can control the mind, Prana is automatically suspended, but this is difficult, particularly in the beginning. It is not easy for anyone to control, unify or isolate the mind from the sense experiences and ego. Therefore, through Hatha Yoga we try another approach – first control the prana, so that suspension of the mind takes place. That signifies success in Yoga. –Swami Muktibodhananda
This whole process is the beauty of Bihar Yoga/Satyananda Yoga which is also called Integral Yoga. It starts with the practice of Asanas, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha and then moves towards Relaxation and Meditation. Experiencing the state of meditation is purpose of Yoga. Highlighting the importance of Meditation, once Swami Satyananda said that “Diseases take place due to emotional injury and meditation is the way to heal that injury.”
For the beginners and even for the advanced practitioners of Yoga, the process and system of Integral Yoga becomes very effective and clear. They practice Asanas, understand the physiology and anatomy of the physical body, they practice Pranayama, Mudra, and Bandha, get to understand the pranic body. By experiencing the physical & pranic state, the mind becomes calm and is prepared to take a natural shift in the state of Meditation. This becomes a beautiful journey from Hatha Yoga to Raja Yoga as described by Swami Swatmarama in one of the reliable text in Yogic literature called Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
– Prashant Pandey