"A stairway to the heights of Raja Yoga"
'Ha' is Sanskrit for sun, 'tha' stands for moon and Hatha Yoga is the union of the sun and the moon. Inside the body the sun and the moon represents the vital energy and the mental energy. Once these two forces unite the third energy, also named Kundalini (spiritual energy), is awaken. As this energy rises though the spinal column the person gains infinitive consciousness.
Hatha Yoga is initiated by practicing and strengthen the physical body with the yoga asanas (postures), which allows the body and nervous system to be fully functional. Once the physical practice is mastered one begin to practice pranayama to regulate and control the prana (vital energy) to gain control over the mind.
According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a classic manual by Swami Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga consists of Asanas (postures) , Bandhas (body locks), Mudas (psychic gestures), Pranayama (breathing exercises) and Shatkarmas (internal purification).
By voluntary controlling our bodies via the preparatory stage of physical purification we render ourselves for mental stillness and long periods of meditation.