Yoga-sadhana of Nathas

Written by Yogi Matsyendranath

In Natha Sampradaya the yoga practice is presented by a mantra-yoga, hatha-yoga, laya-yoga and raja-yoga, as well as аshtanga-yoga (Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi) and shadanga-yoga (steps from Asana up to Samadhi, excepting Yama and Niyama).


Sadhaka realizes a mantra given by his Guru and its siddhi by practice the mantra-yoga.


Following methods enter into hatha-yoga: sukshma -vyayama, shat-karma (cleaning technics such as netti, basti, nauli, trataka, kapalabhati), asana (steady position of a body), pranayama (the control of vital energy over respiratory exercises), mudra ("stamp") and bandha (muscular "lock"). These methods inter-direct a stream of a prana in the central Sushumna channel and contribute to awakening of sleeping spiritual power (Kundalini Shakti) which rises upwards on the central channel and joins with supreme-consciousness (Shiva). This union of spiritual energy and consciousness is called hatha-yoga. There are many definitions of term the "hatha-yoga" in classical Nathas' texts, some of them belowed: Surya-Chandra, Prana- Аpana, Dakshina-Vama, Yamuna-Ganga, Ida -Pingala, Shiva-Shakti, Kula-Akula, Dvayta -Advayta, etc. The ultimate goal of hatha -yoga is realized by total unity of contrasts and attainment of ideal balance (samarasya).


It is practice of Nada-аnusandhana. According to Nathas' texts the highest practice of laya-yoga is a concentration on a Nada sound by means of the consciousness, resulting in cleanliness and dissolving vibrations of mind (mano-laya). Gradually one's mind dissolves into Nada sound. The sound is nothing but Kundalini Shakti, which appears within chakras as matrika (Sanskrit sounds).


The Raja-yoga is intended for achievement state of deep trance (Samadhi ). Raja-yoga is a method of working with a consciousness which plays a fundamental role in yoga.

Ten Yamas

  1. Ahimsa - nonviolence.
  2. Satya - devotion to true in actions, speech and thoughts.
  3. Asteya - non-stealing.
  4. Brahmacharya - the control over all sensual bents and following to Brahma.
  5. Kshama - forgiveness for defects and other's faults.
  6. Dhriti - patience and stableness under any situations.
  7. Daya - compassion to all people and other creatures and helping those who are in trouble.
  8. Arjava - simplicity of life.
  9. Mitahara - strict regulation of nutrition.
  10. Shaucha - clarification of body and mind.

Ten Niyamas

  1. Tapas - asceticism.
  2. Santosha - satisfaction that is.
  3. Astikaya - belief in the sacred scripture, the Guru and all enlightened saints.
  4. Dana - the donation.
  5. Ishvara-pujana - devoted worship to deity.
  6. Siddhanta-vakya-shravana - regular hearing (study) scripture, especially yoga-shastras, comprehend and understanding of the truths opened in it by spiritual experience of enlightened Gurus.
  7. Hri - to be conscience and aspire to correct one's faults.
  8. Mati - development of fineness of intellect and deep comprehension.
  9. Japa - the recitation of a divine Name so often and continuously, as far as possible, mentally and aloud with deep devotion.
  10. Homa - an offering of food, drink and subjects which are value for worshipper to a deity.


Asana is steady postures of a body in which a yogin can control a prana, mind and feelings. There are great variety of Asanas, but all of them lead to qualitative mastering Siddhasana, Padmasana, etc. positions for obtaining Dhyana quite easily.


Prana-ayama or prolongation, increase in abilities of vital energy (prana). Results of pranayama are attaining through the breath control. There are about ten basic methods of pranayama.


It is the control of senses through the mind control, as mind (manas) is considered as one of the perception organ (indriya). The consciousness goes to the Absolute from the limited objects by means of pratyahara.


Dharana is a direction of a spiritual concentration on an object.


Dhyana is perception. There are many kinds of dhyana, all of which are described in Nathas' texts: sthula-dhyana, sukshma-dhyana, joti-dhyana, etc.


This is state of a deep trance when borders between object, subject and their correlation (sambandha) disappear. There are many kinds of this state: savikalpa-samadhi, nirvikalpa-samadhi, dhyanayoga-samadhi, layayoga-samadhi, nadayoga-samadhi, rajayoga-samadhi, rasananda-samadhi, bhaktyoga-samadhi, mahabhava-samadhi, jada-samadhi, etc.