THREE MAIN ELEMENTS OF YOGA
The life force, or "prana" is believed to enter the body through the breath. Shallow, rapid breathing therefore inhibits the life force. Hatha yoga focuses on deep, slow, controlled breathing (pranayama) to disperse the energy from the life force throughout the body, resulting in a feeling of calm.
There are a wide variety of yoga postures (asanas) which can be undertaken. Some stretch and strengthen muscles, others improve posture and the skeletal system, while others aim to compress and relax the organs and nerves. While some postures can be awkward at first, with practice they are more easily achieved. Overall, the main purpose of the postures is to develop the body into a worthy host for the soul.
Meditation focuses the mind, and relaxes the body, reinforcing the disciplines of Hatha yoga, and leading to a quiet, calm frame of mind.