What is Hatha Yoga?
What is hatha yoga? Hatha Yoga has been practiced for centuries and it's a great way to get in tune with your body, mind, and soul. It focuses on the physical postures while incorporating breathing techniques that will help you be more mindful throughout your day. While there are many different types of yoga styles, here we will focus on what hatha yoga is all about so you can decide if it's something you want to try!
The history of hatha yoga
Hatha Yoga dates back to the 15th century and was developed in India by yogi Swatmarama. It is a holistic approach that focuses on physical postures and breathing techniques (pranayama). The goal behind hatha yoga is to help you become more balanced, which will result in a calm mind and body.
Why practice hatha yoga
Hatha Yoga has many different benefits, one being that it can relieve stress and improve your mood. If you are feeling anxious, depressed, stressed out, etc., the mental state that comes with this type of exercise will help ease these feelings. It’s important to be mindful while doing each posture in order to get the full effect of how they work together on your mind and body when incorporated into a routine. This style of yoga also helps you build muscle tone which results in strong bones and lean muscles. Furthermore, if you already live an active lifestyle and want something extra to add to your current routine, this style of yoga is a great way to mix it up and get some added benefits.
Benefits of practicing hatha yoga
Hatha Yoga has many different health benefits including:
- Improved muscle tone
- Stronger bones & joints
- Increased flexibility & range of motion
- Relaxation & stress relief from the breathing techniques (pranayama) used during practice
- Helps improve mood because you are focusing on physical postures that work together with breathing techniques for a calming effect throughout class
Types and styles of hatha yoga
There are many different types of hatha yoga styles to choose from, including:
- Ashtanga Yoga – a very athletic form that focuses on being mindful and moving through poses with strength & flow.
- Bikram Yoga – also known as "hot yoga" because the room is heated between 35 - 40 degrees celcius in order to help your body detoxify itself faster. This type of practice includes 26 postures done twice each class for 90 minutes at a time!
- Iyengar Yoga – this style uses props such as blocks, straps, chairs, etc., which allows you to go into deeper levels of stretch by supporting yourself better throughout certain exercises. It’s great if you have an injury or specific body type because it is very mindful and precise.
- Kripalu Yoga – focuses on meditation, breathing techniques (pranayama), and deep relaxation postures that help create a feeling of “home” within the body. It also includes some gentle exercises to increase flexibility & range of motion.
- Power Yoga – this style is more athletic than other types but still incorporates lots of stretching with balance poses for an overall mind/body workout routine.
How to get started:
You can find many different styles at studios or gyms in your area so you don't have to worry about what equipment you need - just show up ready to try something new! Ask friends who practice yoga if they would be willing to go with you the first few times or if they know of a place that offers classes that will suit your schedule. If not, look online for studios in your area and see what is offered - many have beginner packages available if this will be your first yoga experience. This is a wonderful way of joining a new community.
Yoga is a great way to get in touch with your body and mind. It can help you relieve stress, increase your flexibility, tone muscles, improve mood & sleep better - the possibilities are endless!