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What is Hatha Yoga?


Photo credit: Slieve Aughty Centre 

Hatha Yoga is among the most common forms of Hindu discipline Yogain the west. The word Hatha (forceful or willful) indicates the practice of physical postures like Power, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Iyengar. It is the yoga of activity and balance meant to align and soothe the body, spirit, and mind. Hatha is an appropriate preparation for meditation.

History of Hatha

Hatha stands for forceful in Sanskrit or ancient Indian language and used in the 12th century, according to yogic text expert Ellen Stansell. Some of the original gurus from India reportedly brought the practice to Westerners in the middle of the 19th century. Mark Singleton, author and senior research fellow in University of London’s South Asia Department of Languages and Culture, wrote a book about yoga.

The austere or frugal tradition came to light on the boundaries of India and Nepal. The characteristics that became part and parcel of Hindu custom such as karma or reincarnation were crucial to their philosophies. These were the earliest Hatha yoga advocates. Their practices included refining the mind and body, discipline, and thriftiness.

In “Yoga Body: Origins of Modern Posture Practice”, Singleton revealed Hatha yoga was merged into teachings transmitted to the West only in the latter part of the 19th century. This was the period when the physical culture movement became popular worldwide. All in all, Hatha yoga has not changed significantly for centuries despite the belief of many people that many changes have taken place.

To comprehend Hatha philosophy, you must know the essential principle that sacred covers and permeates the ordinary. The physical body includes material and mental aspects with mentality being more restrained than materiality. Hatha yoga seeks to make over your body and mind complex as a means of obtaining Siddhi or absolute enlightenment and liberation.

Modern Classes

At present, yoga practitioners use Hatha to illustrate simple and quiet sessions without any flow between postures. Look forward to a class that focuses on stretching at slower pace with Pranayama (regulation) of breathing as well as seated meditation towards the end. Experienced yogis say Hatha is ideal for practicing alignment, learn techniques in relaxation, and become familiar with yoga to develop stability as well as strength.

Benefits of Hatha

Hatha Yoga is said to have multiple health benefits. It can help take away the toxins from the body. Breathing techniques and poses cleanse the physical body of toxins. If you have acquired negative habits, Hatha is a good way of eliminating objectionable cravings for liquor, cigarettes, unhealthy food, and other substances. Any unwanted desire slowly disappears as you begin practicing Hatha yoga. It can guide you in attaining a healthy body ready for meditation.

It is an effective reliever of stress after an exhausting day at the school or office. You can try at least one or even two Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) poses followed by deep breathing producing a sense of tranquility. Hatha yoga facilitates the flow of Prana (energy). It refers to the Universal Life Force. Human beings are born with such energy that maintains the body. Over time, the Prana is reduced making the body weak therefore requiring reinvigoration through yoga.

Flexibility is enhanced through Hatha. Agility is vital in having a supple body. Rigid muscles can result in bad posture, back pains, neck issues, and knee soreness. If you practice yoga frequently, the posture is corrected making muscles more flexible. At the same time, it fortifies your soft tissues keeping the joints in top shape and prevents different sicknesses such as arthritis.

Hatha yoga will help you focus in the classroom or at work. Holding the Asanas need concentration and deep breathing to balance your body as well as maintain sharpness. It promotes a healthy body and happy mind.

Plenty to Offer

Hatha yoga provides multiple gains for novices and advanced yogis of all ages. Intensity can be adjusted according to the level you want. Unlike other yoga forms, it concentrates more on position than flow. This yoga is a robust way of living that helps point out a person’s mental and physical potentials.

Many people still perceive the origin and practices of yoga as a mystery. However, it is advisable to spend time in understanding Hatha along with Pranayama, Mudra, Asana, and Mantra practices. Hatha can aid you in changing how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally for the better. It is an opportunity to attain gladness and wellbeing while warding off sadness and anxiety. Besides, you can use the practice in connecting and interacting with the modern world.


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