Hatha yoga is the basis for all contemporary, physical yoga practices. Practicing Hatha yoga creates balance and unites opposites.
Hatha yoga is known as the yoga for the physical body. In Sanskrit, “Ha” means sun and “tha” means moon.
This represents the opposites in our lives, such as yin and yang, light and darkness, hard and soft, vigorous and gentle. Hatha yoga is about finding balance. Through working with the physical body, releasing tensions and traumas stored in the body, you create space in yourself and, through that space and balance, the opportunity for spiritual growth.
Hatha yoga comprises of a set of asanas (poses) designed to align the body in a certain way so that energy can flow freely. It is a powerful tool as it eases physical and mental obstacles. Benefits of a regular Hatha yoga practice:
- Makes the body stronger and more flexible
- Releases tension and trauma stored in the body
- Calms the mind
- Creates space in body and mind and in that space you find ‘balance’ and the opportunity for spiritual growth
The main principle behind the practice of Hatha yoga is breathing. Controlling our breath can help improve oxygenation in the body and reduces stress levels. Therefore, this practice encourages us to focus on our breath, maintain balance and promotes stillness in mind.
The Practice of Hatha Today
A hatha yoga class includes asanas, breathing techniques and meditation. The techniques have a beneficial effect on the nervous system, the glands and other important organs, and generally relax the body. The purpose of Hasha yoga is in the West is primarily to promote health and well-being. The practice of Hatha historically, was used to prepare the body for extreme and prolonged meditation so it is designed to release tension and stress in body and mind.
Hatha yoga is the basis for all contemporary, physical yoga practices. When you do Iyengar, this is hatha yoga; when you do Ashtanga, as different as this may seem, it’s hatha too.
At the moment there is no weekly Hatha yoga group. If you are interested, please contact me.