Simply put, hatha yoga can be described as the set of physical practices in yoga. It is quite an expansive term that incorporates more or less all the main poses of yoga. Today, hatha yoga is the most common and widely practiced part of yoga. The word ‘ha’ refers to sun while the word ‘tha’ refers to moon. It is said that the literal meaning of the term hatha is ‘connecting the sun and moon to gain energy’. However, this is not a definite meaning of the term.
Most of the hatha yoga postures are based on the principles of physical postures and conscious breathing. Asana means physical and pranayama means breathing and they both are the two main pillars of hatha yoga. The main purpose of hatha yoga is to use physical postures, mental focus and conscious breathing to create awareness, strength, balance and well being in the life of the practitioner.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga:
The benefits of hatha yoga are mainly dependent upon the extent you go to. Some professional yogis go the extra mile and make their bodies extremely pain resistant and flexible with the help of hatha yoga. However, the general people who go for hatha yoga are more inclined towards keeping their bodies and minds fit. Here is a list of the benefits you can expect to experience:
- Hatha yoga builds strength in each part of the body unlike most of the other traditional exercises that only focus on one part at a time.
- Hatha yoga is known to increase flexibility within the body and tone the muscles. This is the reason most yogis are slim and well maintained.
- Hatha yoga is also great to bring peace and focus to the mind.
- Hatha yoga can reduce stress. It also makes your mind capable of handling stressful situations calmly.
- Hatha yoga is great for building proper body alignment.
- Lastly, hatha yoga is absolutely beneficial for those with breathing problems. It can increase the capacity of the lungs to breathe. By promoting better breathing hatha yoga makes it possible for you to live a healthier life.
Should You Go For It?
People who are into hatha yoga enjoy the benefits of it. Also, since it is a vast field of yoga, there are levels for beginners as well as for experts. This is the reason hatha yoga is said to be for everyone. You can start slow and then move onto the difficult postures. The good part is that even with the basic postures you can expect to garner the benefits of hatha yoga. In short, hatha yoga is for everyone. You don’t have to belong to India or you don’t have to be ill to start practicing it. If you want a healthier and better life then hatha yoga is your way.
Another great thing you will learn about hatha yoga is that unlike most exercising regimes, hatha yoga won’t take up much of your energy. You can expect to be fresh right after the class!