What is Hatha Yoga? A brief Introduction & Defination for Beginners.
Any kind of yoga where poses are practiced which includes Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar yoga is called Hatha Yoga. In Sanskrit, the word Hatha means Forceful which represents the system of physical techniques.
In the western world, hatha yoga has been developed as a style of yoga that now is widely practiced. Hatha yoga that has been described as classes is more basic and gentle with a focus on alignment with physical and mental benefits of each pose.
For the practice of Asana practice, it utilizes breathe in the form of pranayam exercises and meditation which is at the center of traditional hatha yoga.
History of Hatha Yoga
The history of Hatha yoga claims that yoga was originated in Northern India more than 5000 years ago and it has been taught as a healing system for the mind and to prepare the body for seated meditation. An Indian sage, Swatmarama in the 15th century composed the yoga manual named ‘Hathapradipika’. This yoga manual is one of the oldest surviving texts on it.
Hatha Yoga Poses/ Postures
The practice of poses (asanas), controlled breathing techniques (pranayama), and purifying practices (shatkriya) are described by the Hathapradipika manual. Also, it explains the only meaning of Hatha yoga is to awaken the Kundalini energy and to bring the body into a state of Samadhi, a deep state of meditative consciousness.
You might also love to read about Vinyasa Yoga: Flow, Postures & Poses
Benefits of Hatha Yoga
The physical poses in hatha yoga are used to generate strength and flexibility and to drive energy into all areas of the body by removing any built-up tension. Furthermore, there are various benefits of it. They are:
- Increases flexibility.
- Increases fitness.
- Strengthens and tones the body.
- Lowers stress level.
- Elevates mood.
- Boosts our immune system.
Guide to it for beginners
How to start practice?
While starting the yoga journey, many people who begin with it, practice naturally. We can begin our practice at home by starting with the following outline:
Breathe: Once we feel well balanced, we can begin to lengthen the inhales and exhales, and can also place a hand on our belly to feel it rise and fall. We can continue it for about 3-5 minutes.
Meditate: Once we feel completely present through the breathing, we can begin to breathe naturally and allow the mind to be at ease.
Beginner Asanas: If we are familiar with any poses, we can work our way through and hold for at least five breaths. This part of the practice can be as short or as long as our body is comfortable with.
Savasana: At the end of our asana practice, we can dim the lights and also can put on a calming song. To allow our body to completely relax and completely soak up the Hatha practice.
Poses of it for beginners
The list of Hatha yoga poses for beginners are:
- Mountain pose (Tadasana)
- Tree pose (Vrikshasana)
- Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)
- Downward facing dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana)
- Plough pose (Halasana)
- Headstand (Sirsasana)
- Locust pose (Salabhasana)
- Shoulder stand (Sarvangasana)
- Bow pose (Dhanurasana)
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