What is Hatha Yoga?
Combining Asana (Postures) with Pranayama (Breathing techniques)…
Hatha is the root of all yoga. Iyengar, Vinyasa, Yin, Ashtanga and other forms of Yoga all stem from Hatha yoga.
A ‘Hatha’ yoga class will typically involve a set of physical postures (yoga poses) and breathing techniques, practiced slowly and with standing, seated and sometimes inverted static posture holds.
Hatha means ‘force’ in Sanskrit हठ and attains that through the physical practice of Yoga, we receive the benefits. So Hatha yoga can be considered as anything you might do with the body to still the mind, including:
- asana – yoga postures (practised in any style of ‘yoga’)
- pranayama – breathing techniques
- mudra – hand gestures
- Meditation and relaxation techniques
Hatha practices are designed to align and calm your body and mind. This practice is often modified and can be as challenging as you wish it to be, with modified poses for beginners. More challenging options are included for more experienced practitioners, making it accessible to all. Your practice deepens and grows with you as you progress.
It is recommended that you abstain from eating or drinking anything but water 2 hours before practice.
It has actually been proven that those who attend regular Hatha classes have reduced stress and anxiety levels, also their flexibility, core strength and cardio endurance improved. It also helped to improve balance, posture and mobility.
When practising, asana (postures) are important, but there are 8 limbs to yoga and asana is only 1 of these limbs. When practising the other elements of Hatha yoga, such as chanting, pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation, kriyas (cleansing), and philosophy, plus eating a vegetarian diet, we can begin to link the benefits of healthy mind and healthy body.
What is Hatha Vinyasa Yoga?
Vinyasa means “to place in a special way” , where in Hatha, we tend to hold asana postures for longer, in Hatha Vinyasa we flow through asana, linking postures and movement with breath. Without practising the other limbs of hatha/ hatha vinyasa yoga, you are only doing a gym class. It is really important to develop a fully rounded practice to learn and get the benefits from Hatha properly. This is an integral part which is sadly getting lost and diluted in the west.
Who is the practice suitable for?
The practice is suitable for anyone who is looking to begin or deepen their practice. It is suitable for beginners and improvers.
Postures include lying down, kneeling, lying on the front, beginners/improvers inversions and standing.
– Schedule –
Aimee teaches a Gentle Hatha class in Guisborough on a Tuesday Afternoon, an evening class on Tuesdays in Stockton, as well as a morning class on a Friday in Nunthorpe. Please see our timetable for more information.
What other classes are available with AMALAwellness?
If kneeling, or coming from seated to standing is too much of a challenge, we offer Gentle Chair Yoga, Movement and Move it or Lose it! Classes.
See our timetable for more information.
The benefits of this practice are well known. In the west it is mainly used to bring strength and flexibility to the body. However, if you take the time to learn about other aspects of Yoga; you can really begin to develop a deeper practice. Not only for your body but for your mind.
About The author:
Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and a Chair Based Yoga and Exercise Teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.
To find out more, visit www.amalateesside.com