Performing yoga not only supports a healthy lifestyle but also assists you in releasing additional life stresses. Before you perform any Yoga, choosing the right one counts as per the professionals. With this line, Hatha Yoga helps the performer to set himself free from several life challenges, both directly and indirectly.
So, if you are a daily yoga practitioner or even a beginner, then stay with us to know in detail about: What is Hatha Yoga, the postures of this yoga, and more.
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What is Hatha Yoga?
Hatha Yoga is not about any singular posture-based yoga; rather, it’s an all-encompassing term that includes both asanas and breathing exercises. The use of Hatha as a yoga term has been maintained for centuries.
While Ha means sun and Tha implies moon, hatha yoga balances the sun and moon energies in the body. In this line, all western or mainstream Yoga schools consider Hatha as a means of balancing the body and mind all at the same time.
Technically, Hatha using force supports different body formations or what is known as Pranayama, Asana, Mantra, Mudra, or the Shatkarmas and Shat Kriyas.
Read more: 5 Yoga Pose For Internal Hip Rotation
What is The Aim of Hatha Yoga?
Hatha Yoga Pradipika, also known as an ancient text detailing the Hatha Yoga poses, describes the purposes of such yoga postures.
The core objective of this yoga is to combine those physical practices in the form of asanas with meditation, the absolute goal of life. When you perform hatha yoga, then you will be able to control your mind towards positive energy, thus segmenting them from the negative ones.
And ultimately, an individual with such performances can set himself free from the physical, environmental, or mental daily pressures.
Key Hatha Yoga Benefits
You must have guessed the power of Hatha Yoga since it enables you to attain self-consciousness. So, let’s explore some of the Hatha Yoga benefits as pointed out by the professionals.
The most productive means of relaxing everyday anxiety or stress is activating Hatha yoga. It promotes smooth blood circulation, oxygen mobility, and respiration. To the most, it also discharges hormonal production like cortisol and ensures that you can relax at nighttime.
Maximizes Human Patience
Some of the body poses require utmost concentration and patience to achieve perfection. Hatha yoga acts are slow and stable, thereby building your power of tolerance and endurance.
When you have insomnia or irregular hours of sleep, then with hatha yoga, you can treat such concerns. One of the significant Hatha Yoga benefits is that it increasingly produces melatonin, which regulates sleep.
It Says No To Chronic or Inflammatory Diseases
( In case you are not sure, inflammatory diseases occur when the body’s immune system damages the tissues, ultimately resulting in body inflammation). Especially in the west, you can observe rising interest in Hatha Yoga because of its potential to curb diabetes, arthritis, or at the most cancer.
Healthy Immune System
Hatha yoga benefits in easy flow of lymph and fluids such as blood. Therefore, body cells work efficiently in clearing the body’s waste alongside it promotes the growth of white blood cells and other antibodies.
The presence of antibodies would defend from any infection caused by the invading outdoor germs.
Ensures Body Flexibility and No Joint Pains
Most of the important hatha yoga poses require you to stretch your body to the maximum capacity. And gradually, you won’t have to face a hard time stretching your body, and that’s what flexibility implies.
Adding to this point, your body tightness would give you a hard time with joint pains. To address such body issues, Hatha yoga would work on the muscles of your back and legs.
Five Hatha Yoga Poses
It is said that with different hatha yoga poses, the performer would eventually find a way to connect his body system with the cosmos.
All your temporal life sufferings would be evaded by knowing the art of mastering both the body and mind. Here are the main Hatha poses which would also suit beginners.
Overbridge Posture /Setu Bandhasana
If you face lower back rigidness or pain in your spine, then Setu Bandhasana works the best. With this asana, you would acquire lower body strength with a strong and lengthy spine.
Bridge posture disseminates equal energy to different body parts and helps in boosting the endocrine system. Know how to perform-
- Step 1. Lie down on a flat floor with both your legs straight. Gradually start bending your knees with the feet at hip-width.
- Step 2. Your arms should remain near your body where the palms would confront the floor. Extend your fingertips to touch both your heels lightly.
- Step 3. By adjusting the hip-width in between the knees, start inhaling and then uplift your hips with feet pressing the ground. You should also roll your spine from the floor.
- Step 4. Elevate your chest with your shoulders and arms pressed down. Then, by seeking the assistance of your buttocks and legs, start lifting the hips as much as possible.
- Step 5. Hold on to the posture for 5-6 breaths. After that, release your breath and allow the spine to roll back to the floor slowly.
Tree Posture /Vrikshasana
The tree posture is the most popular Hatha posture in maintaining equilibrium between body and mind. With this pose, you only have to physically stretch your legs, back, and arms other than acquiring mind concentration. Some of the plus sides of this asana are strengthening your legs, reducing sciatica, and overall working on your body balance. Here’s how –
- Step 1. Stand straight with both your arms on your body’s sides. Then bend your right foot so that it can touch the left thigh inwardly. Also, make sure that the left leg stands straight.
- Step 2. Work on your balance and see if you can breathe easily. Gradually lift your arms over your head and make the namaste gesture. ( you can make such a gesture by joining your two palms upward).
- Step 3. Look straight at a single frontal point to retain your body balance. Now with your stretched erected body, take an extended deep breath. And after one minute, relax the breath. Followed by that release of your hands and legs.
- Step 4. Follow the same process with the alternate leg after a few moments of relaxing.
Read more: Benefits of The Tree Yoga Pose
The Mountain posture /Tadasana
This particular among the Hatha asana poses would work as a base for all other remaining standing yoga poses. It’s suggested that tadasana prevents different muscle injuries when performed on an empty stomach. Here’s how to complete the posture-
- Step 1. Stand with your spine straight and feet together so that both the toes touch each other, but the heels are barely apart.
- Step 2. Keep your hands gently near your body. Now, start elevating the knee caps without pressuring the lower stomach. At that time, the inner ankle arches should remain straight while you uplift them.
- Step 3. Firmly place your upper thigh inward and then stretch the tailbone in the direction of the ground. Raise the pubis, which would face the naval.
- Step 4. Look straight at a single frontal point to retain your body balance. Inhale while you lift the arms upward and allow your entire body to stretch.
- Step 5. After one minute, exhale and release from the posture. Repeat the asana again and again till you feel weary.
Read more: Mountain Pose Yoga To Get Benefits
The Locust posture /Salabhasana
This type of asana would regulate your body from acidity-related issues and also helps your legs, shoulder, hips, and thigh stay strong. Such asana types also serve as an essential means for losing belly weight.
- Step 1. Lie down facing your abdomen on a flat floor. Your hands should be kept by your side.
- Step 2. Start inhaling and slowly lift your upper body and legs. Make sure you won’t bend your knees while raising the legs. You can take the support of your inner thighs for that.
- Step 3. Allow your body weight to lay on your lower ribs and abdomen. For extra support, use your hands.
- Step 4. Retain in this pose for 60-70 seconds and then release slowly.
The Bow Posture /Dhanurasana
The bow posture strengthens the lower back and abdomen muscles. It’s beneficial for women, especially as it stimulates the female reproductive organs. Particularly menstrual discomforts are well answered through this posture. Know-how:-
- Step 1. Lie down facing your stomach on a flat floor. Then slowly try to bend the knees and stretch your hands in a way so that you can hold your ankles.
- Step 2. Take an intense breath and raise the legs from the ground.
- Step 3. Concentrate your eyesight on a particular point straight ahead without allowing any stress on your face.
- Step 4. Hold on to your breath while maintaining the bow posture.
- Step 5. After half a minute, exhale and release your body slowly from the posture.
Read more: How To Do Bow Pose
Hatha vs Vinyasa Yoga
Most of the poses formed while performing Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga may appear similar. But the main goals behind the two Yogas are different. Vinyasa yoga is continual, where one shifts to the next pose directly based on the instructor’s discretion.
Unlike Hatha yoga, which is practiced in gradual paces, the shift from one Vinyasa pose to another depends on various paces of flow.
The key Hatha vs Vinyasa yoga differences are that-
- Firstly, slow-paced yoga such as Hatha focuses on body flexibility, thereby enhancing body stretchiness. But Vinyasa yoga is more fast-paced and requires body endurance, which can sometimes be physically challenging.
- Secondly, Vinyasa yoga allows either a similar pattern of yoga poses (ashtanga) or can move to altogether different body poses. On the contrary, Hatha yoga is about stretching the body to the maximum limit.
- Thirdly, as a fast-paced yoga, Vinyasa would need more breathing control capacity than Hatha yoga.
In the west particularly, Hatha yoga benefits are identified more than any other yoga type. Its unique technique for attending mindfulness and self-control through meditation along with body balance is recognized worldwide.
End of words and start of postures!
These Hatha yoga benefits are well discussed above. However, what most performers should consider is that yoga is not about competing.
So, for hatha yoga, there’s no need to fast your pace to impress someone. Focus your mind while patiently performing, and with time, try enduring more to get the most out of any Hatha poses.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer- Unlike other Yogas, particularly Vinyasa or Ashtanga poses with Hatha, the body supports more static and slow postures. On the contrary, Vinyasa yoga focuses more on continual series of fast-paced poses requiring more body endurance.
Answer- Hatha yoga is mainly used for balancing both the body and mind at the same time by performing several asanas, pranayama, and other acts. An individual enacting hatha yoga can set himself free from the physical, environmental, or mental daily pressures.
Answer- Vinyasa yoga is mainly a fast-paced yoga that asks for more breathing control capacity, which is physically challenging sometimes. But Hatha yoga emphasizes body flexibility along with the attainment of mind concentration.