HATHA YOGA: INTEREST AND BENEFITS
What is hatha yoga?
When we think of yoga, we think of a guy dressed in canvas pants who is sitting cross-legged for hours. Well, not yoga is not that. There is of course a little meditation but it represents a small component of yoga. Another thing, there are as many types of yoga as there are cheeses (I do not know if it’s the best comparison but it’s the inspiration of the moment). Each type of yoga has its specificities. For my part, I will tell you about the yoga I know about hatha yoga. Hatha Yoga is one of the great yoga families and is by far the most practiced form of Yoga in the West. It is a yoga that uses the body as a basic tool to get to know each other better. It’s a pretty physical yoga. The hatha yoga sessions are organized around postures (asanas),
Hatha yoga: sport, body or spiritual practice?
Wikipedia defines sport as “a set of exercises, mostly physical, practiced in the form of individual or collective games that can lead to competitions.” As you have read above, yoga is composed of exercises (postures and breathing exercises) and is practiced alone or with others. As such it may be thought that even if yoga does not give rise to competitions it can be considered a sport. If we do not want to be ambiguous about the competitive side, it would be best to talk about physical practice.
And spirituality in all this?
Yoga independent of any dogma is not affiliated with any religion (although its origins are drawn from the sacred texts of India). However yoga can also lead to a “spiritual” approach in the sense that through his practice, a better knowledge of his body and his breath, the Yogi apprentice gradually becomes aware of his true place and his connection with the universe. Thus yoga, very personal practice paradoxically often helps to open to the world and to others.
Interests and benefits of Hatha Yoga
Being more flexible in everyday life
Thanks to its many postures hatha yoga can significantly increase flexibility. The postures are a little like stretching that we would hold longer (between 1 and 3 minutes). Being more flexible will allow you to gain mobility, increase your range of motion and be more comfortable in your daily life. From a spiritual point of view, being more flexible will allow you to simply focus on your projects and not your body that tickles you a little, a lot, to madness, passionately …
To be more toned
The postures of hatha yoga allow to gain in suppleness but also in strength. Some postures specifically work the abdominal belt, back, arms or legs. What is the difference with muscle strengthening will you tell me? Well, contrary to the muscular reinforcement where we work mainly in dynamics, in Hatha Yoga we work in eccentric, in isometry, we use the force of gravity to take root and relax. And I can assure you that when you hold a posture 3 minutes (even a minute) you feel it pass.
Do not have back pain anymore
Back pain is often associated with a lack of tone in the abdominal and back muscles, lack of back flexibility. However, in Hatha Yoga is carried out with the postures work of reinforcement of the abdominal belt and dorsal. Back pain can also be related to stiffness of the spine but also muscles that fit in the pelvis (hamstrings, adductors, quadriceps, glutes). By doing hatha yoga you will perform postures that will mobilize your spine in all directions which will allow you to gain flexibility and thus relieve your back. Finally, back pain can also be due to a bad conscience of the body. In short, in our daily life we use our legs to move forward, sometimes our arms to grab objects but we finally solicit our back very little. Our back is thus akin to a block of which we can not distinguish the different parts. However, when it is asked a little violently it may be tense and even hangs and triggers a lumbago or sciatica. By doing hatha yoga, you will learn to distinguish the different parts of your back and thus prevent lumbago and other sciatica.
To be less stressed
It is well known, hatha yoga can be more Zen in everyday life. Why that ? Well, because during a hatha yoga session, we do breathing exercises that oxygenate the brain, soothe the mind (simply because when we focus on our breathing we do not pass them to think about our worries of everyday life). We also realize postures where we focus on the positioning of our body. And that’s the same thing, when we are focused on our posture we no longer think about our daily missions to accomplish. Hatha yoga is also meditation. There are different levels of meditation. One can meditate sitting or lying down (usually one begins lying down). And here we can scan his body, recite mantras (singing) or guide by a voice indulge in contemplation of idyllic landscape. Whether through postures, breathing techniques or meditation, doing yoga calm our mind. And when our mind is calm, we have more opportunities to make the right decisions in both professional and personal life.
Hatha yoga, a complementary practice
Hatha yoga can be practiced as a main physical activity but also as a complementary activity. As a sports coach, I often have clients who start with me doing muscle building or cardio training. Then, one day when they are tired I suggest they do a hatha yoga session and in most cases they feel so good after that they want to do a session on 2 of hatha yoga.
Hatha Yoga for whom?
Hatha yoga is for everyone, the stars (Madonna, Sting and Jane Fonda) as well as the stars (you … still only). Unlike other bodily practices, there is no competition goal in Hatha Yoga. You do not have to be flexible to get into yoga.
The idea is to give the best of oneself, the best of the present moment. Many begin this activity to cure a backache, to be more flexible. Then, little by little, session after session, people feel better and better and their motivations change. They do hatha yoga because it’s good for health but also because hatha yoga is a bridge to a spiritual life, a search for harmony between body and mind.