What is Hatha Yoga? Definition and Benefits
Definition of Hatha Yoga
Many types of yoga fall under the term Hatha yoga. Hatha is an umbrella term for all physical forms of yoga. This style of yoga is a great introduction to the basics, with a classic approach to postures and breathing techniques.
In Sanskrit, Ha means sun (male) and Tha means moon (female). So the purpose of Hatha yoga is to create a balance between the masculine and feminine energies that exist within us. We use yoga postures to achieve the balance between strength and flexibility.
According to the yogic text of the fifteenth century, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the practice only has to include the following three elements to be Hatha yoga:
- Physical postures ( asana )
- Breathing techniques ( pranayama )
- Meditation ( dhyana ).
This means that any type of yoga that presents these three elements, this includes Bikram, Ashtanga, or Iyengar among others, is also considered Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is a tool used for physical and mental transformation because it requires you to pay constant attention to your breathing and this helps you to be present in each posture. The asanas strengthen the body. Pranayama helps you control your breathing and manipulate prana or vital energy. And meditation helps you focus and calm the mind.
Who can practice Hatha yoga and what to expect from a class?
If you are looking to strengthen and maintain a flexible and toned body, as well as a general feeling of balance in the body and mind, the regular practice of Hatha yoga can be very useful.
Practicing this form of yoga will allow you to not only get fit and improve your health inside and out, but also allow you to create a sense of harmony between the mind and body. Meditation is the way many people find peace when they are going through a lot of stress or have a lifestyle in constant motion. This form of yoga will teach you how to practice meditation effectively.
Hatha yoga is beneficial for people of all ages and it really does not matter when you decide to start the path to a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga
- Improves the immune system . The contraction and stretching of muscles and the movement of the organs helps the lymphatic system to fight infections and eliminate toxins from the body.
- Tones the spine All nerves branch out from the spinal column connecting the various organ systems to the brain. If the spine is stiff, the nerve impulses can not flow freely through the body and the internal organs weaken. If you keep the spine flexible, the nerves remain strong.
- Strengthens and tones the muscles. The maintenance of yoga postures for different periods of time strengthens the musculature.
- Increase flexibility Increases the elasticity of the connective tissues, the cells that bind muscle fibers. And it improves the “stretch reflex” and other functions of the autonomic nervous system. That is why it is such an effective method to increase flexibility.
- Improves general health It balances hunger, helps good digestion, optimizes the functioning of the body’s organs, balances tension and promotes restful sleep.
- Relaxes and centers the mind and releases tension from the body. It brings you inner peace and focus. It helps you to be present and happy.