The Styles and Techniques of Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga Teachings

The concept of Hatha Yoga is the most basic form of yoga in existence. It is tied to the Hindu teachings and the practice involving the union of mind and body to produce wonderful health and fitness benefits. All other methods of yoga were based on the concepts of Hatha Yoga.

Ha stands for Sun, and Tha for Moon. These two elements represent the important channels of the body. When combined together in “Hatha”, it leads to a complete and powerful purification of the body. This union also result to a balance within two core aspects of the human body: the physical body and the mind.

Beneficial Effects

*Stress Relief: Hatha yoga offers calming exercises that effectively removes any source of stress and eliminate muscle tension. This stress relieving benefit not only applies in terms of the physical aspects, but in the psychological as well.

*Mental: Hatha yoga also requires enough mental activity to sharpen up your cognitive capacity.

*Physical: This is the most evident source of benefit for Hatha Yoga that includes improvement of respiratory system, absorption and assimilation of oxygen throughout your blood, and increased muscle flexibility.

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Types of Hatha Yoga Poses

As the basis of some other yoga techniques, there are a lot of varieties when it comes to the poses that are executed within this particular school of thought in yoga. Each one are executed based on the specific goals desired or the area of the body that one intends to workout.

Seated

The Butterfly pose in Hatha Yoga is believed to be ideal for meditation and has wide application in Kundalini Yoga. Therefore, it is done as a warmup for the succeeding yoga practice. If you want to achieve better emotional health, the Cat-Cow Pose in Kundalini Yoga eliminate any form of blockage in your energy pathway.

Standing

The Archer Pose in Kundalini Yoga helps expand a yoga practitioner's body to promote the flow of energy. Another example of standing position for Hatha Yoga is the Mountain Position. Aside from improving the fitness within your internal health systems, it also increases kundalini for improved nerve strength.

Supine

If you want to experience relaxation through Hatha Yoga, you must try the Corpse Pose. This is often done after a rigorous yoga exercise or pose enabling your body and mind to properly assimilate energy flow. Other varieties of the supine type include the Cobra Pose for improved back strength and Plank Pose for increased arm strength.

Inverted

This particular variation for the various types of Hatha Yoga can either open up your chakra points and brain fitness, using the Plough Pose and Shoulder Stand Pose, respectively.

Backward Bending

If you want a healthier digestive system, there are two recommended poses in Hatha Yoga: Modified Wheel Pose and Camel Pose. Those who want to preserve their youthful vitality can execute the Yoga Bow Pose.

Forward Bending

In this Back Stretching Pose, your limbs and muscles are stretched regularly to achieve spontaneous healing. Aside from healing, it also offers other benefits including longevity. You can perform this particular pose regularly since it is good for you and complete in itself.

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Breathing Techniques

Pranayama or proper breathing has always been an important element in yoga practice. Unless you have proper mind control, you will never be able to control your patterns of breathing. Since your mind is an essential tool during yoga performance, this is one of the first few things you need to master.

However, most beginners to yoga commit the mistake of focusing too much on how they breathe, instead of preparing their bodies to block out any imbalances. Therefore, you can begin by eliminating negative habits that could intervene with your breathing pattern such as smoking. Meanwhile, maintain a positive outlook all throughout such that you are able to release yourself off any feeling of tension.

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Hatha Yoga Variants

There are a wide variety of styles emerging from the basic concept of Hatha Yoga. Knowing each of them will help you choose a more specific approach towards your goals for practicing this particular branch of yoga technique:

  • Ananda Yoga – This style serves to awaken the energies within the body and the Chakras using of asanas and pranayama. The presence of energy bring about harmony in the different senses of your body. It is not a vigorous practice, but is rather more focused on the internal journey.
  • Anusara Yoga – This is a powerful system aim for unity with the universe and your intrinsic vision. It exults the differences and abilities of each individual, while also recognizing their belongingness to a particular community.
  • Ashtanga Yoga – This is suitable for yoga practitioners who desire to experience a rigid workout. Not only are the individual poses physically demanding but follow a certain sequence with benefits ranging from increased endurance, strength, and flexibility.
  • Bikram Yoga – This controversial yoga style combines a heated room with rigorous exercises consisting of 26 total poses sequence. Since this can be quite intense, you need to consult a physician first to ensure it is safe for you to practice Bikram yoga.
  • Integral Yoga – As the name implies, this yoga style emphasizes the need for proper coordination between breathing, postures, and meditation. Aside from improved physical condition, its goals include proper mind control, higher level of intellect, and strong will.
  • Iyengar Yoga – Named after its creator, this Hatha Yoga style emphasize the need for precise execution of certain postures. Therefore, it also invented the use of yoga aids such as belts and blocks to add to the precision.
  • Kripalu – This style focuses on the integration of body movement and proper breathing. However, it also focus on the capacity of the individual's body such that it is not pushed beyond its limits as it can cause physical and mental strain.
  • Sivananda – Created by one of yoga's classic instructors, this style emphasizes the importance of diet and positive thinking, in addition to the trio combination of poses, breathing, and meditation.
  • Viniyoga – This Hatha Yoga style believes that not all yoga poses are suited for everyone's needs. Therefore, it allows modification of classic yoga poses to suit one's needs and skill level.

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emohealer 7 years ago from South Carolina

Another great article on yoga. I am learning so much from reading your hubs. Another great way to relieve stress, while always remember to cover the basics. I appreciate it!

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