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Choose Hatha Yoga for Fitness and Well-Being

Updated on December 20, 2020

Hot Yoga Is Not Recommended For Beginners!

Title: Bikram Yoga - with Bikram Choudhury ~ License: Attribution License ~ Photographer: tiarescott ~ Date: Oct 13, 2004
Title: Bikram Yoga - with Bikram Choudhury ~ License: Attribution License ~ Photographer: tiarescott ~ Date: Oct 13, 2004

The Sun Salutation Is Gentle And Effective For All Levels Of Practitioners!

Sun Salutation Day Poster May Be Printed Out Free At:
Sun Salutation Day Poster May Be Printed Out Free At:

Hatha Yoga Is The Basis For All Yoga

As popular as yoga is today, you might think that it’s a modern trend. Actually, yoga has been around since long before the time of Christ. Yoga originated in India, and its name has its origins in Sanskrit. The Sanskrit word, yui, means attachment, union or joining. This word is the root of the term, yoga. The intention of yoga is harmony and joining of body, mind and spirit.

There are many yoga styles, but all are based in a style called Hatha Yoga.This style was created during the 15th century by a Hindu sage known as Yogi Swatmarama. The most straightforward and pure form of Hatha Yoga involves a combination of physical postures, meditation and relaxation. From this basis, many variations have sprung.

One of the most well known and popular forms of Hatha Yoga is Ashtanga Yoga. This variation focuses on correct performance of a very specific and set series of poses that can be quite demanding. It can take up to 2 hours to complete a full set of Ashtanga poses. One example of these poses is the Sun Salutation. This excellent series of poses is beneficial to all practitioners from beginner to expert because it can be done at varying levels of difficulty and provides exercise and strengthening for every part of the body.

Another variation on Hatha Yoga is Iyengar yoga which got its start in the early 20th century with Yogi BKS Iyengar. This is a very demanding type of yoga which pays strict attention to the proper performance of each pose. Attention to precise detail is more important in this type of yoga than any other aspect.

Toward the middle 20th century, Bikram Yoga came into being. It was created by a yogi known as Bikram Choudy in India. This type of yoga is extremely challenging, and yet it is very popular. The reason for this is that it is a very effective method of weight loss. Today it is referred to as Power Yoga or Hot Yoga.

It is called Hot Yoga because it is done in temperatures of 100° or so with A 40 percent humidity level. It is believed that these conditions will increase detoxification of the body as well as weight loss while keeping the muscles flexible and warm.

Bikram Yoga is performed at a fast clip. Its 26 poses are done at a calisthenics rate of speed that encourages heavy perspiration and an increased heart rate. While it is an excellent choice for athletic people who are already up the challenge, Bikram Yoga is a poor choice for beginners.

A very good choice for beginners is basic Hatha Yoga. This gentle practice can be done at a rate and intensity that is suitable and beneficial for any level of fitness. This simple practice provides muscle conditioning, weight loss and improved joint and tendon flexibility.

My first introduction to yoga was a wonderful PBS television program known as Kathleen Hitchcock’s Hatha Yoga. Following this practice nightly throughout my high school years has had lifelong benefits. Unfortunately, this program is no longer available; however, there are many excellent Hatha Yoga videos and DVD’s available. Additionally, you might choose a Hatha Yoga class at your local YMCA, community college, or fitness center.

The practice of Hatha Yoga works to detoxify the body. Eating properly while practicing will increase the benefits of your practice. Follow a simple, whole foods eating plan rich in fiber and pure filtered water. The Mediterranean Eating Plan and the Fill Your Plate Eating Plan are two examples of simple, doable plans that will fulfill all of your nutritional needs and support your Hatha Yoga practice.

Copyright:SuzanneBennett:May 11, 2012


Submit a Comment
  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    6 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! Yes, it's a great lifelong form of exercise! :)

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Yoga sounds a great experience. A helpful and very interesting insight to Yoga.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Texas

    Many thanks! :)

  • KawikaChann profile image

    Kawika Chann 

    7 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

    Nicely done - there's a lot of useful info here... we do something similar but more of a Chinese practice of Qigong stretches. Hot yoga sounds like a definite challenge. Up/use/follow. Peace. Kawi.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Texas

    Many thanks! Yes, the heat has begun again, and I am wondering what the heck I'm doing here!

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    7 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I wonder the same every year from about late May through September and sometimes longer. Wealthy people escape to their cabins in Colorado and such places to escape the heat. Lucky them! Thank heavens for air-conditioning! Going to pin this to my health related subjects board on Pinterest.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Texas

    My pleasure! :)

  • Indian Chef profile image

    Indian Chef 

    7 years ago from New Delhi India

    This is very interesting hub. Thanks for sharing.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Texas

    I know! I would NEVER do hot yoga! I hate sweating. I don't know why I live in Texas! :/

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    7 years ago from Houston, Texas

    I have never tried yoga but have certainly read about its benefits. Thanks for explaining the different types of yoga. As to doing hot yoga, I sweat enough in the humid and hot summer heat in Texas when I am gardening or walking outdoors. From what you say it is not for beginners anyway. Up and interesting votes.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Texas

    Thanks! You can always modify. The point is to approximate the stretches and strengthening exercises as well and effectively as you can without pain. It is still effective and helpful to your recovery! :)

  • Shyron E Shenko profile image

    Shyron E Shenko 

    7 years ago from Texas

    Thank you justmensuzanne, for all the tips I do love Yoga, I can't do some of the exercises, that I use to before my hip replacement.

    Love this hub.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks all! I am not personally a fan of Hot Yoga. I tried a video of it once, and it was just too jarring for me, but I think it would be a good exercise alternative for people who are really super-fit and want a challenge. The Hatha Yoga taught by Kathleen Hitchcock was Ashtanga Yoga. She stressed moving smoothly and naturally from one pose to another and making the most of breathing. I have used what I learned from her throughout my life in many situations. I think yoga practice is extremely valuable.

    (Just an aside: If they ever make a movie of Bikram Choudry's life [that's him in the picture] I think Stanley Tucci should play him, don't you? ;)

  • Shelly McRae profile image

    Shelly McRae 

    8 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    Great hub, justmesuzanne. I prefer hatha yoga as well. Thanks for sharing.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    8 years ago

    I can see where hot yoga would benefit the body; exercise and elimination of toxins would be great. Thanks for sharing.

  • cloverleaffarm profile image

    Healing Herbalist 

    8 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

    Thanks for sharing the great info on Yoga. I have been wanting to try Yoga for quite some time. I have seen the benefits in other people, and know it would help my back. Voted up.

  • justmesuzanne profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Texas

    My pleasure! I know you will enjoy it! :)

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 

    8 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    I have done aerobics,and such on and off for a long time. I have thought about yoga, and I actually have a DVD that I got somewhere! I never realized the different yoga types. Thanks for the "spark" to try some yoga!


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