As yoga has recently gained much popularity in mainstream fitness and wellness regime, there has emerged many different variations and styles of yoga. Hatha yoga is the most prominent involving almost every style of yoga. With so many options of hatha yoga classes available, it always becomes difficult to choose the best among them. Most of the yoga classes in the west are hath yoga classes. Here we are sharing the insights on what to expect from your hath yoga classes, poses, asanas, and sequences involved in hatha yoga, and its various benefits.
What is Hatha Yoga?
Hatha yoga is typically a branch of yoga primarily concerned with mastery of the body. The term derives from the Sanskrit word ha, denoting “sun,” and tha, denoting “moon,” indicating that the hatha practices are interpreted to unite the balance between these two energies. It creates a balance between the two contrasting energies for example strength and flexibility.
Hath yoga refers to a form of physical exercise involving poses, asanas, and sequences that are specially formulated to align your skin, muscles, and bones. These postures are designed to open various channels of your body, especially the spine, resulting in the free flow of energy.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga-
Regular practice of Hatha yoga ensures strength, increases flexibility, and enhances balance. Along with this it also offers moderate aerobic exercise to the whole body. Apart from these it additionally benefits due to its incorporation of breathing techniques like pranayama and meditation during the practice. The various benefits of hatha yoga involve:
- It beats anxiety and depression
- Benefits in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Improves balance
- Relieves back pain
- Boosts emotional health
- Enhances mood and reduces fatigue
- Greater mindfulness and alertness
- Cures insomnia and nervous ailments
What to expect from your Hatha Yoga Classes?
Hatha Yoga is a gentler form of yoga that mainly focuses on holding the pose for longer duration and is great for beginners to start their practice. A typical Hatha yoga class can last from 45 minutes to around 90 minutes. Starting with warm-up exercises advancing towards physical postures and pranayama and ending with short time meditation. Though gentle in form still it can be physically and mentally challenging.
The most basic training you get in the class is to always focus on your breath while practicing hatha yoga sequences and pranayama. Poses help you to improve balance, strength, and flexibility. If you find any pose difficult or find it challenging to hold for a long time, your yoga instructor can suggest a modified version depending on your inabilities. Most classes end with the resting meditative poses or with Savasana to reconnect your wandering thoughts with your mind.
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Most common Hatha Yoga poses-
Tadasana is a preparatory pose for many asanas, thus regarded as the foundation pose for the follow-up asanas. It helps to correct the posture and improve the balance. Increases the flexibility of ankles and joints. It tones the hips and abdomen, helps you gain control over your muscle movements.
It is a balancing asana. Try to hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds. With practice, you can go up to 1 minute with each leg. It is one of the few yoga poses popular since the medieval hatha yoga till modern-day hatha yoga. It tones the legs and feet, opens the hips, groin, and chest. It is known to fortify the Muladhara chakra.
It is known to improve the sense of balance. It improves the concentration and releases upper back tension. It stretches hips, thighs, shoulders, and spine. It loosens the tendons and joint muscles.
Gomukhasana or cow face pose is a seated pose usually used for meditation purposes. It stretches the thigh, thorax, hips, and ankle. It removes the stiffness from hips joints and improves the flexibility of the back. It improves kidney functioning and beneficial to those who are suffering from diabetes.
Dhanurasana is an incredible back bowing yoga pose for expanding and increasing spinal strength and adaptability. It stimulates the internal organs. This posture stretches the chest and strengthens the lungs, making it a very beneficial posture for those with asthma and respiratory issues.
This posture is profoundly remedial for the nervous system and is awesome for combatting stress and depression. It is a simple posture to go into, you will love this one for the days that you feel to be emotionally overpowering. The stretch additionally emphasizes the lower abdomen and reduces stomach pain.
Kurmasana or tortoise pose resembles the tortoise that withdraws in its shell when threatened or endangered. This asana enables you to withdraw the curtails pertaining due to the outside world and reconnect yourself to the inner you. It gives the euphoric feeling of establishing a connection with your inner world. It relaxes your head neck and shoulders. It is a great stress buster relaxing your mind and treating insomnia.
This simple backbend stretch strengthens your entire back body, from neck to toes. It treats a wide range of problems including lower back pain, postural problems, weakness, or soreness anywhere around your back body, including hips and hamstrings. It strengthens the leg muscles thus reducing arthritis of knees. Incorrect practice can cause the cramps in the leg muscles or lower back so be conscious while performing this asana or take the help of experts from hatha yoga classes in thane west.
Ardha Mastyendrasana energizes the spine, twisting and wrangling out all the stiffness from your back. It relives the upper and middle back pain, stretching the shoulders, hips, and the neck. It also removes the pain due to sciatica.
Savasana is an act of bit by bit loosening up each body part, in turn, each muscle in turn, and each idea in turn. At the point when you do this training for quite a while, it conditions the body to discharge pressure and can improve your feeling of physical and mental prosperity.
Hatha Yoga Kriyas
Shuddhikriyas or Cleansing Processes play a very important role in Hatha Yoga. These cleansing processes are six in number; hence referred to as Shatkriyas. They are Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Nauli, Tratak, and Kapalabhati. Out of these – Tratak (cleansing of eyes), Kapalabhati (cleansing of the sinus), Agnisar (a type of Dhauti for digestion), and Nauli (for cleaning stomach) can be practiced daily. However other cleansing practices can be practiced with a gap of 15-30 days.
The purpose of these cleansing kriyas is to remove the toxins or impurities in our bodies. Yoga asanas can be practiced effectively if the body is pure; thenceforth cleansing the impurities of mind too.
The significant texts Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gheranda Samhita propagate the practices of Shatkarma along with other yoga practices.