What is Hatha Yoga?

How yoga heals the body

Many of us started the yoga journey because we wanted to improve our physical health and simply because it feels good. Yoga practice has countless health benefits. It stretches and tones the muscles and balances all major systems: circulatory, respiratory, digestive, immune, just to name a few. It’s been proven, yoga also has strong effects on psychological conditions and works miracles on the energetical level. It helps us recognize how interconnected we are. When we perform asanas with awareness, we start noticing that our physical, energetic, emotional, and mental states are all connected. 

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a very deep and vast subject. Lots of people are very confused about what yoga really is. There is no simple answer to it, but one thing I can tell for sure, it is a spiritual path, not just a physical practice. 

Yoga is one of the systems of Indian philosophy. The word “Yoga” comes from Sanskrit and literally means to bind, unite, and yoke. It is a union of our will and the will of God. 
 

What is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha literally means “force” and Hatha Yoga is “attaining a state of yoga through force.” Hatha Yoga is an alignment-oriented practice to restore and balance of “HA” solar and “THA” lunar energies in the body. The sun and the moon are the symbols of the two polar energies – yin and yang of the Taoist tradition, the masculine and feminine. As we become aware of these energies in our bodies, we might notice imbalances within us. Hatha yoga is a balancing practice, it allows us to relax into the pose, while remaining alert and aware of the present moment.

Classic asanas are held longer, to help open space in the physical and energetic bodies to shift stagnant energy and relieve blockages and knots. Hatha Yoga classes are often focused on flexibility, balance, core strength, as well as concentration, breath control and strong connection between mind and body. 

Let’s dive deeper into the world of Hatha Yoga asana, the physical part of yoga practice, in my opinion, the easiest of all eight limbs of yoga. I call it the easiest because we are the most connected to our physical body, we associate with it, we believe in it, we control it, compared to energetical and mental bodies.

The best choice to start your yoga journey is with Hatha Yoga asana practice. Once you get comfortable with it, all other stages of yoga (like pranayama and meditation) will be more accessible.
 

Hatha Yoga Asana

Hatha Yoga asana brings lightness and health to the body, as well as mental equilibrium to the mind. Asana is not a gymnastic exercise, with a quiet observation it calms nervous system, massages inner organs, and regulates the energy flow within. It exercises every muscle, gland, and nerve in the body. Yogi pays attention not only to the physical body, but activates the senses, mind, and soul. Asana will help reach the doorway to go beyond the body, it makes a body fit vehicle for the spirit.

Yogi doesn’t consider body a property. It was given not just for fun and games but also for service and daily duties. Hatha Yoga helps us complete our day-to-day tasks with ease and vigor. True health is when we forget about our physical and mental health, meaning it doesn’t call for our attention throughout day and night. Daily asana practice free us from physical disabilities and mental distractions. 

A physical body through time is like a clay in a water, it will rot and eventually dissolve. Hatha Yoga practice strengthens the body, like a fire does to a clay pot during baking. 

Yoga gives us tools and specific practices to develop greater awareness of our body, breath, and universal energies. As we purify ourselves through those practices, we become more aware of our patterns and begin to remove them to have more intimate sense of ourselves.

Now, that you have a general understanding of Hatha Yoga, let us answer a very common question.
 

What Is Hatha Yoga Vs Vinyasa Yoga?

Vinyasa literally translated as “to place in a special way.” Vinyasa is a flow of movements in which breath, mind and body are connected. “One breath – one movement” is the simplest explanation of this kind of yoga practice. It is often faster and more dynamic. Asanas gradually melt into each other and create a perfect flow, that like ocean waves, calm mind and nervous system, while making body stronger. Even the smallest movements are considered vinyasas. For example, when we move from the Mountain pose to raising arms up, it is too a vinyasa. The most famous vinyasa is “Chaturanga, Upward Dog, Downward Dog.”

 

To compare, in Hatha Yoga we do asanas separately, each has its own character and time. We explore alignment and energy of each posture while holding it for few deep breaths. We settle into asanas, we let them become part of us, we don’t think of the next one, because this moment is infinite. 

 

But Vinyasa doesn’t necessarily mean fast and strong, it means continuous movement, that is extremely beneficial for a busy Western mind. Fast-paced lifestyle often doesn’t allow mind to stop. Vinyasa practice will keep you busy for the whole duration of the class, and many find peace in it, it is the only time when the mind calms down.

Now, that you have a general understanding of Hatha Yoga, let us answer a very common question.
 

Does yoga give you energy?

Yoga is ancient but it’s alive and it adopts to the current time and needs of the disciples. Nowadays, we have as many yoga styles as stars in the sky: Hot Yoga, Yin Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Power Yoga, Rocket Yoga, Goat Yoga, etc. There is no right, or wrong type of yoga accept maybe the beer one, I wouldn’t mix alcohol with practice. If it makes you happy, healthy and present, do it!

Yoga will never take, it always gives. In the morning, use it instead of coffee, to get energized and focused. After a long and busy day, practice to relax and balance energy. The benefits are infinite. If you give yoga time, in return, it will double every hour you dedicated to it.
 

Hatha Yoga Classes with EnerJane

For those of you who are interested in a Private Class with EnerJane, application process is simple. Fill up our quick questionnaire and schedule a personal call with Jane, for us to match your needs and goals the best way.

 

On-line students will receive a FREE 30-minute Hatha Yoga practice with EnerJane to make sure our energies match before you commit for a longer journey.

To practice Hatha Yoga Classes Online you will only need a yoga mat, 2 blocks and a belt. 

Join our Healing Community for FREE New Moon Yoga and Yoga for Back Pain Relief online events every month.

 

Please, register here and receive your Zoom link for our next meeting.

Let’s discover a healing power of yoga together!
 

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