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Hatha Yoga
Posted by Administrator on 3/25/2012 to article

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Hatha Yoga

When people in the West refer to “yoga,” they are often referring to the ancient, pose-based practice of Hatha yoga.  As far back as the 15th century, a yogi from India named Swatmarama introduced Hatha yoga, and the practice remains the most popular form of yoga today.

To understand Hatha, it helps to know that “Ha” comes from the Sanskrit word for “sun,” and “tha” means “moon.”  Hatha is all about bringing together opposing forces – it joints forces that are naturally in opposition to one another.  The poses are designed to help bring balance between body and mind, flexibility and strength, power and surrender, energy and calm.  Through this process, Hatha yoga removes obstacles that exist in participant’s minds and bodies, which prevent achieving the best physical and mental states possible.

In addition to physical benefits, the less tangible advantages of Hatha yoga are plentiful.  Concentration, the development and maintenance of will power, and the discipline of self-withdrawal are all emphasized in Hatha yoga.  Stress reduction, relief of tension, and lessening of depression and anxiety are added benefits.

Hatha yoga includes positions and poses that are helpful in preparing the participant for meditation.  Breathing techniques are learned that help the body feel relaxed for extended periods of time, placing a person in an optimal psychological and emotional space for meditation.  Hatha holds to the idea that if one can master their own breathing, they can master their minds, as well.

A typical Hatha yoga class includes extended stretching and breathing exercises as well as periods of quiet meditation.  This type of class is usually slower paced than more aerobic styles of yoga.  Through the consistent practice of Hatha, mind and body come together in the most optimal ways, maximizing the potential of the whole person.




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