Hatha yoga is a form of yoga that focuses on balancing the body and mind.If you’re interested in starting Hatha yoga and want to learn more about it, look no further.
In this article, I will explore some important information on Hatha yoga, exploring the health benefits and providing step-by-step guides on a few Hatha yoga poses.
So, let’s get into it.
What Is Hatha Yoga?
Hatha yoga is all about balancing the body and mind. The word Hatha breaks down into:“Ha” = Sun and “Tha” = Moon.
Literally, Hatha means ‘force’ and is more traditionally defined as ‘the yoga of force’.
Hatha yoga is the practice that aims to join or balance the sun and the moon energies in the body.
A Guide On How To Do Hatha Yoga Poses
- Begin by standing up straight and placing your hands on your hips. Exhale and bend forward with your hips.
- Stretch as much as possible from your hips to your head.
- Touch your fingertips on the ground, releasing the back of your head and neck.
- Feel your torso stretch and lengthen as you inhale, and feel your chest reaching toward your toes as you exhale.
- Hold the pose for as long as you can, up to 60 seconds.
- To release, allow your hands to move back up to your hips and slowly begin to raise your torso until you’re back in the starting position.
- To begin, you will need to stand straight with your arms by your sides.
- Next, you will need to place your right foot on the inside of your left thigh. Make sure that your left leg is straight, and that your right foot is planted firmly on your thigh.
- Allow yourself to find your balance and breathe as you slowly raise your arms over your head. Join your palms together in Namaste mudra.
- Stare forward at a single point to ensure that you maintain your balance.
- With your spine straight and body tightly stretched, take long, deep breaths. Make sure you relax with each breath.
- Bring your hands down slowly and release your right foot from your left thigh.
- Repeat the pose with your opposite leg after allowing yourself to rest for a few seconds.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Get on all fours on your yoga mat so that you somewhat resemble a table. At this point, you will need to make sure that your feet are in line with your hips.
- Next, you will need to exhale and lift your hips. Straighten out your knees and elbows, so that your body makes a ‘V’ position and that your toes are pointing outward.
- Lengthen your neck, pressing your hands into the ground and allow your ears to touch your arms.
- Hold the pose for a few seconds.
- Release the pose by bending your knees.
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
- Begin by lying on your stomach on your yoga mat with your feet at hip-width distance and your arms straight by your body.
- Gently fold your knees, grabbing hold of each of your ankles with your hands.
- Inhale and simultaneously lift your chest and legs off the floor, pulling your legs back gently.
- Stare straight ahead at a spot to focus.
- Hold the pose and concentrate on controlling your breathing, allowing your body to go taut in the position.
- Continue to breathe deeply.
- Release the pose after 15 to 20 seconds.
The Benefits Of Hatha Yoga
There are numerous benefits that are associated with Hatha yoga.
Hatha Yoga Strengthens Your Core Muscles
Anyone who’s done a yoga class knows how intense they can be, and Hatha yoga is no exception when it comes to your core muscles!
Hatha yoga strengthens your core muscles as it requires you to hold your poses for longer periods of time. These poses therefore activate your core muscles, therefore allowing you to build your strength over time.
Hatha Yoga Can Be A Stress Reliever
Although Hatha yoga is an intense workout, it is great for helping you to relax after a stressful day at work.
When you’re stressed, your cortisol levels and blood pressure can rise. However, many studies have shown that Hatha yoga can help to reduce both levels, making individuals less stressed despite how physically demanding it can be.
This makes sense, as yoga allows you to be present and can prevent you from overthinking, in turn putting your mind at ease.
Hatha Yoga May Help You Get A Better Night’s Sleep
If you find that you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, Hatha yoga could be the answer you’ve been looking for! Engaging in Hatha yoga has been known to lower cortisol levels, which in turn signals to your body that it’s time to sleep.
Hatha yoga, like all yoga practices, also focuses on deep breathing and meditation, which can also help to put your mind in a much more relaxed state before bed.
Tips When Doing Hatha Yoga
Always Warm Up
Before you start Hatha yoga, you will need to make sure that you warm up.
Warming up stimulates circulation of blood through the body, and will make the practice much more easy.
Focus on your breathing
This tip cannot be stressed enough, as Hatha poses are often physically demanding and require deep breathing.
Noticing your breath will help you to feel grounded and present in the moment.
Listen To Your Body
A huge part of finding the balance in Hatha yoga is adapting and tweaking your practice according to how your body feels that day.
Make sure that you listen to your body, as the intensity of your Hatha poses can be adapted to how you are feeling.
Find A Time That Works For You
Setting a routine when you practice Hatha yoga is crucial. So, make sure that you find a time that works for you in the day and make sure that you stick to it.
Without setting a routine, you will set yourself up to fail.
So, now you have a better understanding of Hatha yoga, you’ll be able to determine whether it sounds like the right practice for you!