Getting To Know Hatha Yoga
In our modern understanding, Hatha has become another style – but really it’s the umbrella term for every practice involving Asana (posture). Yoga classes, which involve flow or movement between postures, could be considered Hatha.
A Hatha practice could be described as a classic approach to a yoga class as it goes way back to when a yoga position was to remain seated and still in a mindful state.
In a classic Hatha Yoga class you move your body slowly and deliberately into different poses that we call Asanas – these challenge your strength, flexibility, focus and even stamina.
Hatha yoga places special emphasis on controlled breathing and posture.
Hatha has hundreds of poses, including well-known ones such as Downward-Facing Dog and Standing Forward Bend. Poses are usually held for several breaths before you move onto the next.
Usually, a Hatha practice will involve a combination of some or all of the following:
Pranayama – breath work: arguably the most important component of any physical yoga practice. A strong connection to a deep and steady breath is a key part of Hatha yoga.
Asana – balancing poses and seated postures: These balances are fantastic for creating focus, for teaching our body to adapt and to concentrate. Through balance we develop deep core muscles that stabilise us while helping us in finding stillness – both physically and mentally. The class could work through positions that will also gently lift the hips up above the head – this is called an inversion and has many health benefits.
Savasana – relaxation: You will always end with a relaxation, known as Savasana, sometimes guided.