Updated: Oct 6, 2021
What is HATHA Yoga
The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’, which means to merge, join or unit. Yoga is the union of the mind, body and spirit. Knowing oneself, the functions of the body and the ability to look at life evenly is part of living Yogic life. Yoga is not just an exercise but a life discipline involving emotions and will with a philosophy into an ancient art and way of life. With regular practice of Yoga the rhythm of the mind is conquered and the body is controlled opening a doorway and creating equilibrium, good health, peace and tranquility within life.
Hatha Yoga, ‘ha’ meaning sun, and ‘tha’ meaning moon it merges upward and downward forces. Hatha Yoga is designed to build strong, supple, healthy bodies and was developed to help Yoga students to sit for meditation without discomfort and remove tension.
The Sanskrit Hatha Pradipika yoga manual from the 15th century describes a range of postures. As this manual is popular in modern yoga schools, Hatha is a style that is common in modern yoga practice. Hatha Yoga has an emphasis on the asana (pose) practice and in order for a muscle to lengthen it must first be relaxed and elongated. By working holding poses in Hatha the muscle being stretched will be required to develop strength in the antagonist (opposite) muscle to perform and maintain the pose.
Holding and resisting the body against gravity in poses or groups of poses develops the muscle strength and endurance. It is for these reasons that Hatha develops strength and flexibility simultaneously.
Yoga practice can help to:
Improve physical health
Develop concentration and focus
Develop confidence and self-awareness
Increase strength, endurance and suppleness
Calm the mind
Connect the mind and body
Reduction of stress and anxiety
Increased energy levels
Shorter labour and improved birth outcomes
Reduce high blood pressure
Improve quality of life specifically for elderly
Increase in positivity and self-worth
Increase core strength
Encourages excellent body alignment
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