What is Hatha Yoga: rules, exercises and tips for beginners

What is hatha yoga?

Hatha yoga refers to the area of yoga where the main purpose of the practice is the physical health of the person. Full health brings the individual closer than ever to the highest truths and harmony.

Hatha yoga involves all the elements of practice:

  • Asanas and vinyases;
  • Bandhs are energy locks for interacting with internal energy;
  • Pranayamas are breathing exercises;
  • Wise – position of fingers in certain poses;
  • Meditation – to calm and relax the body and mind.

Hatha yoga is a kind of preparation of human mind and body to the next stage of spiritual path.

History of the direction

In order to understand what hatha yoga is, let’s look at the origins. There are legends about the origins of hatha yoga, which tell us that Shiva has passed on the secret teachings of practice to his beloved wife Parvati. An interesting fact about yoga is that this knowledge and the seals found off the Indus River are still considered a divine gift from the Supreme God.

Current historians believe that the appearance of hathi yoga is tied to Matsjendranath and Gorakshanath’s student, who was a student of the first. It was they who gave the practice a systematic approach to the study of consciousness and body, as well as supplemented it with tantric moments.

What’s the peculiarity of hatha yoga

“Hatha” in Sanskrit means “intensity”, “effort”, and yoga means “unity”, “union”, “merger”. This term is also considered as a word consisting of two syllables – ha tha, where ha means mind and mental energy, and the syllable tha means pranic energy, sits life.

Classical hatha yoga is based on performing asanas in statics in combination with breathing and high concentration of attention. It is not for nothing that yoga hatha is named after two Indian names “sun” and “moon”. Description of hatha yoga is the duality of practice. It balances both solar and lunar energy of a thin human body, helps to find a balance without kinks and odds in any direction.

For a better understanding of what distinguishes hatha yoga from yoga in general, it is its harmlessness in terms of energy and trauma. Hatha yoga is ideal for beginners and practitioners. When you start doing hatha yoga, you will love this style for its simplicity and efficiency. By practicing yoga, you will find yourself on the path to balance and spiritual growth.

Hatha yoga practice

The basis of hatha yoga in each workout is a full body workout through exercises on the back, legs, press and flexibility. Hatha yoga asanas not only affect the muscles of the body, but also stimulate the production of hormones and massage the internal organs of the abdomen.

As already mentioned, the elements of practice on which this style is based can be divided into five points:

  • Pranayamas are exercises that consist of breathing control. Breathing in yoga is one of the most important elements of practice. With the help of breathing exercises you can control the movement of prana in a thin human body. Practicing pranayama, the person learns emotional control, and also receives massage of internal organs.
  • Asanas are basic yoga exercises that are performed in statics with strict observance of geometry of body position, breathing and concentration of attention. Breathing in hatha yoga is subject to movement in asana – breathing, exhalation and delays. Moderation is an important rule. Hatha yoga poses should bring relaxation and peace. It is not necessary to overstrain the body and make yourself uncomfortable. You should have a pleasant feeling, and this is a sure sign of correct circulation of prana through the body.
  • Meditation – a special state of concentration, which helps to come to peace and relaxation. The main task of meditation is to “calm down” the restless mind, let go of anxious thoughts and get rid of stress.
  • Shatkarmas – exercises aimed at cleaning the internal organs. It is with this practice that you are advised to start the yoga journey if you feel an imbalance of energy. It is an interesting fact – in ancient times, shatkarma was a secret, techniques were performed secretly, because they believed in wonderful results.
  • Wise – special combinations of fingers that affect the emotional and physical state. One of the most popular wisdom used in meditation is Junyan the Wise or Gyan the Wise. This is the most powerful wisdom, meaning knowledge. It is done simply – you need to connect your thumb to the index finger, the rest of your fingers straighten as shown in the picture:

Hatha yoga advice for newcomers

First, it is worth asking for help from an instructor, because trying to learn basic yoga without outside help can lead to energy and physiological problems. If you are looking for an answer to the question where to start yoga at home, we recommend three useful tips:

  • You should always start with a warm-up exercise: joint exercises for the whole body are the ideal start for more complex loads;
  • Choose a set of simple and basic asanas and gradually move on to more complex asanas;
  • Watch out for asana technique, breathing and your thoughts. Fully concentrate on practice.

Hatha yoga: Asanas

Hatha yoga asanas are aimed at redistributing energy in the body through certain static poses.

When you take a certain pose, the access of energy, oxygen, blood flow in one part of the body is blocked and inverse processes of saturation occur in the other part of the body.

Therefore, it is important to stay in the asanas and withstand the time to ensure that all the processes go well. Transition from one asana to another is done with the help of vinyas ligaments.