Hatha Yoga is the most well-known style of yoga in the western world and is the foundation of all movement-based styles of yoga, including Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, Vinyasa, and others. It is a very apt introduction to yoga for beginners as it gives them a basic understanding of safe and effective practice. It also helps the students learn the process of quieting the mind and experience stillness and inner calm for, perhaps, the very first time.
Traditionally, Hatha Yoga is a holistic approach to life – philosophically and scientifically. It includes mental and physical disciplines, poses (asanas), purification procedures (shatkriyas), gestures and shapes (mudras), and breath control exercises (pranayama). The word ha-tha literally translates as “sun-moon” and yoga means “to yoke” or “to bring together”. Thus, Hatha Yoga is a collaboration of these two opposing forces – solar and lunar, light and dark, active and passive. The sage Patanjali states that it is the balance of two opposing approaches – persevering practice and non-attachment – that allows one to experience steadiness.
Contemporarily speaking, though, Hatha usually refers to a gentle or moderate physical class that focuses on correctly and steadily performing the asanas while breathing deeply and maintaining a calm and focused mind. Poses are sometimes broken down into their structural components and taught from the foundation up. Most teachers will give modifications to make the poses accessible and effective for all levels.
Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons why you should consider taking up Hatha Yoga:
Hatha Yoga helps lessen chronic pain because it pauses the mental loops that contribute to the cycle of pain responses. The stretching seems to be particularly helpful for chronic low-back pain sufferers. More and more people are relying on yoga for relieving chronic low-back pain rather than depending just on medical treatment for the same. Besides, the emphasis on correct alignment and opening the spine contributes to better posture.
Bones and Joints
Practicing yoga, be it Hatha or any other form, reduces inflammation by stimulating the antibodies that keep inflammation from developing. Because yoga utilizes the full range of motion, practicing it can help prevent arthritis and ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in those already afflicted with it. Yoga also increases bone density, which can help prevent osteoporosis.
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One of the most popular reasons most people take up Hatha Yoga is because of its stress relieving factors. Besides reducing stress, it also helps improve breathing and blood flow, relieves tension, and relaxes tight muscles. Yoga helps balance the nervous system, turning off the “flight or fight” response (sympathetic nervous system) and activating the “rest and digest” response (para-sympathetic nervous system). This means better sleep, more effective digestion, increased fertility, and reduced blood pressure.
Yoga achieves the two main actions most anti-depressants attempt to trigger: decreasing levels of the degenerative enzyme monoamine oxidase and increasing serotonin levels. In layman’s language, this translates to the alleviation of depression, anxiety, and thoughts of self-loathing. Besides, the effort to remain focused in class translates to increased focus, concentration, attention to detail, and ability to complete tasks, thereby, also improving critical thinking skills and creativity.
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While one person’s experience will differ from another’s, it is safe to say that, through practicing Hatha Yoga, it is likely that you will feel more comfortable in your body and peaceful in your mind. So are you ready to get some? Find yoga centres in your area through Gympik.com and train under certified instructors. You can even get an expert yoga instructor come to your place for personal training.