What is Hatha yoga?

(July 1, 2010)

What is Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is a form of Yoga in which bringing the two main energies of the body into harmony is practiced. These two energies refer to Ha (the sun) and Tha (the moon). In a way, it is a form that unites a pair of opposites. Hatha Yoga is also called “the forceful yoga” at times, because it usually requires the most physical exercises of all the different types of Yoga. This form is also very popular in the west where many of its definitions exist. Hatha Yoga has seated as well as standing asanas (poses).

Practicing the Pranayama (Breath control exercise) is essential in Hatha Yoga, in order to control your breathing patterns. Once you can control your breath, it is easier to control the mind. Given below is the first step that you can follow, for Breath control practice:
• Lie down, straight on your back, making sure that you choose a comfortable flat surface. First relax and then start following your breath. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.
• To practice belly breathing, inhale deeply so that the hand on your belly rises, but the hand on the chest stays still.
• Exhale in a way that the hand on your belly descends, but again, the hand on your chest remains stationary. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times.
• For chest breathing practice, inhale deeply so that the hand on your chest rises, but the hand on the belly stays still.
• Exhale in a way that the hand on your chest descends, but again, the hand on your belly remains stationary. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times.

Alternate between the belly breathing exercise and the chest breathing exercise for bout 10 minutes or so. Practice this step every day for at least a week or till you master it thoroughly, as this is the most basic exercise and it is important to know it well, before moving on to the next step. Breath control exercises work best if practiced everyday, maybe even two or three times a day.

Benefits of Hatha Yoga
It brings out the physical well being of the people who practice it. All the styles of Hatha Yoga are aimed at balancing the body, the mind and the spirit, by the proper practice of poses. Some styles of Hatha Yoga concentrate on the alignment of the body, while others focus on synchronizing body movements and breath.

Submitted by A on July 1, 2010 at 05:56

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