Hatha Yoga Poses And Breathing Systems

By Patricia | May 5, 2009
Hatha Yoga Poses

Hatha Yoga includes all of Yoga’s physical aspects – exercises and postures, breathing exercises, cleansing and purification techniques. Yoga has eight limbs and asanas are concerned with and are really the actual poses. When you enroll into a beginner’s Hatha Yoga class, you will probably be taught certain basic stretching, bending, twisting and breathing exercises with, perhaps, a little meditation. Hatha Yoga is known to be extremely relaxing, but some consider it slow, particularly suited to people with a meditative bent.

In Hatha, “ha” refers to the sun and “tha” refers to the moon. The sun is considered a heating force and the moon a cooling one. Hence, Hatha represents contrasting energies such as hot and cold, male and female, or yin and yang. The goal of Hatha Yoga is to balance these opposing energies through a set of exercises, poses and breathing techniques. Hatha Yoga Poses invigorate the body and stimulate the mind. Different postures help cure a variety of ailments, ranging from chronic coughs and colds to cancer. By practicing Hatha Yoga people have also been healed of worry and depression.

But, we must also improve our way of breathing. For this we ought to remember that the breathing process existed long before we did. There is nothing we can do to teach it. All we can do is, prepare ourselves for its revitalizing strength. This we do by getting rid of the blocks and impediments that obstruct its good effects. Right breathing helps eliminate stress and tension, correct innate wrong habits, faulty physical and mental attitudes. As soon as we succeed in getting rid of these obstacles, the mind will come into its own and the result is enhanced vitality and overall good health.

Somehow, the physical impediments still seem daunting, such as the hard tense stomach that hinders every breath, imprisoning our whole personality; a rib-cage as stiff and rigid as a breast-plate, a diaphragm rendered immobile by the wind – itself caused by spasms that have built up in the alimentary canal. The first thing we have to learn do is to relax all these muscles. This is one very important reason why breathing techniques are considered the open door to Yoga.

In respiration, people tend to give priority given to the inhalations. On the other hand, Yoga tells us that all good respiration starts with a slow and complete exhalation. This perfect exhalation is an absolute precondition to right and complete inhalation. This is simply because until a container has been emptied, it cannot be filled. So, unless you first exhale completely you will find it impossible to inhale properly.

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