Hatha yoga describes a number of physical practices used in yoga. Hatha basically means forceful, in Sanskrit. The physical postures were considered more trying compared to some of the other practices used at the same time that hatha came about.

hatha-yoga-posesToday, hatha is widely used. It’s not considered difficult anymore, but it is a bit rough. That’s because there is no flow between the poses. Attending a hatha yoga class will include slow stretches, simple breathing exercises, and occasionally meditation in a seated position.

Hatha is generally what beginners like to start with. There are other types of yoga available for those who prefer something more vigorous or rapid. Hatha is designed for those who enjoy relaxed techniques.

The benefits are many, including an increased sense of well being, toned muscles, deeper breathing, stress and headache release, and a clearer mind. Both your physical and mental strength will be bettered.

Scholars of hatha yoga often admire the Goraksha Samhita, written by Yogi Gorakshanath. It was he who popularized hatha as we know it today. One of the goals of this yoga type is physical purification.

Hatha is part of the Hindu practices. Hindus use the practice and physical and cultural positions to prepare for prolonged meditation. Balance and strength are core needs of this practice.

Hatha represents energies, specifically the opposing energies, hot and cold, or fire and water. It attempts to balance the mind and body, making them pure and calm.

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