The Ultimate Guide to Haṭha Yoga
Whenever the topic of popular yoga form comes up, Hatha Yoga comes to mind. It is one of the most popular yoga types.
You might be surprised to know, but the first mentions of Hatha Yoga come from Sanskrit texts of the 11th century. It is a very old yoga practice. The practice of Yoga itself began about 2000 years ago. Practising Hatha Yoga on a daily basis can give your body a lot of benefits. It will keep you healthy and away from many kinds of health-related issues. Hatha Yoga simply involves your breath, body, and mind. Continue reading to find out more about Hatha Yoga for beginners.
Hatha Yoga History
Hatha is a Sanskrit word that stands for power or force in the language. Hatha yoga breathing practices find their roots in the Buddhist and Hindu scriptures, which date back to the 1st century, but it took another 1,000 years for yoga postures or asanas and breath control to be recorded as a strategy to boost vital energy. Classical Hatha yoga as we know it in today’s time was created in the 15th century and featured instructions on how to properly set up yoga and pranayama, mudras, and meditation for personal spiritual development and the body’s growth.
Hatha Yoga‘s popularity can be credited to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who is also known as Sadhguru. He was the spiritual advisor to the popular band, The Beatles. With a mix of transcendental meditation and yoga, Sadhguru introduced a new aspect of yoga to the masses, and its popularity skyrocketed. Hatha yoga is well-known now as a physical and spiritual practice for mental and bodily well-being, all thanks to the contributions of Sadhguru.
Hatha Yoga Postures
Hatha yoga is considered by people as ‘gentle yoga’, hatha yoga postures and practices are fairly easy to perform, it is recommended for beginners who are trying to branch out to other types of yogas to start with Hatha Yoga. However, just like all other yoga postures and practices, Hatha Yoga requires a full mental and physical dedication to perform. Some of the best Hatha Yoga postures are –
Headstand Posture (Sirsasana) – Headstand Posture or Sirsasana asan would require you to balance your head, arms, and elbow. The Headstand posture or Sirsasana asana is known as the king of all yoga asanas. It does not require much practice either. The Sirasana asana increases blood flow to the head by bringing oxygen and nutrients to the face. Sirsasana asana is beneficial for cleansing the adrenal glands, reducing tension, and strengthening the core muscles of the body.
Shoulderstand Posture (Sarvangasana) – The Shoulderstand posture of Sarvangasana asana is a challenging hatha yoga position that involves balancing your body on your shoulders with your chin forced into your throat, which helps to regulate the thyroid gland. This is not recommended for those people who are just starting out with Hatha Yoga. As shoulder stand posture serves to balance and harmonize all of the body’s organs and chakras, it is also called the queen of all hatha yoga asanas. The Sarvangasana asana is useful for those people who are looking to reduce sadness and anxiety, managing infertility and asthma. This hatha yoga asana is also beneficial for those women who are suffering from symptoms of menopause
Plough Posture (Halasana) – The plough posture of Halasana asana is an inverted back hatha yoga position that gives the shoulders and spine of your body a good stretch. This hatha yoga posture helps in the development of strength and flexibility in the back muscles, as well as spine flexibility. Plough posture also aids in the immune system’s strengthening as well as the stimulation of the thyroid glands and the reproductive system. For women who are in menopause and looking for hatha yoga posturers, this is one of the most recommended ones to go for.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is one of the most popular yoga types in Western countries. Even practising hatha yoga postures for 10-15 minutes daily can be beneficial for the health of the body. Some of the benefits of Hatha Yoga are –
Immunity – Daily 10-15 minutes of Hatha Yoga can help to boost the immunity levels of your body. While performing Hatha Yoga postures, your body stretches and contracts muscles as you progress through each Hatha asana, massaging your inside organs. This encourages the lymphatic system to get rid of dangerous toxic wastes and allows the body to defend and fight infection more efficiently by draining the lymph glands.
Bone Density – Those who are suffering from osteoporosis or osteoarthritis can benefit a lot from hatha yoga. Hatha yoga positions like triangle pose can help to increase bone density, which can help to reverse the damage caused to bones by bone loss.
Flexibility – Hatha yoga and even normal yoga postures help the body to increase its flexibility. The flexibility of the body improves as it goes through hatha yoga positions and the overall hatha sequence of exercises. This flexibility gained by Hatha Yoga helps keep the body nimble and less prone to damage as the body ages.
Mental Health – Hatha Yoga can help against anxiety, tension, and depression. The body’s prana flows easily as it breathes through your hatha yoga asanas. This can assist in relieving anxiety and tension in the body, allowing the mind to relax. Anxiety, if left untreated, may frequently progress to depression which can have serious implications for the health of the body.
Mental Clarity –Whether you are practising hatha yoga or other types of yoga, you will have better mental clarity after performing these asanas. Hatha yoga helps to clarify the mind, which allows the brain to think more clearly, with a sharper memory and improved attention and focus on the subject.
Hatha Yoga uses techniques that include postures and techniques which help us feel better mentally, physically, and spiritually. Hatha Yoga not only helps us with our fitness and health, but it also helps us to have better mental clarity and interpret the world around us in a better way. Hatha Yoga is truly the way to alleviate your mind.