What is Hatha Yoga?
Hatha Yoga has evolved from a centuries old understanding of body mechanics, which uses postures, known as asanas, to help create a healthier body and mind, while, with practice, allows your body to accumulate higher levels of energy.
You may already know there are several types of yoga out there. In fact, that knowledge may be what started you on the path to finding out what type of yoga may be suitable to your needs and to your lifestyle.
Hatha yoga is appealing to many people for a variety of reasons.
Here are a few quick suggestions to get your started.
Go Easy On Yourself
Yoga is not supposed to be a competition. Any suggestions otherwise means, that person does not ‘get it’! Start slowly, don’t move beyond what you can comfortably do. Don’t worry about your clothing, just wear something comfortable.
Hatha yoga is a gentle form of yoga. In fact, it is considered the ideal yoga practice for someone new to the world of yoga. It encourages slow, gentle movements. You learn different breathing techniques, and how to integrate them as you move into more complex and yoga asanas. Being aware of your breathing is an ancient practice that works with creating the ‘flow’ of the movements.
Hatha Yoga Movements
Most of the Hatha yoga movements you see are ones used in other yoga traditions. The difference with Hatha is that the movements connect. They flow from one to the other instead of breaking up with a small break and movement in between.
This is ideal if you are looking for a set routine that you can memorize and use while you are at home or on the go. In some other traditions, you can learn the movements and poses, but they may not join. In Hatha, they do join and move as a flow.
Hatha Yoga Classes
If you plan on going to Hatha yoga classes there are a few things you should be aware of. It is a low energy and quiet environment in most cases. This is ideal for someone who wants a stress free environment where they can concentrate on the yoga and not on the world around them.
You will also have an instructor that likely moves around the room and helps you with your poses. This is a hands on class, but a silent meditation class. It is peaceful, and the flow of the class moves should move along with the flow of the poses.
If you want to continue pursuing a path of Hatha yoga, you will find there are several poses to help stress, as well as ways to incorporate Hatha into your natural healing, and health routine.
Hatha Yoga For Beginners – 20 Minute Video Class
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Be Sure to Start With Easier Hatha Yoga Poses
When you first start out doing yoga, you may find that some of the poses are not that easy for you to do. You may find that you are straining a bit or that you just aren’t able to complete the pose properly.
When you switch yoga asanas, you may run into the same exact problem. If this sounds like your current situation, here are some Hatha yoga poses that are easy for beginners to accomplish and add into their normal routine.
Standing Forward Bend
The standing forward bend is one of the easiest Hatha yoga poses for beginners.
You do this pose by standing with your feet flat to the ground. Take in a deep breath and bend over as you slowly exhale.
You will take your fingers and place your fingertips as close the floor as possible. You face should be touching your legs. You are bent over and as flat knees to face as you can be.
The corpse pose is done on your back and may not even seem like a yoga pose at first. You are laying on your back with your hands, palm up, out at an angle to your sides. Your feet are a shoulder width apart with the soles of your feet facing out. You lay in this pose and begin to breath in and out slowly.
The idea of this pose is to recognize the parts of your body that have stress and to work on releasing that stress and tension. This can be a very easy pose, but can be uncomfortable until you are used to it.
This is a pose where a rolled up towel or yoga accessory block can help with neck support.
The wall bend has you laying on your back. Your legs are placed against the wall as if you are sitting on the wall.
This pose is ideal if you are having leg pain and if you are trying to build the flexibility in your legs. You simply lay with your legs flat and work out the muscles against the wall.
This pose also release stress.
The tree pose is the most common pose next to downward facing dog. Stand with your feet flat to the floor. Bring your hands to the praying position in front of the center of your chest. Bring one of your legs up and place your foot flat against the side of your standing knee.
This often looks like the hanged man card from tarot as well.
There are many more poses that you can try, but by starting off with these you can build your body strength and your flexibility in order to accomplish an increased number of poses later.
If you aren’t sure if you are doing a pose right, consider seeking out an instructor to ensure you are doing the poses correctly so you can do them on your own.
Tips For Hatha Yoga Beginners
If you are just starting out with hatha yoga and have no idea where to begin, there are a few things that can help you along the way.
These suggestions are for people who are true beginners, and want to expand their knowledge and routine of yoga in order to benefit from it on a routine basis, not for someone who just wants to grab a DVD and get to it.
One of the best tips any yoga practitioner can give to a beginner is to use accessories.
These accessories are yoga blocks and straps.
You may not understand why you need them, but consider a specific pose first. Consider the standing forward bend. It is a bend that ends, for the fully practiced individual, with the hands flat to the ground next to or in front of the feet and the head flat to the legs.
When you first start out, if you aren’t flexible, this can be difficult. You can use a brick standing upright to help you. As you get more flexible you can lay the brick on its side, then finally flat and removed.
Straps can help with stretching your legs or holding stretched poses that normally would be difficult for beginners to hold.
You can, just as with the yoga bricks, move the strap or remove it as you become more flexible.
Check Out a Hatha Yoga Class
You may be inclined to start your yoga practice at home with DVD instructors or online streaming instructors. Though this can be a way to see if you know you want to do yoga, it may not be good for long term practice.
First, spend some time researching yoga teachers. You need to find someone who will spend the time and make the effort to relate to you.
When you go to a class, you can get one on one assistance with your yoga poses. This ensures that you are doing them correctly.
If you do them incorrectly you will not get the same benefit and you may end up causing injury.
You don’t have to go to classes for the long-term, but initially it can help to ensure you are doing things correctly and safely.
Begin a Daily Routine
Even if you are trying out different yoga paths and practices, you still want to try and start a routine. This should be done at around the same time daily and treated almost like a health ritual like a bedtime ritual or routine would be.
The routine should be a few poses that you can do in a slow smooth movement.
Ideally, you want to go with poses that are easy to do and easy to remember. Create the routine, make sure you are doing the poses correctly, and then start doing them daily. This will help you learn what works for you and get your body used to the yoga asanas.
Keep expanding your knowledge and your routine, over time, you will see results and understand the full range of what hatha yoga can do for you.