What is Hatha Yoga and Can It Make You a Better Person?May 14, 2021
Have you ever seen those funny videos of people doing yoga?
The people in those videos are actually onto something, though!
Yoga is the best way to get in shape and relieve stress, plus it has all this history behind it from ancient times (even more than our grandparents!).
There are many forms of Yoga out there, but today we will focus on one in particular.
Let me tell you about the Hatha style of Yoga: what exactly that means and how practicing can benefit your health and make you a more loving person!
What is Hatha Yoga?
The word "Hatha" comes from two Sanskrit words that mean "forceful" or "active." Thus, the name was given because Hatha Yoga focuses on physical poses that require strength and flexibility.
Hatha Yoga is a form of yoga that aims to calm your body and mind for meditation. Hatha Yoga can be done in many different ways, but all practices will have similar goals. Hatha Yoga may also refer to physical postures from one type of yoga practice like Ashtanga or Vinyasa.
Hatha yoga is one of the most popular styles because it combines physical poses (asana) with breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation.
It focuses on connecting your body, mind, and breath together to remove any blockages that may have been hindering your progress spiritually or physically.
The benefits of hatha yoga:
- Increased flexibility and strength.
- Reduced stress levels.
- Improved mental clarity through the various breathing exercises it incorporates, such as pranayama (breath control).
- Improved sleep quality (it's been shown that Hatha yoga can help induce deep REM sleep) and increased feelings of well-being through increased serotonin production/release from our brains! These qualities all make it easier to live with less frustration and anger, making you into a happier person over time!
You should absolutely give Hatha yoga a try. It's great for your flexibility and strength. It'll help you reduce stress levels and will make things like breathing so much easier!
This type of yoga is gentle enough to be approachable by even the most inexperienced exerciser or those with physical limitations. In addition, it reduces stiffness in joints from all that sitting around at work you do during the day (or any time).
What is a Hatha Yoga Class Like?
Hatha Yoga classes are great for beginner students. The instructor will teach you the pose and then do it in unison with everybody else while holding the posture.
Because this Hatha Yoga does not require movement between poses, many people find Hatha classes very relaxing. As opposed to power vinyasa yoga flow which can feel intense even when done gently.
The goal in a Hatha yoga class is not so much about the poses but rather the breathing and creating stillness. This will encourage relaxation for students who have trouble doing anything more challenging than this style has to offer.
Hatha Yoga poses are mindful of your breath. This makes you feel energized in both body and mind after a class.
You tend not to feel tired or want food immediately afterward like many people do when they exercise vigorously on machines at the gym.
Instead, you will feel an increase in energy levels and mood.
What's the difference between Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga?
Hatha yoga is vinyasa yoga, but vinyasa isn't necessarily Hatha yoga. Yes, this is confusing, but it's a common question.
Hatha yoga is diverse and includes but isn't limited to vinyasa.
The most significant difference between Hatha Yoga and vinyasa yoga is that Hatha focuses on holding individual postures. In contrast, vinyasa focuses on a series of movements.
How does Hatha Yoga make you a more loving person?
We have already touched on some of the benefits of Hatha Yoga. Still, in this section, we will discuss how it can make you a more loving, patient, and kind person.
Because at the end of the day, as holistic health practitioners, we want to be both physically and mentally strong.
It connects you with your inner self
In Hatha Yoga, you will be able to connect with your inner self.
This connection can make it easier for you to find peace within your body and mind, which more often than not leads people on the path toward loving themselves and others.
It also makes it easier for you to connect with others and their energies, making life much more meaningful and fulfilling.
This connection or sense of oneness can lead many people down a path toward enlightenment – experiencing true happiness in this world.
It makes you more present
Hatha Yoga is also about being more present right now.
Yoga allows you to enjoy the moment and be aware of your body in a way that most people never experience.
When we are constantly bogged down by stress, anxiety, or other negative feelings, it can become more challenging for us to take control of our lives. Leaving us feeling a lack of agency over our future.
But when we can live in the present moment, everything becomes much more manageable and fulfilling.
If you've felt like your life has been fraught with difficulties or challenges lately, then yoga might be just what you need to start living a better way of life.
You learn how to control your breath and mind
One of the benefits of hatha yoga is that it teaches you how to control your breath and mind.
This might sound like a relatively simple concept, but learning this technique can have many advantages, especially when it comes to stress management.
In fact, there are so many people nowadays who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks because they're unable to control their breathing.
This is where hatha yoga comes in, as it can teach you how to breathe correctly so that the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks might disappear altogether.
The idea behind this technique is simple: when your mind calms down and concentrates on something else than thoughts, then the body will follow suit.
And with a proper understanding of breath control through hatha yoga techniques, you'll be able to increase your concentration levels too!
More considerate of others
When we are less stressed than before, this means our nervous system isn't on high alert and prepared for attack or flight. This can make us more compassionate towards people around us as well as ourselves.
When we are stressed, our heart rate increases, causing an increased level of cortisol production (aka the stress hormone).
Stress often comes from being too analytical about situations rather than just responding to the problem.
In hatha yoga, we seek to find peace within ourselves and be more aware of our surroundings rather than being so self-absorbed in what is happening around us.
We become more compassionate towards others when we take time out to focus on something other than ourselves. Which can happen through meditation, service work, and any type of yoga practice.
Is Hatha Yoga good for seniors?
Hatha yoga is a form of yoga that is good for people of all ages. In fact, it can be even more beneficial for seniors who are recovering from injuries and have chronic conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis.
Hatha Yoga's gentle nature makes it an excellent opportunity to build strength in an arthritic joint without putting any stress on the body or making pain worse.
Hatha poses (such as tree pose) focus on opening up tight areas within joints, which helps decrease inflammation and promote better movement in stiff limbs.
Many of the poses are done seated with the knees bent, so you're not bearing weight through your legs. This means they won't aggravate existing knee problems such as meniscus tear or degenerative cartilage.
Tight hamstrings and hip flexors in seniors often create a domino effect of instability throughout the body, resulting in pain or falls from lack of balance.
Hatha poses as pigeon pose specifically target these areas to help provide relief from tightness and lifelong injuries that have developed there.
Hatha yoga has been shown to benefit people of all ages including seniors who are looking for something low impact but still feel like they are making progress in their health journey.
Also, with the many mental and physical health benefits, the practicing of Hatha Yoga definitely makes you a better person!
What is one thing about practicing yoga that has made a difference in your life?
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