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Hatha yoga has been around for thousands of years, but its definition has changed over time.

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Hatha yoga

In the West, it is seen as a way to balance the body and mind, with 'Ha' representing the sun and 'tha' representing the moon
A Hatha yoga class typically involves physical postures and breathing techniques that are practised more slowly than other styles of yoga. Literally, Hatha means 'force', and is traditionally defined as 'the yoga of force'.

Hatha yoga can include asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), mantra (chanting/reciting), mudra (hand gestures), shatkriyas/shatkarmas (cleansing techniques), and types of visualisation.

hatha yoga

The practice of Yoga originated in India approximately 2,000 years ago, involving a sequence of meditative and respiratory exercises with spiritual significance. The term 'Hatha' can be traced back to the 11th century, however, it took until the late 1800s for the practice to be introduced to America. Yoga achieved popularity during the 1960s and has since grown significantly in mainstream culture.

Yoga's mind-body wellness and health benefits have made it a popular practice among Americans, with approximately one in seven individuals incorporating it into their routine.

Studies reveal that practicing hatha yoga aids in reducing stress, cultivating positive behavior, enhancing mental well-being, soothing discomfort associated with back and arthritis concerns, and aiding those in smoking cessation efforts.

Discover the essential details about the procedure.

Paying special attention to posture and breathing techniques, Hatha yoga aims to channel an individual's vital energy source. When translated from Sanskrit, Hatha means force, indicating the physical and mental strength needed to practice this type of yoga. Classes typically range from 45 minutes to 90 minutes and encompass breathing exercises, yoga poses, and moments of meditation, aiming to unite the mind, body, and soul.

The roots of Hatha yoga's breathing practices can be traced back to ancient texts from Buddhism and Hinduism, dating back to the first century. However, it wasn't until a millennium passed that the combination of yoga postures, called asanas, and controlled breathing were noted as a method to increase vital energy.

The practice of yoga has been highly appreciated by yogis for its ability to soothe and benefit overall health. Modern studies have confirmed the legitimacy of such assertions.

Numerous peer-reviewed studies were analyzed by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health. Despite most of the research having a small sample size, there is evidence to support the idea that yoga could be advantageous in treating the following ailments.


  • A compilation of ten different studies with 686 participants discovered that incorporating yoga into a routine can alleviate the severity of neck pain and increase mobility in the neck. In terms of sleep, various studies evaluated by NCCIH have demonstrated that practicing yoga can positively impact one's quality and duration of sleep. Individuals such as cancer patients, senior citizens, those who suffer from arthritis, expectant mothers, and women going through menopause can benefit from practicing yoga. Stress-related physical and psychological factors were observed to have improved in 12 out of 17 studies reviewed by NCCIH when incorporating yoga into one's lifestyle.

Yoga has diverse styles, offering many options to choose from. Typically, Hatha is the type of yoga labeled if a class name is just yoga. Hatha yoga emphasizes static poses that are suitable for beginners due to its serene nature. However, Hatha yoga can still be demanding physically and mentally despite its gentleness.

A yoga session generally ranges between 45 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the teacher. A typical class initiates with mild stretches, followed by more challenging postures and concludes with a brief moment of reflection. The following is a synopsis of a regular class:

  • Asanas, commonly known as postures, consist of a sequence of movements that aid in enhancing balance, flexibility, and muscle strength. These poses differ in levels of difficulty, ranging from basic flat body poses to intense positions. If you find any posture challenging during your class, your instructor can suggest modified postures as per your convenience.At the end of most classes, a brief meditation period concludes the session. You may be asked to lie down on your back and covered with a blanket by your teacher during this peaceful moment of reflection. Additionally, some instructors might use Tibetan singing bowls or guide you through a meditative session.

Upon conclusion of a Hatha yoga session, customary practice entails the attendees bringing their hands to a prayer-like position at their chest, bowing their heads, and exchanging the word Namaste with their peers.

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