Hatha yoga describes the physical practice of yoga. In fact, sometimes the name Hatha is used interchangeably with "yoga." The slow pace and simple breathing exercises make it a great place to learn basic poses and become comfortable on the mat.
Hatha yoga is a system of yoga introduced by Yogi Swatmarama. The word "Hatha" comes from the Sanskrit "ha," or sun, and "tha," meaning moon. The principle behind Hatha is uniting pairs of opposites: the positive and the negative, the sun and the moon.
The health benefits of Hatha are immense. Yoga relieves stress and promotes a deeper relaxation while still providing physical exercise. Classes range in intensity depending on the instructor.
Hatha is great for beginners. The Hatha practice is where all yoga is derived from and is a wonderful place for beginners to start. You will learn basic poses, relaxation techniques and terminology that you will find in almost every other style of yoga.
Hatha is recognized as a gentle style of yoga with a methodical pace between poses, so dress in something comfortable that will keep your muscles warm during the slower-paced moments in class. You can dress in both form-fitting and loose styles of clothing – whatever makes you feel most comfortable is best.
Bring the yoga essentials to a Hatha class: a mat, towel and a water bottle.
In Hatha, you can expect a slower-paced practice that focuses on breathing and learning poses. Hatha yoga is a great place to learn; however, intermediate and advanced students can also push themselves by holding poses deeper and longer. Expect simple breathing exercises and possibly some seated meditation. Since Hatha can mean a lot of different things and classes will vary depending on your instructor, expect a bit of diversity when attending different Hatha classes.
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