Yoga prepares you for greater purposes. Wondering what that means? Well, let me tell you. Weakness, low stamina and pain, decrease the capabilities of your body, stopping you from reaching your full potential. Yoga opens you up and creates a means to garner mental clearness and calmness. Hatha Yoga is one such yoga practice. Here, we talk about the best of its poses (asanas). Check them out.
What Is Hatha Yoga?
‘Ha’ means the sun and ‘tha’ means moon. Hatha Yoga means to bring energy to the sun and the moon in you. It is designed to calm your mind, body and spirit and prepare you for meditation. It is the physical branch of the ancient Indian yogic science that strives to build a sound body and mind and help you attain internal peace and happiness. Hatha Yoga also balances the masculine and feminine in you to deepen your consciousness. To be able to reach your fullest potential, a balance between the masculine and feminine is essential, and Hatha Yoga is the initial step towards attaining that.
The name ‘Hatha Yoga’ appeared way back in the 11th century in Sanskrit texts. A sage named Kapila created the original techniques of this yoga that had no religious connection or rituals, which made it popular among the common man. It entails a list of yoga asanas or postures that are separated into five categories – standing poses, resting poses, sitting poses, backbends, and balancing poses. These poses manipulate the energy of your body and channelize it in a manner that will help you experience the limitless.
What Does Hatha Yoga Do To Your Body?
Hatha Yoga is capable of taking you beyond boundaries through yogic postures. If you train your body to form individual poses, you can do the same to enhance your consciousness. It is a process where you start with your body, move to the breath, work on the mind, and finally dwell on your inner self. Hatha Yoga purifies your body and disciplines it to be able to take delivery of higher levels of energy.
In the broader concept of yoga, Hatha Yoga is a physical practice that is an essential preparation to achieve a higher goal. It is readily available to the common man and has been practiced by regular people since time immemorial, irrespective of caste and religion. The yoga regimen involves proper intake of nutritious food and breathing well apart from a routine of practicing asanas.
The physical postures of Hatha Yoga, in particular, became very popular from the 20th century onwards and spread across India and abroad. Let’s take a look at some of them now.
1. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
Turn up the heat and fill up your water bottle for Bikram yoga. This style, often referred to as “hot” yoga, is practiced in studio at 40.6 degrees Celsius or 105 degrees F— that’s hot! During the 90-minute class, yogis do 26 movements and two breathing exercises. You torch calories and get your sweat on.
Bikram yogis enjoy the heat because higher temperatures make muscles more limber and pliable, enabling a deeper stretch. The heat also helps detoxify your body through perspiration—you’ll discover sweat glands you didn’t even know you had! If you choose Bikram, be ready for an intense, fitness-building experience.
2. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Tadasana or the Mountain Pose is the mother of all asanas as it forms the base for any asana. You can practice Tadasana at any time in the day. But, if you are preceding or following it up with other asanas, make sure your stomach is empty. It is a basic level Hatha Yoga asana. Hold it for 10 to 20 seconds to get best results.
Benefits: Tadasana strengthens your knees, ankles, and thighs. It steadies your breath and improves posture. It induces power into your feet and legs, improves blood circulation, and removes stress from the body. It reduces depression and keeps you recharged. It also improves your lung capacity and keeps you energetic.
3. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
The Downward Facing Dog Pose or Adho Mukha Svanasana looks like to a dog when it bends forward. It is a simple pose that a beginner can easily do, which will motivate her to learn the remaining. Practice the asana on an empty stomach and clean bowels in the morning as it works best then. Once you get into the pose, try and hold it for 1 to 3 minutes.
Benefits: Adho Mukha Svanasana lengthens your spine and tones your muscles. It improves the blood circulation to your brain and calms the mind. It relieves headache, insomnia, and fatigue and reduces anxiety and depression. The pose strengthens and tones your arms and legs.
4. Cobbler Pose (Baddha Konasana)
The Cobbler Pose or Baddha Konasana is an asana that looks like a cobbler at work when assumed. It is also famous as the Butterfly Pose as it looks like a butterfly flapping its wings. Practice the asana either in the morning or evening on an empty stomach. In the evening, make sure you had your meal 3-4 hours ago. The Cobbler Pose is a basic level Hatha Yoga pose, and you need to hold it for 1 to 5 minutes once you assume it.
Benefits: The Cobbler Pose stimulates your heart, kidneys, bladder, and abdominal organs and improves blood circulation. It stretches your inner thighs and knees and relieves fatigue. It soothes menstrual pain, eases childbirth, and relieves the symptoms of menopause.
5. Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)
The Seated Forward Bend Pose or Paschimottanasana is a classic stretching Hatha Yoga pose that concentrates on the back of your body. It is also called the Intense Dorsal Stretch. Do the pose in the mornings on an empty stomach. If you practice it in the evenings, make sure that you practice 3-4 hours after a meal. After assuming the pose, try to hold it for 30 to 60 seconds.
Benefits: The Seated Forward Bend Pose is a good stress reliever. It reduces fat in your abdomen, tones your shoulders, and stretches your hips. It calms your mind and reduces anger and irritability. It improves your flexibility and can increase height. The pose regulates blood pressure and enhances the functioning of the kidneys.