Traditional Hatha yoga asana practice

Traditional Hatha yoga asana practice is considered the most ancient form of yoga asana practice.  This should not be mistaken for the current trend of yoga asana practice which generally focusses on the toning and stretching of the musculoskeletal system (reference: Hatha Yoga for Teachers and Practitioners). Though these benefits can also be achieved through Hatha yoga asana practice, that is not the main goal; only a side effect. In Hatha yoga, you perform the asanas slowly and with great awareness on the body. The goal of this way of performing the asanas is to reach a steady and comfortable state of mind and body (Sthira Sukham Asanam). With practice and progression through these asanas, you increase flexibility of your mind and body to maintain your state of calm and equanimity.

“The goal of performing the Hatha yoga asanas is to reach a steady and comfortable state of mind and body (from Hatha Yoga Pradipika).”

Sequence of Hatha yoga: The basic sequence includes breathing exercises, warm-up exercises, yoga poses and a final relaxation. The sequence of Hatha yoga is such that we strive to maintain a balance between yin and yang i.e. relaxed and stressed state by consciously switching between them. In this way, students improve their body awareness especially when they encounter stressful situations.  

 Hatha yoga also gives importance to exercising the internal organs of our body. This includes the heart, lungs and also the endocrine glands which maintain the vital functions of our body for example digestion, sleep, vitality and blood circulation.

Misconceptions about yoga asanas

  • Yoga means stretching exercises: yoga is according to ancient texts is a philosophy which you follow in order to attain self-realization. There are 4 paths to attaining yoga as described in Bhagvad Gita. One of those paths is known as Raja Yoga. Raja yoga is the type of yoga where you work with yourself and consists of 8 parts or limbs which is why it is also known as Ashtanga yoga (not to be confused with Ashtanga yoga asana practice currently taught in yoga studios). One of those limbs incudes performing yoga asanas or postures to purify your mind and physical body.

 

  • There is a misconception that you need to be extremely flexible in order to perform yoga asanas. This is not true. Everyone can reap the benefits of doing yoga irrespective of age, flexibility or prior experience. This is probably the first thing that you will learn in my class.
 

It was a very positive experience for me. Especially after identifying and dealing with the negative emotion I felt some tension relieved from my back and shoulders

Xander Koole

 

Relaxing and peaceful, rejuvenated and organizing peace in thoughts was what interested me!

Ravendra Venkata Ramana

 

Good way to unwind at the end of the week. Gave me some time away from constantly thinking and that was relaxing & refreshing

Hariprasad

 

Very introspective, I lost track of time and almost forgot where I was until I opened my eyes again. Very relaxing!

Greg

Yin & Joyfulness

Choose Yin and Joyfulness as a companion to your path to inner peace!