Hatha yoga is the foundation of the style. This meditative and stress-busting practice focuses on basic yoga postures. It is an excellent introduction for both beginners as well as experienced yogis.

This article will tell you everything about Hatha yoga and what to expect.

What is Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga can be described as a broad umbrella term that covers all forms of yoga. The Sanskrit word “hatha” means the union of two opposites. In Sanskrit, sun (ha) and moon (moon). This type of yoga is full of various poses or asanas. They both strengthen the body and increase flexibility. Other forms of yoga, such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa, are also considered Hatha yoga.

According to Candy Glover, a certified yoga instructor from Oxon Hill in Maryland, the practice allows yogis to find balance in their minds and bodies. This is achieved by focusing on eight principles or limbs.

Yama (restraint)

Niyama (observance)

Asana (posture)

Pranayama (breath control)

Pratyahara is the withdrawal of the senses and objects from them

Dharana (concentration)

Dhyana (meditation)

Samadhi (contemplation)

“Balance can be so difficult to find in this fast-paced culture,” Brandie Regaldo, a San Antonio-based instructor of yoga and co-founder SAY OM SA. From my experience as a teacher and practicing Hatha yoga, I know that Hatha classes are often the first chance for people to slow down and tune in to their bodies and minds while reviving themselves.

Stronger Muscles

Each pose has its own strength and endurance. A June 2015 study in Evidence-Based Complementary Medicine found that 154 middle-aged Chinese adults experienced greater muscle strength and endurance after 12 weeks of Hatha Yoga.

More Mobility and Flexibility

Your muscles move through all of their motion as they work. According to the American Osteopathic Association, this can improve muscle flexibility and joint mobility.

This is especially helpful for athletes and people with stiff joints.

Better posture and alignment

You’ll develop good posture over time. According to the American Osteopathic Association, improving your posture can help you relieve back pain and even improve your lung health.

Glover states, “Through my Hatha Yoga practice, I have developed improved airflow and breathing practices.”

Better Stress Management

Hatha yoga will teach you quickly that your breathing is a key factor in allowing you to transition between poses. Mindful breathing can also help you attempt new poses. This is easily transferable to your life off the mat. Focusing on your breathing can ease stress and anxiety.

Healthy weight

Regaldo also attributes her routine to help her shed weight. She says that Hatha yoga has many benefits, but her most notable benefit was a weight loss of 85 pounds over four years. This weight loss is something she can keep off for the next 12 years.

Harvard Health Publishing claims that Hatha yoga, for 30 minutes, can burn between 120-178 calories depending on your weight. Here’s how much you can expect to burn.

Although yoga won’t help you lose weight, it can increase your ability to move quickly from one position to another. You can also eat in a calorie surplus (when you eat less than you burn) and incorporate other forms of movement into your daily routine.

What to Expect in Your First Hatha Yoga Classes

The instructor can make Hatha yoga classes more or less intense, but it is important to be able to take in the transitions and move at your own pace.

Hatha yoga poses that you can expect to practice include Downward Facing Dog and Cat–Cow. Child’s pose, Mountain pose, and Cat-Cow. These basic poses are easy for beginners, but more advanced yogis can also use them to help return to basics when necessary.

The instructor will tell you how long it takes to stay in a pose. However, you should expect to hold the pose for between five and ten breaths. You can ask for modifications if you are unable to perform certain poses.

Regaldo encourages students not to set unrealistic goals and recommends that they let go of any expectations. He also encourages them to stop trying to master all the poses or work hard for the hour-long classes.

She says, “I encourage you to use your time at the mat for self-exploration instead of judging and following rules.” Even five minutes of mindful movement and breathing can make a difference.

How to Locate a Hatha Yoga Studio Near You

Many fitness studios and gyms offer Hatha classes, which is undoubtedly the most popular type of yoga.

Did:fr1681134251188fhd xid:fr1681134251188ffg Ask your gym if they offer Hatha.

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