Yoga can be said to be one of the most creative sports. Because, this sport has been developed using various unique mediums such as goat yoga, beer yoga, up to flying yoga. However, there is one type of yoga that is truly the “mother” of all, namely hatha yoga.
The movements in hatha yoga are done slowly with the aim of training the body’s strength and flexibility. At the same time, you will also train your focus by relaxing and practicing mindfulness or full awareness of what is happening to oneself.
More about hatha yoga
As mentioned above, hatha yoga is the basis of all types of yoga. Hatha yoga is a term for all yoga practices that combine asana (poses), pranayama (breathing), and meditation.
The movements performed in this type of yoga are basic movements and at a slow tempo, so they are suitable for beginners.
Even though it is called the basis of yoga, hatha yoga actually only appeared in the 11th century. Meanwhile, yoga itself has been discovered approximately 2000 years ago. The term hatha yoga became popular in the 1960s in the United States.
Hatha yoga has become popular because many people feel the benefits of this exercise both in terms of physical and mental health.
How beneficial is it?
Benefits of doing hatha yoga
There are various benefits you can get from hatha yoga, including:
1. Reduce stress
Doing one hatha yoga session for 90 minutes has been proven to help reduce stress. If you do it regularly, the benefits will be even more pronounced.
2. Relieves symptoms of depression
Routinely doing hatha yoga for up to 12 sessions can reduce emergency level and depression significantly.
3. Train muscle and joint flexibility
Benefits of hatha yoga Another thing is that it can make your body more flexible. Research shows that regularly doing hatha yoga will increase the flexibility of the spine and thigh muscles.
4. Makes sleep better quality
Yoga, especially done before bed, can also increase sleep duration and make sleep better quality. Several groups of individuals such as pregnant women, the elderly, or cancer patients are also greatly helped by the benefits of this yoga.
5. Relieve menopause symptoms
Menopausal symptoms both physical and psychological, can be alleviated by doing yoga movements regularly.
6. Good for people with multiple sclerosis
Hatha yoga is considered to provide short-term benefits for sufferers multiple sclerosis (an autoimmune disease that attacks the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves). Because, doing yoga can reduce fatigue and improve mood.
7. Relieves pain
For a long time, yoga has been believed to help reduce body pain, such as back pain and neck pain.
What will be taught in a hatha yoga class?
In hatha yoga classes, exercises will focus on controlling breathing and body posture. Apart from that, you will also be trained to have good core strength.
Hatha yoga has hundreds of movements and poses. A number of position hatha yoga which are already famous include downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana) and standing forward bend (uttanasana).
Usually, classes that teach hatha yoga movements do not specifically mention “hatha”. If the class only says yoga class without any frills, usually what is taught is hatha yoga, as the basis of various yoga movements.
One class session usually lasts 45-90 minutes. Starting with a light warm-up such as breathing exercises, the class will continue by teaching basic yoga poses, and end with a meditation session.
1. Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises in the initial hatha yoga session are generally intended so that you can focus on your breathing. This is the basis of many yoga practices. So throughout the session, the instructor will continue to remind you to focus on breathing techniques.
2. Pose yoga
There are many yoga poses that the instructor will teach during the session. For beginners, the movements that will be taught are generally still simple, then slowly move up to more difficult levels.
Instructors can also teach modified poses, to suit the level of difficulty you are experiencing.
At the end of the session, you will be invited to do a short meditation. When doing this meditation, the instructor may ask you to lie down on your back, and cover you with a blanket. However, that is just one way of meditation. Other methods can also be used, depending on the instructor in the class.
Difference between Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga
Apart from hatha yoga, a type of exercise that is widely practiced is vinyasa yoga.
Vinyasa yoga practices focus on connecting breath with movement, with a faster pace of movement. In a vinyasa yoga practice, you will perform a flow of movements from one pose yoga to another pose constantly. You could say, vinyasa yoga is the opposite of Hatha yoga where the movements are done at a slower pace, with a focus on breathing, controlled movements and stretching.
For those of you who have never taken a yoga class, hatha yoga could be an option to start learning. That way, you can get many benefits for your physical and mental health.