Hatha Yoga: what it is, benefits and differences

Among the different styles of yoga, Hatha Yoga is probably the best known and most practiced in the world. Its popularity is due to the fact that, compared to other styles such as Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin or Kundalini, Hatha Yoga is considered the most leisurely yoga practice, and therefore the most appealing for beginners. However, not for being the most leisurely is the least intense: Hatha Yoga has many benefits and has very specific postures (asanas) and features. We tell you all about Hatha Yoga in this post!

What is Hatha Yoga?

We start from the premise that the main objective of the practice of yoga is to connect body, mind and spirit. Hatha Yoga classes include postures, known as asanas, pranayamas and breathing exercises such as meditation and relaxation, to achieve this physical and mental transformation. But in addition, with the practice of Hatha Yoga you will achieve a better physical condition. As we said at the beginning, this style of yoga is the most practiced of all the styles that exist; it is practiced by all types of people regardless of their age or physical condition.

Origin of Hatha Yoga

The word Hatha is formed by two Sanskrit words: Ha means sun and Tha means moon - two stars that represent the masculine and feminine respectively. In addition, Ha (sun) represents the more active energy while Tha (moon) refers to relaxation and rest. These two energies create the balance between action and relaxation. Hence, Hatha Yoga is a style that unites strength and balance in its practice. In the classes this is always reflected by the beginning and the end of the practice: Hatha Yoga classes always begin with sun salutations - which help to warm up and activate the body - and end with a relaxation in Savasana posture.

To go back to the real origin of Hatha Yoga, you can read the best known book about this style, written by Swatnarama in the 15th century entitled Hatha Yoga Pradipika (Light in Hatha Yoga).

Benefits of Hatha Yoga

The constant practice of yoga will bring you many benefits, not only on a physical level but also on a mental and spiritual level. The good feeling with which you finish the practice of yoga is what makes people want to repeat until they include it in their routine.

  1. Reduces stress and calms breathing. The result of reducing anxiety and fatigue is reflected in physical and emotional well-being. The practice of yoga is a meditative remedy that will make you leave the class more relaxed and at the same time more active.
  2. Improves physical fitness. No matter if you are flexible or not, with the practice of Hatha Yoga you will get your body to achieve greater elasticity and flexibility. In addition, thanks to the postures, such as downward facing dog or planks, you will tone your muscles and get more strength in your back and shoulders.
  3. Itimproves balance and, ultimately, helps to have more control over your body. Especially when performing postures, balance is a very important part to achieve the stability needed to perform the exercise well and flow without losing control of your body.
  4. Correct posture. By gaining strength in the muscles, especially those of the back. Getting a good back posture will prevent you from having possible pain and have a healthy posture always, not only practicing yoga.

Hatha Yoga postures

As mentioned above, Hatha Yoga can be practiced by everyone, as it does not require extreme flexibility or a specific physical condition. With each practice you will improve all conditions.

A Hatha Yoga class usually begins by warming up the body, awakening all the muscles with the cow-cat pose, where you move your spine, release tension and breathe consciously. Afterwards, the warm-up continues by performing a few sun salutations, which will prepare your body for the following yoga postures.

In a medium level class, you would move on to more advanced postures such as warriors, tree pose and even include inverted postures to finish the strong block. To begin to cool the body after the effort made, we would move on to postures on the floor in a seated position such as the pincer pose. And finally, as in every yoga class, the body would finish cooling and relaxing with the savasana posture.

What is the difference with other types of yoga?

Within yoga, there are several styles, as we mentioned at the beginning of this post. A few weeks ago we explained in more detail the styles of yoga that exist.

Hatha Yoga equipment

The first thing you have to get is a good sports outfit, specifically for yoga because comfort is essential to enjoy the practice of yoga. For this, we recommend sets of leggings y sports topssets, you can find a huge variety of sets on our website.

To complete the yoga experience, we recommend the basic material you need so that you do not miss anything. To begin with, the most important thing is to have a good yoga mat. On our website you will find two types of mats, 2mm and 4mm, choose the one you like the most!

Another accessory that will be good for you is the yoga block. It is very useful for poses where you will need to reach the floor or to place under your back to avoid back injuries.

Hydrating before, during and after yoga practice is very important to feel active. Our stainless steel bottles The yoga bags are perfect to carry everywhere. In addition, it is available in different colors.

And to carry all this material, it is highly recommended to have a backpack in which you can put all your equipment. backpacks y toiletry bags will make your practice much easier!