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Hatha yoga is certainly one of the most popular forms of yoga but little do we know of its immense benefits on health. Celebrity Yoga Expert Abhishek Sharma gives us a better understanding of this form of yoga and tells us how hatha yoga helps to achieve balance between the body and mind.
What is hatha yoga?
The word hatha comes from 'ha' which means sun and 'tha' which means moon. It is an advanced form of yoga which involves blending dynamic yoga with relaxation and meditation. The very ancient forms of yoga like raja yoga were solely based on meditation. However, in today s lifestyle, performing that advanced level of yoga with a calm and composed mind becomes almost impossible. Hatha yoga prepares the body for higher techniques of meditation. It helps in creating a balance between the energies in the body so that you are at equilibrium.
How is it different from other forms of yoga?
While rajya yoga focuses only on meditation and the modern forms of yoga concentrates only on postures that work at a very physical level, hatha yoga lays emphasis on postures that purify the body internally, soothe the mind and also enhance the muscular form of the body.
What are its benefits?
The human body is made of up of a complex energy system called pranic energy. In order to experience wellness and good health, this energy system should always be in balance. Hatha yoga works on opening up the energy channels in the body creating a balance. It helps you achieve an optimum state of health. It works on the internal systems of the body like nervous system, the endocrine system and the cardiovascular system.
Performing hatha yoga helps in better functioning of the heart. Furthermore, the postures work on your glands to make sure that they secrete the adequate amount of hormones. It strengthens the spine and works on the muscles of the body. This form of yoga possesses the ability of curing every kind of disease in the body including bodyaches and pains, kidney problems, and heart problems. One significant benefit of hatha yoga is that it relaxes your mind and puts it at peace.
What are the basic postures in hatha yoga?
Unlike other forms of yoga, hatha yoga has many variations of breathing. You should hold the yoga postures for longer, combining it with rhythmic breathing. Some of the basic postures of hatha yoga include:
Padmasana: This posture reduces muscle tension and brings blood pressure under control. It also aids in digestion. Sitting in padmasana helps soothe your core and relax your mind and relieve mental discomfort.
Tadasana: This helps in strengthening the muscles of your chest. Regular practice of this asana can improve your lung capacity and volume. Additionally, with this pose you can get rid of your back and shoulder pains.
Bhujangasana: This asana is a great stress-buster and helps you relax your mind. It opens up the shoulder, chest and lungs helping you to breathe properly. Bhujangasana stretches the spine, helps beat fatigue and soothe sciatica. It is therapeutic for people with asthma.
Pranayama:Kapalbhati and nadi shodhan are two important breathing techniques of hatha yoga. A few minutes of nadi shodhan in a helps release accumulated fatigue and tension and de-stress your mind.
Can everyone practise hatha yoga?
Hatha yoga is for everyone as it is very gentle on the body. It is a therapeutic form of yoga and has several levels. One should always start with the basic level and slowly graduate to advanced levels.
Everyone should incorporate some elements of hatha yoga in their daily routine. You should ideally do it for an hour every day. Try and incorporate surya namaskar, some hatha yoga postures with pranayama and meditation in your yoga session.
Image source: Getty Images