Hatha Yoga - The Basic And The Most Popular Form Of Yoga

Hatha Yoga is probably the most popular form of Yoga in the West. The term 'hatha' is derived from two Sanskrit words "ha" and "tha" meaning the sun and the moon respectively. It is believed that this type of yoga is intended to bring a union in the pair of opposites. In fact, it encompasses a wide range of yoga postures that are intrinsic parts of most of the other types of yoga. For this reason, hatha yoga is also sometimes termed as the "forceful" yoga.

In general, it is the base of all other types of yoga. The term 'hatha yoga' usually covers lots of postures and breathing techniques that are an integral part of the other specific types of yoga. Therefore, it draws inspiration from all other forms of yoga. Moreover, this form of yoga is slow paced and gentle, the one that is most beneficial for the beginners trying to get into yoga. If a yoga class claims to be teaching this type of yoga, one can understand that it is meant for those who prefer to learn yoga techniques from the beginning; starting with the simple types of postures. Therefore, the term hatha yoga is very popular and common among all the institutes that take up yoga classes.

According to Indian traditions, hatha yoga is a part of the four main parts of tantric yoga techniques. It is a type of yoga that focuses on a combination of the postures and breath control techniques to energize the subtle channels of the body (also called nadi).

The postures of hatha yoga are mainly divided into two objectives. The first is to open up pathways of inner meditation by mastering the postures for a long time. The second is to bring back vitality and vigor of the body by opening up the inner channels (nadi). This usually leads to strengthening of the body and will power. It also diminishes the feelings that arise from the senses, thus offering the path to sense withdrawal and concentration.

An intrinsic part of hatha yoga, the pranayama, is intended to bring the mastery over breathing patterns. It is believed that if the breath can be mastered then mastery of the mind is possible. Breathing techniques also bring in the control over the praana, the vital force in living beings. It is possible to control and relieve the two hemispheres of the brain by properly following the pranayama, especially the breathing sequences where breathing through the two nostrils is alternated. It is also believed that hatha yoga and pranayama can activate the Kundalini energy, the dormant spiritual energy within one's body.

Hatha yoga provides a very good introduction to the yoga style basics. As most of the forms of postures practiced in this type are the simplest among all types of yoga, it is a perfectly choice for beginners. However, many experts also follow this type of yoga as a part of their regular schedule. So, if you are planning to take part in yoga classes, the first attempt should be to learn the hatha yoga and then progress to the more vigorous types.