Most forms of yoga fall under the umbrella term of “Hatha” yoga. In sanskrit the word literally means sun=”ha” and moon “tha” which is representative of balance. The full word simply refers to the physical practice of yoga postures to create balance. Hatha is designed to align and calm the body mind and spirit in preparation for meditation.
Hatha yoga is not an exercise. By using certain knowledge of body mechanics and the study of postures and asanas, Hatha guides yogis toward using their energy in specific directions to create a more natural and preferable state for the body and mind. Through the consciousness and exercise of Hatha practice yogis can elevate their consciousness and alleviate ailments of the body and mind.
Hatha yoga History
Yoga itself is at least 3,000 years old, according to the University of Indiana. Hatha yoga is a relatively new form of yoga. It originated in India in the 15th century, and was brought to the West in the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries. The first Hatha yoga institute was opened in India in the 1920s, and the first institute in the United States was opened in Hollywood in 1947. It greatly increased in popularity in the United States in the 1960s, and has since branched off into a number of styles.
Benefits of Hatha yoga
Hatha yoga provides numerous health benefits, although it is not viewed as a replacement for mainstream Western medicine in the event of illness. Hatha yoga has been shown to reduce stress, improve balance and flexibility, increase strength and reduce the risk of injury in daily life. It can reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and can help manage chronic diseases such as cancer, insomnia and chronic pain. Its psychological benefits can assist in weight loss by helping to control appetite.