Hatha Yoga

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November 04, 2021

Hatha yoga (sometimes written as jatha yoga, hata yoga or jata yoga) is the general term to describe yoga, which involves both movements (asanas) and breathing. Hatha yoga is what is usually known as 'yoga' in the West, but there are also other branches of yoga that deal with meditation, ethics, devotion, karma and knowledge.

Hatha yoga literally means 'forced yoga' and is based on movements whose purpose is to align the skin, muscles and bones to make the body ready for meditation. Although it may not seem like it, meditating sitting for hours requires a lot of physical effort.

Hatha yoga also has the function of opening the channels of the body (the chakras) so that energy can flow freely.

Hatha yoga is a tool we can use on the path to balance in our own lives. Physically, hatha yoga helps us develop balance through strength, flexibility and awareness of our bodies. We also learn to translate this balance into strength and surrender in each asana. It is a balance between body and mind.

Hatha yoga invites us to take into consideration the breath in order to help us calm the fluctuations of the mind and be more present in each moment, reminding us that everything is temporary and that the present is everything.

However, hatha yoga not only has positive effects on the body, but also penetrates our mind and spirit.

Ashtanga yoga, ivengar yoga, vinyasa yoga, bikram yoga and sivananda yoga are examples of hatha yoga and all very different. Only through practice will we realize which of them is most beneficial to us personally.