The term "Hatha Yoga" seems daunting, but it's not! We have relaxation yoga, power yoga, meditation yoga, stretching and different kinds of spiritual yoga too. Hatha Yoga works well with all these techniques. Hatha Yoga simply refers to the physical yoga postures, and it's considered the origin of all Yoga forms.
Origin of Hatha Yoga
Hatha means "willful" or "forceful". This yoga form was introduced by yogi Swatmarama as a way of physical purification that the body practices for meditation. The word Hatha is a compound of "Ha" and "Tha" meaning sun and moon. Hatha Yoga blends energizing and dynamic yoga (that represents sun energy) with meditation and relaxing yoga postures (that represents moon energy). So, Hatha Yoga is the yoga of balance.
How to do Hatha Yoga in a step-by-step fashion
1. Stand: Start by shaking. Walk on a mat and shake your body around.
2. Bow forward slowly: Lie on the mat and place your head on the hands. Raise your knees slightly and then swing your feet back and forth. Now count 1 to 20 in the kidneys.
3. Relax: Lie on the mat with your hands on the stomach and relax. Rotate the base of your body from left to right. Concentrate on your backbone.
4. Move your feet: Now move your feet and toes slightly in circular motion. Relax.
5. Come in Vajrasna position: Come up and kneel down on your feet. Turn your spine to right side and turn your head too. Massage the body from top to bottom. Feel relaxed and rub all your tensions out.
6. Earth rubbing: Rub the ground with hands and think about earth. Draw a circle around you and sit in that circle. Now think about any color like red, blue, and green, yellow, silver. Which color it shows?
7. Cycling position: Turn around and lie on your back. Move your feet up. Place your hands on your belly and now turn your legs up and down. Move your head accordingly in opposite directions.
8. Sarvangansna: Point your feet up to the sky. Support yourself from back with your hands. Go on riding the cycle and see the light around you. You can also think about any mantra like Aum, Hare Krishna etc. Turn your head slightly from left to right.
9. Form the legged position: Gently come in meditation position from candle position. Put your hands together in the form of the heart chakra like in prayer position. Think about the manta "Aum" in your belly and slightly move your toes. Keep on chanting "Aum, Aum, and Aum" Think about the light around you.
10. Adopt Shavasna position: Lie on the mat straight and relax. Put your hands on the ground. Move your feet and toes. Think about Aum and chant. Feel the cosmos. Think as everything is fine. You don't have to be perfect. Feel relaxed and rest until you feel well. Then slowly come back to the normal position and proceed positively for the day.
11. Relax: Relax for five minutes now. You can also watch videos on how to do Hatha Yoga at home.
Hatha yoga offers a balanced and well-rounded sequence of yoga postures. Above tips will get you a relaxed mind and energetic body. Practice more asana and Pranayams with strong determination for good health and wellness. By combining these postures, your body will receive maximum benefit. Hatha Yoga is a great tool for self transformation.
How to practice Hatha Yoga at home
Here is a sequence of simple Hatha Yoga asana that can be followed in daily routine. This sequence is divided into several sections that are easy to follow at home.
- Begin with meditation: Come to a comfortable seated position. Bring your hands to your knees. Take a deep breath and relax. Chant "Aum" while inhaling and exhaling. Take a deep breath and think about all the amazing things around you.
- Standing breathing exercises: Do some warm-up exercises. Rotate your feet first, then knees three times each. Now rotate your shoulders front and back. Rotate head 3 to 4 times. Bring your arm over the head and clasp thumbs of both hands together for side stretch.
- Sun salutation: Sun salutation is done in rounds on both sides.
Simple sun salutation:
1. Inhale and exhale first.
2. Start by standing in mountain pose and face towards the east side.
3. Bring your arms over the head and then bring arms down to touch the mat and toes. Bend your knees if required.
4. Look halfway up. Bring your right foot to the back of the mat and bring the left foot to for a plank pose. Hold your breath in this position.
5. Bring your knees, chest and chin down to the mat.
6. Inhale and come to the upward dog position.
7. Exhale to downward dog.
8. Now bring your right foot to the front of mat and bring the other foot to meet it.
9. Come up and bring arms up. Bring your hands to prayer position.
10. This is half round and now repeat the same process with left foot to complete the round.
Balance: Come to tree position and release each side with control. Shake legs after coming out from this position.
Spine: After balance, move to spin position. Lie on your back and bring knees to the chest. Move your head to knees. Hold your breath for few seconds and then release. You can begin it with Dandasana pose.
Detox poses: After working the spine position, detox poses are the best to follow. Come in Sirshasna position and hold a few breaths on each side.
Core poses: Core is extremely important part of this sequence. You can try boat sit-ups or stay in boat position to hold some breaths. For this, sit on the floor with your legs straight in front. Press your hands on the floor behind hips and fingers pointing to the feet. Lift through the top of sternum and lean back slightly. Make sure, your back doesn't round.
Exhale and bend your knees. Then lift your feet off the floor and angel your thighs at 45-50 degrees. If possible, raise the tips of your toes slightly above the eyes. Stretch your arms alongside the legs and parallel to each other. If it's not possible, you can keep your hands on the mat behind your hips. Try to keep lower belly little straight. Tip the chin slightly towards the sternum so that the base of the skull lifts slightly away from the back of your neck. Stay in the pose for 15 to 20 seconds.
Final Meditation: Enjoy for 10 minutes in Shavasna. Give thanks to God and reflect on the practice that you had done. When you are ready, come to the normal position and chant "Aum" When we keep our inner calm, inner happiness appears.
So start practicing these poses for self transformation and feel energetic and relaxing.