Yoga as we know it today is originally known as hatha yoga, the original style of yoga that describes the inclusion of yoga poses for any of the different types of yoga. Yoga has become an increasingly popular activity and workout, which would not be what it is today without the origins of hatha yoga.

What is hatha yoga?

In summary, hatha yoga is the name used to describe the physical act of yoga, with the yoga positions and breathing exercises to introduce you to the world of yoga for beginners. This style of yoga tries to combine the relationship between body and mind. It is the perfect choice if you are starting out as it will introduce you to the yoga world and will then help you advance.

Hatha Yoga Benefits

Yoga benefits come in all shapes and sizes, depending on the pose, the length of pose, and the conditions in which the pose is done, such as in a heated room during bikram yoga. The act of yoga itself relieves stress and brings the body into a deeper feeling of relaxation. Yoga is mainly aimed at improving muscle flexibility, tone and strength.

Basic Hatha Yoga Poses

Hatha yoga is the basis of all modern day yoga practices, providing the guide for all the possible yoga asanas. A hatha yoga class would be slow-paced to allow you to get to know the yoga poses. These are a few of the most important and popular hatha yoga poses to build a foundation for further yoga practise.

  • Tree: standing on your left leg with your right foot bent and pressed flat against your thigh, keep your hands in prayer position against your chest, inhale raising your arms above your head with palms touching and hold
  • Downward Facing Dog: start on your hands and knees spread shoulder-width apart, raise your knees off the ground to an almost-straight position and push your heels towards the ground, keep your head facing down and hold
  • Bridge: lying on your back with your knees close towards your bum, raise your hips and bring your arms behind your head with palms flat on the ground, lift your chin slightly and hold
  • Seated Twist: sitting with your legs extended, cross your right leg over your left thigh with your foot flat on the floor, bend your left leg in the opposite direction, bring your left elbow to rest on your right knee and twist to the right