Hatha yoga is an ancient and currently popular tradition that reinforces
spiritual equilibrium, flexibility and strength. Instructors focus on teaching
asanas (poses), proper postures, and pranayama
(breath control). Each asana has a specific form and precise steps for achieving the desired position and properly flowing to next.
Hatha also focuses on
dhyana (meditation), with the goal of bringing about a clear, peaceful, and strong mind-body connection.
The eight limbs, or branches of Hatha are:
  • 1. Yamas (restraints)
  • 2. Niyamas (observances)
  • 3. Asana (postures)
  • 4. Pranayama (breathing)
  • 5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses)
  • 6. Dharana (concentration)
  • 7. Dhyana (meditation)
  • 8. Samadhi (absorption or balance)
  • Yogis have always believed breathing to be the most important function
because breath is necessary for health and prana, or life-force. The Sanskrit
word “ha” means sun and “tha” means moon, and thus hatha, or literally
sun-moon yoga, strives to achieve balance in opposing parts of the physical
body. Hatha can also be physically demanding, and has been Westernized
with more of a Vinyasa flow. The benefits are numerous, thus it remains a
popular practice.
5 Things You Should Know About Yoga
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