‘Hatha’ Yoga is the system of yoga most commonly practised in the West and it arguably forms the basis of most of the modern yogas that are practised today. Hatha Yoga is the branch of yoga that deals with the physical body, its care, its well being, its health, its strength and all that keeps it in normal state of health. Hatha yoga is sometimes decribed as ‘posture’ yoga because of its emphasis in the use of ‘asana’ or posture work as the core practise. However, most classes include some attention to breathing (pranayama), relaxation and meditation techniques. Some classes also include ‘kriyas’ which are cleansing practises, ‘mudras’ and ‘bandhas’ which are gestures, seals and locks which increase the effects of the asana practises.
The Sanskritt workd ‘Hatha’ means ‘the will’, ‘the force’, ‘power’, or ‘energy. It also means ‘sun/moon’ the implication being that hatha yoga is also the union of complementary, but opposite tendencies with the mind and body.
‘Hatha’ yoga particularly focuses on spinal health, which houses the central nervous system, the essential link between body and mind. The spine is fundamental to good posture. Too often we spend our daily life sitting hunched over a desk, or driving in an uncomfortable position. Stress can create tension throughout the whole body and result in poor spinal health. Most of us are, therefore, susceptible to varying degrees of back discomfort, or pain. A collapsed or hunched spine also compresses the lungs, reducing our intake of oxygen, which in turn can manifest in other health problems later in life. The benefits of a regular yoga practise enhances our spinal health, respiratory health, the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system, the digestive system the nervous system and the immune system. In addition we find that students gain both in flexibily and mobility as well as strength and often general toning of the body.
At the studio we offer a range of Hatha Yoga classes to suit all ages, abilities and experience, and at a selection of times during the week. Typically at a class you can expect to experience some breathing practise, some posture work and some relaxation.