Hatha Yoga or Hatha Flow is the most widely practiced form of yoga in the world. It combines the use of postures (asana) and conscious breathing (Pranayama) combined with mental focus to develop awareness, strength and flexibility. The combination of the physical and mental practice also decreases stress, allowing relaxation. Hatha yoga produces balance strength, and a sense of well-being through practicing proper alignment and intentional actions of the body. The sequence of postures (asanas) warm up the body and then work on aligning the muscles and spine so energy can flow freely.
Hatha Yoga is a great place to start for beginners because it focuses on foundational postures and flows at a comfortable pace. You will be able to learn how the breath connects with the different postures and eventually take your practice into more advanced sequences. While Hatha Yoga is a flow of foundational practices, it is a great check in to more experienced yogis as well. Moving through postures in a faster flow, you may forget the subtleties of the alignment in different postures. It is always beneficial to slow down your practice and check in to make sure you are receiving the full benefit of each posture.
Hatha Yoga was designed to bring self-transformation about through attention to your breath. By focusing on your breath, you are able to still your mind and be more present in the moment. This popular practice can be enjoyed and beneficial to all levels and ages! One of the beautiful things about yoga is that you can always go deeper, there is always a way to grow and transform your life!
Here are some additional benefits to Hatha Yoga:
Increases flexibility and muscle tone
Brings focus to the mind
Encourages physical and mental balance
Develops proper body alignment
Encourages a sense of calm and peace
Increases lung capacity for better breathing