ORIGIN: Hatha is "the umbrella", a very general term that encompasses many of the physical types of yoga. If a class is described as Hatha style - meaning "ha" (sun) and 'tha' (moon) - it often refers to the desired outcome that results from embracing this style of yoga-flow. This desired outcome refers to a non-dualistic perspective on life: When bodily control is mastered, hatha practitioners are freed from what they call the 'pairs of opposites,' such as heat and cold, hunger and thirst, joy and grief, and so on.
BREATH: Natural deep breaths through both nostrils (lips closed), the body follows the flow of every inhale and exhale in equal measure.
MOVEMENT: The teacher may be creative (or as simple) in their hatha approach as the circumstances - and their experiences - necessitate. It is probably going to be a gentle and slow-paced session, providing a good introduction to the basic yoga poses. This practice is cleansing, nurturing, and nourishing for your physical body. It tends to work with gentle free flowing movements (vinyasa) and postures (asana) to control our most vital energy, the breath (pranayama).
BENEFITS: It suits all ages, levels and backgrounds. Over time, hatha practice will integrate the body, mind and soul, thus achieving stillness and wholeness. Students of hatha have the chance to experience love, light and a feeling of overall harmony. The teacher can adjust the class to suit the students' various needs. Go for a 'dynamic hatha' class if you're feeling up for more of a challenge!
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