08 Aug What is Hatha Yoga?
Many different names are prefixed to Yoga in studios and centres around the world, and when students arrive to class at Yoga Healing Glasgow they are understandably perplexed by the growing different numbers of styles. Is Yoga not just Yoga?
What is worthwhile within the enquiry, is presently, most styles of yoga in the west, were based within the physical form of Yoga, which is known as Hatha Yoga.
Hatha translates as ha meaning sun and tha meaning moon, with yoga referring to the union of balance between masculine aspects – sun’s outward action – and feminine aspects – moon’s inward enquiry – that are within all of us. Hatha Yoga is a path toward creating balance and uniting these opposites within ourselves, recognising them in others, and it does so through:
Asana – Posture
Pranayama – Breath Control
The various styles that have been born from Hatha Yoga pretty much are based around the same postures (known as asanas) within an array of varying degrees of difficulty and simplicity. What has set these into their own branch of yoga is that the founder of each style created a different focus of teaching, and it was these differences that separated yoga into these names, yet keeping them based within the Hatha Yoga Method.
Perhaps the method is set to a certain number of postures that are repeated within a hot room, like Bikram Yoga, or a certain set of postures, linked by breath, such as Ashtanga Yoga. Perhaps the concentration is on alignment, famously known as Iyengar Yoga, or the opposite in the Scaravelli Yoga tradition, where its all about freedom from form. Others styles of yoga that are now being advertised are Power Yoga and Vinyasa Flow, which are known for being stronger styles of yoga, with Anusara Yoga a gentler flow of yoga encouraging a practice from the heart, and Yin Yoga, one of the slowest forms known with asanas being held for up to three minutes.
At Yoga Healing Glasgow we teach within the Classical Teachings of Hatha Yoga. Through our own personal yoga journeys we have each been influenced by the newer schools of Hatha Yoga, yet are approach is student centred. Our classes adjust to what our students require, be that strength, flow, power, introspection, regeneration, stillness or slowness.
It’s a good idea to also find the right level for you, and you will be able to see from our timetable which level you feel most suited to.
Pranayama and Meditation is part of the practice we enthusiastically advise and investing the time to stay back and consolidate your asana practice within the Hatha’s Classical Teaching is a worthwhile part of your yogic journey.
By Anthea Simpson