Hatha Yoga Vs Modern Forms of Exercise

Hatha Yoga has been widely popularized by the western countries as a form of exercise that has the capabilities of both toning & stretching the body and relaxing the body & mind of the practitioner. But what exactly is Hatha Yoga and what are the benefits?

Hatha Yoga is form of gentle exercise that originated from the India. Hatha Yoga is the only form of exercise that is holistic, meaning it pays great attention to the comfort and alignment of the body as well as integrating elements such as relaxations and concentration to give benefits to the mind, body and soul. Each movement in Hatha Yoga is synchronized with the breath – inhalations and exhalations. In fact retention of breath is rarely used in postures or breathing exercises. A typical session of Hatha Yoga includes:

  • asanas – ‘exercise’ postures
  • pranayama  – breathing exercise that benefit the body and mind in numerous ways,
  • savasana – relaxations
  • dharana – concentration.

One of the main advantages of practicing Hatha Yoga is that it is the only method where your internal organs can be massaged. As we all know, obtaining a massage for your external body is fairly simple, however; there is only one way in which one can massage the internal organs – Hatha Yoga. You may wonder why it is important that your organs are massaged. Very simple, when your organs are massaged, they work at their optimum capacity and dysfunctional organs start to do their job properly. All systems in the body including endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, reproductory and excretory systems work at its best capacity. Hatha Yoga further pays a great deal of attention to keeping the spine both supple and healthy. After all, you are only as healthy as your spine is. So it is very safe to say that Hatha Yoga cures and prevents ailments and diseases that maybe lifestyle induced or hereditary.

How is Hatha Yoga different to other forms of modern exercise?

  • Other exercise regimes emphasize on violent or fast movements of the muscles that form lactic acid causing fatigue and cramps easily. Fundamentally, Hatha Yoga opposes quick and aggressive movements. All movements are gently and consciously synchronized with the breath which makes sure no lactic acid or fatigue is formed.
  • Another difference is that proper relaxations are incorporated and given importance to during a session, thereby rejuvenating the body and making sure that no stress is caused to any part of the body.  These relaxations also have the capabilities of calming the mind.
  • In addition, the movements and breathing exercises that are incorporated into a session help improve mental faculties and concentration.
  • The gentle stretches and movements help tone and strengthen specific muscles. Each asana will benefit and help tone a particular muscle and organ.
  •  A unique aspect of Yoga is that the practitioner will not have an increase in appetite which is very common after the normal “workout” that most are used to.
  • Hatha Yoga also differentiates itself by being the only form of exercise that can be practiced safely during the different stages of ages of your life. From toddlers to senior citizens and whether your recovery from an ailment or are pregnant, different sequences can help keep your muscles toned, help recover the body from external or internal stress, keep the internal organs massaged and your mind and body relaxed.

So whether you’re looking to simply keep your body healthy or relax your mind, Hatha Yoga is a form of exercise that has an enormous hosts of benefits. It is also an exercise that can be practiced with the family. Your body and mind will be completely rejuvenated, relaxed and re-energized.

It is advised that if you are to start practicing Hatha Yoga, please do so under a qualified teacher who will be able to guide you to a sequence that is specific to your background.

Nitya is qualified and certified a teacher from Aurora Yoga Studio , Sri Lanka. Should you have any questions with regard to the article, please contact on nitya.aurorayogastudio@gmail.com or 0777703904


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